First GOP Presidential Debate Postponed Due to Lack of Candidates

Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:19am

The first presidential debate has been pushed back to September due to the fact that no major candidates have announced they are running, NBC News reported Wednesday.

The debate, co-sponsored by NBC and Politico, was scheduled to take place May 2 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. It will now be held Sept. 14.

Of the several major candidates believed to be running, only former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has even announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

“Although there will be a long and impressive list of Republican candidates who eventually take the field, too few have made the commitment thus far for a debate to be worthwhile in early May,” Reagan Foundation Executive Director John Heubusch said. “The Reagan Foundation’s first Republican presidential primary debate will move to the fall, allowing enough time for the full slate of candidates to participate.”

Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party are still scheduled to hold a debate May 5 in Greenville, S.C.

The first Democratic debate of the 2008 presidential election was held in late April 2007, followed a few days later by the first Republican debate.