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Republican Debate Preview

GOFFSTOWN, N.H. -- For many people the idea of attending two presidential debates in forty-eight hours is hellish. For us, it's downright heavenly.

So, here we are back at Saint Anselm College for the third Republican presidential debate of the year, less than two days after we sat in this same space (literally) to cover the Democrats' second presidential gathering.

It's about twenty degrees warmer outside today and the pouring rain of Sunday has given way to sunshine. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Attention heading into the debate centers on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), who have exchanged long-distance shots over their differing views on immigration.

At a town hall meeting this morning in Gilford, McCain challenged his rivals (not by name) to provide plans of their own to deal with the 12 million people here illegally rather than simply criticize his legislation. As we've noted before, however, McCain's position on immigration is a complex one and takes time to explain -- time he is not likely to have in tonight's debate. Romney will almost certainly describe the plan as amnesty; watch McCain to see if he has a ready retort prepared. (We're betting he does.)

The other interesting development to keep an eye on is how former New York City Rudy Giuliani handles the issue of immigration if and when it comes up. Ideally, Giuliani would love to simply watch as McCain and Romney battle, but one (or both) of them may well turn the tables and ask for a fuller answer from Hizzoner on the issue.

We'll be liveblogging the entire debate -- so stay tuned.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 5, 2007; 5:33 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain on Immigration
Next: A Debate Disclaimer

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Posted by: gjgzzijets | June 18, 2007 4:43 AM | Report abuse

Debate preview: Running in a right wing primary, Ron Paul will do his best to appeal to the left wing of the Republican party... huh???

Posted by: ErrinF | June 5, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Ask them to spell and pronounce the words "nuclear" and "potato." That should take the debate to the first commercial break.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

will Fred Thompson be there? or Gingrich? if those 2 get in, they're immediately top contenders, much more so than Romney. Without them, listeners will have to sit through Brownback, Hunter, Tancredo, and all the other single issue/ego candidates. (maybe Romney belongs in this category, too?)

Posted by: Bart Gigaldi, M.D. | June 5, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Ask them if GWB should pardon Libby

Posted by: brian | June 5, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

It's all about immigration tonight. No Republican can get past that issue without saying something about mass deportations. And maybe arming white males...

Another GOP debate preview
http://political-buzz.com/?p=217

Posted by: cfl | June 5, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

gunga la gunga!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I wish it weren't being held so early in the evening. Central time and all. I'll have to rely on CC and my fellow regulars to fill me in on at least half of it.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | June 5, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

My props for the Caddyshack reference... very subtle, but very welcome.

Posted by: Brad | June 5, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

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