January 25th, 2012

GOP Candidates to Appear in Last Debate before Florida Primary

Wolf Blitzer to Moderate; Cooper, King, Burnett, O’Brien Anchor Special Coverage

Just days before Florida Republicans go to the polls to choose their nominee, the GOP presidential hopefuls will meet for a final debate hosted by CNN, the Republican Party of Florida and the Hispanic Leadership Network. CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer will moderate the two-hour presidential debate which will take place at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville on Thursday, January 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

Blitzer, John King, Erin Burnett and Soledad O’Brien will anchor their respective programs live and in Jacksonville on the days surrounding the CNN debate. Anderson Cooper will anchor special, post-debate coverage.

Reporting from Florida in the final days before the primary will be chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, anchor Brooke Baldwin, national political correspondent Jim Acosta, senior political correspondent Joe Johns, correspondent Ed Lavandera, Miami-based correspondent John Zarrella, and CNN Radio’s Bob Costantini. On the campaign trail covering the GOP candidates are reporter-at-large Peter Hamby, political reporter Shannon Travis, and political producers Rachel Streitfeld and Shawna Shepherd. CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, senior political analyst David Gergen and CNN political contributors Alex Castellanos, Donna Brazile, Ari Fleisher, John Avlon will be on hand in Jacksonville to offer insight and analysis for all programming.
Four presidential contenders will participate in Thursday’s debate: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. In addition to questions posed to the candidates by Blitzer and Florida Republicans in the audience, CNN will solicit questions and comments submitted in real-time from, the CNN Politics fan page on Facebook and by using the #CNNDebate hashtag on Twitter.

CNN Digital will cover the Florida debate and primary and will be the online destination for all news and analysis related to the 2012 Elections. Users can check out the CNN Election Centerto track real-time election results and analyze the exit polls and results thus far from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. has also launched the GOP Delegate Calculator, which allows users after each caucus or primary to try their hand at predicting which candidates will win each state and eventually, the Republican presidential nomination. will also continue to provide the CNN Electoral Map with the most recent predictions on battleground states as updated by CNN’s political experts as well as the 2012 Primary Caucus Calendar, an interactive datebook where users can slide over a specific month to see when states will hold their primaries and caucuses throughout the year. will live stream all of the events in Florida – the debate on Thursday as well as the events from the Florida primary next Tuesday. After Thursday’s debate, will be live-streaming the Spin Room with CNN’s Jim Acosta. To engage and comment on election night news as it happens, users can view the CNN Politics Facebook page for political stories and photos of CNN’s favorite faces and also follow @CNNPolitics on Twitter for breaking developments all night.

CNN iReport, the network’s global participatory news community, will be asking for submissions related to the events in Florida, some of which will be shown on and broadcast on CNN.

Across CNN’s mobile platforms, the latest election stories and opinion pieces will be available via CNN’s mobile website and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android phone and Android tablet.  The new Election Center section can also be accessed on CNN’s mobile platforms. Additionally, all apps will live stream the debate and carry live video of candidate speeches and events during the primary. On primary night, live results can be viewed on CNN’s mobile website and in the CNN App for iPad.

CNN en Español and CNN International

CNN en Español will offer pre-debate analysis starting at 7.45pm hosted by anchor Juan Carlos López and joined by the network’s panel of political contributors Maria Cardona, Roberto Izurieta and Juan Hernandez. At 8pm, the network will carry the debate live with simultaneous interpretation and will feature López fielding questions for the candidates from attendees of the Hispanic Leadership Network Conference taking place in Miami. The debate will be followed by 30 minutes of analysis with our political contributors and guests onsite in Miami.
The debate will also be carried live on CNN International.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.