GOP hopefuls gather in N. Charleston for pre-primary debates

GOP Media Room
GOP Media Room

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Republican presidential hopefuls are gathered in North Charleston to debate before voters in this early primary state go to the polls.

On Thursday, GOP candidates are participating in two debates being sponsored by Fox Business Network at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center.

PHOTO GALLERY: Decision 2016: Presidential Candidates

The network says candidates who place in the top six nationally based on an average of recent polls are invited to take part in the prime-time debate slated to begin at 9 p.m. and moderated by Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo.

The 9 p.m. ET debate will feature real estate mogul Donald Trump; Texas Senator Ted Cruz; Florida Senator Marco Rubio; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Remaining candidates who register at least 1 percent according to the network’s polling standards are invited to participate in a debate at 6 p.m. moderated by Trish Regan and Sandra Smith.

The 6 p.m. ET debate roster includes Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (declined to participate), former HP (HPQ) CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

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