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Republican Candidates Meet in Early Primary Debate

June 15, 2011

Story by Laurie Morrissey

Seven Republican candidates for the U.S. presidency met before a worldwide television audience on June 13 in the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm College's Sullivan Arena. More than 300 journalists were on campus, as well as 100 or so staff members of CNN, which sponsored the debate along with WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

CNN's John King, chief national correspondent and anchor of John King USA, moderated the debate. On stage were declared candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain. Michele Bachman declared her candidacy during the debate.

The college community was fully involved in the events leading up to and during the event. About 50 students worked as runners for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and news organizations, even serving as stand-ins for candidates during lighting and camera preparation. They worked as personal assistants for on-air talent; served as drivers, couriers, set-up crew; and met network executives and producers.

Saint Anselm has hosted presidential candidates for many years, noted Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., president of the college. "It has been something that's very much part of what Saint Anselm College is, and since we founded the Institute of Politics 10 years ago, Saint Anselm has been the home for New Hampshire politics."

For more information on the recent debate, including photos, videos, and interviews, visit the Saint Anselm College Blog at

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