PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached with CNN for the network to produce a major debate in Arizona featuring candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
The nationally-televised debate will be conducted and aired at 6 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET) on December 1.
“I’ve been in politics a long time, but I can’t remember a more critical election than this,” said Governor Brewer. “When it comes to some of the hallmark issues facing our country – whether illegal immigration, the housing crisis or the ongoing power struggle between the states and federal government – Arizona is at the forefront. These are national issues, certainly. But Arizonans live and breathe them.
“So, I’m thrilled that the Arizona Republican Party and CNN have reached agreement on a debate, and optimistic that when the candidates come to Arizona, they’ll meet our voters and offer meaningful solutions to the problems facing our state and nation.”
CNN’s participation ensures that the Arizona presidential debate will be viewed worldwide, thanks to the global, 24/7 reach of CNN and CNN.com. The debate will be aired live from Arizona on CNN, and globally on CNN International, CNN en Espanol and CNN Radio.
“Arizona is a key state that will play a pivotal role in helping Republicans choose their presidential nominee,” said Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. “CNN is honored to provide voters in Arizona and around the country an opportunity to hear the GOP candidates present their vision for the future.”
CNN is highly-respected for its political coverage, and in 2008 won a Peabody Award – the highest honor in television journalism – for its presidential primary coverage, including production of debates. CNN has already hosted two Republican presidential debates this year, partnering with WMUR television and the New Hampshire Union Leader in June and the Tea Party Express earlier this month.
Preparations are ongoing for Arizona’s Republican presidential debate, including the selection of an appropriate venue to host the festivities. The State of Arizona will incur no costs as part of the production of this event.