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WQOP news coverage of the Jacksonville’s GOP Candidates Debate Jan 26 at UNF
Queen of Peace Radio News Reporters Chris Williams and Tom Moran


The UNF Debate was sponsored by CNN and the Hispanic Leadership Network. Prior to the debate that started 8pm, the outdoor campus had quite a number of banners and signs in every direction. The majority of political signs were brought by Ron Paul supporters, with lesser amounts for Romney, Gingrich and Santorum. Also present were various demonstration groups saying they represented Occupy, or were for legalized homosexual relationships, or they were against same sex marriage, or they were for government control that banned Sharia law. A mixture of several outdoor stages from different media new groups filmed liveshots before the debate.

UNF Lazzara Performance Theater at 8pm was seated to its full capacity. CNN’s lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer moderated the two-hour debate and the evening unfolded without a hitch.

The topics and questions were asked in a vague way that made them seem lukewarm. None of the candidates ever seemed to be put on the spot nor were they asked for specific details on they would responsibly handle this country’s concerns any different than the others.

Beginning with the first issue of illegal immigration and then moving to sources for NASA administration funding for moon colonies, expensive health care costs, and how would each work with Hispanic leaders. The responses were for the most part, how any bureaucrat would side step ultimate responsibility.



On-stage the Romney vs. Gingrich verbal sparing provided most of the debate’s emotional energy. The audience was more responsive with cheers and applause than at this year’s earlier GOP debate in Tampa.

Candidates had plenty of time to demonstrate their boasted campaign and leadership acumen. By the end, there was no change or surprises in their position.

After the debate outside on the UNF campus, some audience and students were asked their thoughts. Most complained that the candidates’ responses did not provide any real practical and easy solutions for this country’s long term. Many agreed that there did not seem to be enough emphasis put on politician’s accountability for government debt and for the increase of welfare & bailouts.

At the end of the evening it seemed unanimous, that this debate did not influence anyone enough to change their mind or support a different candidate.

Perhaps the most notable and common comment all day from the various participants (aside from the surprisingly fair weather) was how well UNF accommodated the Jan 26th GOP debate, all of the news media coverage, and its overall good reflection on Jacksonville. So UNF received everyone’s vote to host again anytime.




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