Oregon Public Broadcasting will produce and provide to NPR and PBS stations exclusive coverage of a Republican presidential debate at its studios on March 19, 2012. The debate "will come at a critical time in the campaign," said OPB President Steve Bass in a memo to stations. "Super Tuesday is on March 6 but delegate counts indicate that it will not be possible for the nomination to be won by any candidate by then. Political observers believe that the nomination contest could very likely go into the late spring."
The Republican National Committee has officially sanctioned the debate, which "virtually assures the participation of the front-running candidates," Bass said.
"We believe that this is the first presidential candidate debate that has ever been exclusively available through the nation’s public broadcasting stations (both TV and radio)," Bass added.
No decisions have yet been made on the moderator or panelists for the event, which is sponsored by the Oregon Republican Party. The Washington Times is also a media partner.