Home > 2012 Presidential Election > Republican Presidential Debate Preview: What Each Candidate Needs To Do

Republican Presidential Debate Preview: What Each Candidate Needs To Do

I’ll readily admit that I’ve followed almost none of the Republican Presidential debates that have taken place over the last couple of months.  Save for the occasional heated debate, I really haven’t done my homework on any of the Republican candidates.

I’m planning on changing that tonight by checking out the latest debate that’s scheduled to air on CNBC.  The primary focus of the debate will be the economy and that’ll be of particular interest to folks in the audience on the campus of Oakland University in Michigan where the debate is taking place.

Now, I’m not completely living under a rock on this.  I’ve followed the latest news enough to know where each candidate stands in the polls and what they’ve been up to lately.  With that in mind, here are the primary things that I think each Republican candidate needs to accomplish tonight in order to score points with voters.

Mitt Romney – Win over the home crowd

Romney was born in Detroit.  His dad was governor of Michigan.  This should be his home turf.  He’s the favorite to win the nomination already so getting the backing of what could be a partisan crowd in Michigan can only help his cause.

Herman Cain – Stop the bleeding and refocus

The focus of the debate may be on the economy but Cain will undoubtedly have to address the slew of sexual harrassment claims against him.  Cain needs to go back and hammer home what sent him to the lead in the polls in the first place – his 9-9-9 tax plan and his “non-politician” background.

Rick Perry – Regroup

Perry used to be a front runner.  Now, he’s a distant third.  Perry has gotten a little battered in both the debates and the court of public opinion lately.  It’s time for him to return to his platform of economic growth and recovery through fiscal responsibility and emerge as a viable alternative to Romney and Cain.

Newt Gingrich – Capitalize

Perry has been knocked down already and Cain is dealing with his own personal issues.  If there’s a time that the former House Speaker can steal away support from other candidates, it might be now.  Gingrich has been near the top of the polls in a long time and he doesn’t have much time left before Romney runs away with the nomination.

Ron Paul – Be the outsider

Paul’s platform might be a little too extreme for him to ever be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate but there’s no doubt that there’s not another candidate like him.  The Texas native needs to emphasize his differences from the other candidates and hope he can pick support from those who are tired of big government.

Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum – Make some waves

These three are languishing near the bottom of the polls and need to do something fast or they won’t survive in this campaign much longer.  Bachmann started strong before retreating and Huntsman and Santorum have never really gained a footing.  They need a win tonight more than anybody.

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  1. November 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I agree with this, though I think Cain needs to do more than try to refocus. I think he has to regain credibility and end the “he said, she said” nature of his current scandals.

    • November 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      I agree that he needs to regain credibility. I’m just not sure how he can do that during a debate. I think his goal for tonight should be to bring the focus off the accusations and back on to his campaign goals.

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