The First Republican Primary Debate of the 2016 presidential election was hosted by Fox News Channel, Facebook, and the Ohio Republican Party at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio – the same location as the future 2016 Republican National Convention. The two-hour debate invited the 10 highest-polling candidates, as measured by the average of the top five national polls selected by Fox.
The candidates in the first GOP debate were Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. The moderators were Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace.
GOP Debate Highlights
Speaking Time Candidates
In the first GOP debate, Trump was afforded the most time to speak at the debate by the Fox moderators (at 10 minutes, 32 seconds) followed by Bush (8:31), Huckabee (6:40), Cruz (6:39), Kasich (6:31), Carson (6:23), Rubio (6:22), Christie (6:10), Walker (5:51), and Paul (5:10). The debate itself was viewed by 24 million people at its peak, setting records for the most-watched presidential primary debate ever and the highest-rated non-sports telecast in cable television history.
Analyses First GOP Debate | CBS News
The first primetime Republican primary debate of the 2016 election cycle was not, as many were predicting, all about Donald Trump.
“We don’t want to make it the Donald Trump show,” said Fox News’ Chris Wallace, one of the moderators, on Tuesday. “But it is.”
The billionaire businessman has lit up the early GOP primary with his trash-talking approach to politics, and he certainly didn’t pull any punches during Thursday’s debate, which was hosted in Cleveland, Ohio by Fox News.
He tossed some barbs at other candidates, at President Obama, even at Rosie O’Donnell – and he received a few in return. But his combative style didn’t dominate the evening. Instead, most of the other candidates focused on burnishing their own strengths and carving out their own brands within a winnowed-but-still-crowded lineup.