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CNN is following Fox News’ model of inviting the top 10 Republican candidates for its primetime debate on Sept. 16 at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
A second forum will be held for candidates meeting “the minimum threshold of one percent.” The selection process for both groups will be based on polling between July 16 and Sept. 10. Jake Tapper will moderate the events.
In a statement released Tuesday, the network said Nancy Reagan has begun the process of personally inviting candidates to attend. So far she’s reached out to Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump and Scott Walker.
“My husband was humbled and honored to be president of the United States. I heard him say on more than one occasion that he was only given temporary custody of the presidency, but I know from very personal experience that it was the role of his lifetime,” said former first lady Nancy Reagan. “Debates are a crucial part of the election process, and I’m thrilled that so many qualified candidates have the opportunity to be heard at the Reagan Presidential Library.”
The debates will air live exclusively on CNN platforms from the Air Force One Pavilion. Salem Communications will air the debate live through their broadcast radio stations nationwide.
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