Anderson Cooper to Spice Up Tuesday’s Debate

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By Betsy Rothstein Comment

CNN anchor and daytime’s new heartthrob Anderson Cooper will moderate the Tuesday, Oct. 18 debate presented by CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference.

The debate, which will air live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET), will broadcast from The Venetian Resort in Vegas. Voters from the 16 states and territories that make up the Western region of the U.S. will be in audience to pose questions directly to the candidates. Let’s hope Newt Gingrich doesn’t give them the Chris Wallace treatment.

Eight presidential contenders will participate in the debate: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Gingrich, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

CNN’s live and on-location coverage surrounding the debate will begin with CNN Newsroom on Saturday, Oct. 15 and continue through American Morning on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Programming from Sin City along with Cooper will include Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, John King, T.J. Holmes, and Carol Costello. CNN political contributors and analysts also on hand will include Gloria Borger, Ron Brownstein, Alex Castellanos, Ari Fleischer, David Gergen and Mary Matalin. CNN en Español’s Washington anchor Juan Carlos López will host live analysis on that network before the debate starting at 7:45 p.m. (ET). At 8 p.m., CNN en Español will take the debate live with simultaneous interpretation followed by more analysis with CNN en Español’s team of political contributors. The debate will also be carried live on CNN International.