The Republican Party of Iowa has struck a deal with FOX News to co-host a debate featuring the 2012 G.O.P. presidential candidates the week before the Iowa Caucuses. The event will be held in Sioux City.
“For those northwest Iowans, no longer do they need to watch high-profile presidential debates take place miles and miles from their homes,” Iowa G.O.P. chairman Matt Strawn says, “but they get an opportunity to be an active participant in the process.”
The Iowa Caucuses are currently scheduled for Monday, February 6, 202, but no firm date has been set for this FOX News/Republican Party of Iowa debate, however, as there’s a possibility other states may try to leap-frog in front of Iowa’s Caucuses. If that were to happen, Iowa officials would move the Caucuses ahead on the calendar and Strawn says the debate can easily be held earlier, too.
“If another state does try and jump the line, we have some flexibility with this debate as well to make sure it maintains that position, you know, as the final debate before the Caucuses,” Strawn says.
The debate will be held in the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City. It’s the same venue used for an October 2007 debate between presidential candidates John McCain and Mike Huckabee. That debate was organized by AARP.
FOX News has a previous arrangement with the Republican Party of Iowa to co-host a candidate debate this coming August, two days before the G.O.P.’s Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa.