Eight GOP hopefuls are boning up on economics as they head to New Hampshire for the eighth presidential primary debate of this election cycle.
Even as observers hope the eight will use Tuesday’s debate to distinguish themselves from each other, they can expect a lot of toeing of the party line from presidential wannabes who are similar across many dimensions.
“I think the moderator (broadcaster Charlie Rose) is going to try to push them on the issues,” said Linda Fowler, a scholar of presidential politics at Dartmouth College, where the debate is being held.
“It’s one thing to say you want to reduce deficits and another to say where you would cut. You want to shrink regulations, but how would you do that? You want to cut taxes, but how and what kind of taxes?” Ms. Fowler said in a telephone interview. “There will be an effort to pin them down but I think they’ll be resisting it.”
Conventional wisdom tells candidates to wait until the field narrows before committing to positions they may regret later.
Ms. Fowler will help set expectations for a Dartmouth audience during a pre-debate panel on the campus. Also on the panel are Post-Gazette executive editor David Shribman and Wall Street Journal executive board member Joseph Rago, both Dartmouth alumni, and Matthew J. Slaughter, professor of management and associate dean for Dartmouth’s master’s in business administration program.Follow @pgPoliTweets on Twitter or use the hashtag #econdebate for live tweets or point your browser to here on Tuesday at 8 p.m.