Thursday night at 9pm EDT, Fox News Channel will host the first nationally televised debate for Republican 2012 presidential candidates. The live broadcast from South Carolina will feature Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum. Other GOP hopefuls have either opted not to participate or have yet to toss their hats in the ring. The debate will feature a panel from Fox News, led by Brett Baier and will include Juan Williams, Chris Wallace and Shannon Bream. We here at RightPundits will hold a live blog starting at 8pm EDT and continue through and after the debate for your reactions. Several regular writers here, including myself, will be on hand fielding questions and making numerous comments and remarks.

live blog GOP debate

While some of the so-called front runners will not be attending, like Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee, the field of candidates should prove to be an interesting collection of ideas. We will have 3 non-Establishment candidates versus two pro-Establishment ones. I′m surprised Michelle Bachmann is not appearing. Another new candidate, John Huntsman, former Utah governor and most recent ambassador to China is now also in the race.

We will start the live blog by 8pm Eastern Daylight time, though I may ′open the doors′ earlier. Feel free to stop by and speculate on this election cycle′s crop of candidates, as well as the recent killing of Osama bin Laden. Once the debate begins, we will focus more on what is happening on stage. After the debate, we will continue for at least an extra hour, or more, providing post-debate punditry and comments on the TV pundits analysis. I promise you woe on to anyone who starts quoting the faker, David Brooks!

So this Thursday, May 5, Fox News Channel will host the first nationally televised debate for 2012 Republican presidential candidates. The live debate from South Carolina begins at 9pm EDT / 6pm PDT on your Fox News cable channel. RightPundits will conduct a live blog starting at least one hour earlier and will run after the debate is over for as long as people want to express themselves. Several writers, including yours truly, will serve as hosts and moderators. Check back at this post for updates. I will leave a comment announcing when the live blog chat room is officially open. Certainly by 8pm Eastern, and possibly earlier.