Six 2012 hopefuls set for tea party twitter debate
Six GOP presidential candidates will clash Wednesday afternoon in a first-of-its-kind Twitter debate hosted by a national tea party organization.
Participating candidates are U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.
“This is the first-ever ‘people’s’ presidential debate that is not hosted by CNN, ABC, NBC, PBS or another part of the establishment media. Thanks to you and thousands of other every-day patriots, we’re beating back the old liberal media with new Tea Party truth,” read an email message from the organizing online tea party group, TheTeaParty.net, to supporters regarding the event.
With conservative pundit and author S.E. Cupp moderating, the candidates will send an advance video message to viewers gathered in New Hampshire and will answer questions, posed by Twitter-zens, using their accounts. Candidates are allowed to use more than one tweet, limited to 140 characters. Rusty Humphries, a conservative radio host, will host the event.
“It has been gratifying to watch candidates embrace the concept and platform as a means of reaching an unprecedented number of new voters. Direct democracy doesn’t get more direct than this,” said Dustin Stockton, national spokesman for the organizers.
The debate, which is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. CST, can be viewed at 140townhall.com, which features a proprietary streaming platform that isolates directed tweets of candidates and moderators. Twitter users can include @140townhall in tweets to join the debate.
“The Twitter debate platform is certain to engage an unprecedented number of activists, and we look forward to empowering state and local tea party groups throughout this election cycle to educate their members about all primary candidates running for federal, state and local office,” Stockton added.