CNBC backs debate for GOP hopefuls


NEW YORK -- CNBC said Thursday that it would sponsor a debate with the GOP presidential candidates Oct. 9 from Dearborn, Mich.

The debate will focus on mainly business and economic issues and begin at 4 p.m. ET from Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in the Detroit suburb. The network said further details about the debate, including the moderator and its structure, would be coming at a later date.

The debate's co-sponsors are sister network MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal, CNBC's partner in business news.

CNBC said invites have gone out to each of the GOP candidates. It isn't known yet how many of the candidates would participate, although the network is talking to their campaign staffs to find out.

The debate will air on MSNBC at 9 p.m. ET that night.

"This debate will focus on issues that are at the heart of every presidential election, namely the economy, taxes, fiscal discipline and government regulation," said CNBC president Mark Hoffman in a statement. "This will mark the first time in the 2008 presidential campaign that all declared Republican candidates will be asked to provide voters with specific plans for the American economy and American workers in an increasingly global marketplace."