Stage set for fourth GOP debate in Milwaukee

Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 09, 2015

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — With 364 days left until voters head to the polls to elect the nation's next president, the stage is nearly set for the fourth Republican primary debate.

Tuesday night's debate in Milwaukee will be the first since a controversial CNBC debate last month that led candidates to complain about "gotcha" questions some claimed was baiting them into attacking each other rather than debating substantive policy issues.

FOX Business Network and the Wall Street Journal, which are hosting the Milwaukee debate, are lengthening the time for candidate responses. But executives say they won't cave to candidates' demands.

"I don't think there will be any complaints about what happens here," said Cherie Grzech, senior director of politics for FOX News. "We`re going to go out there and do what we do every day -- which is ask tough questions and inform the public, and in the end, it will be a successful debate."

The main event is scheduled for 9 p.m., while the "undercard" debate will begin at 7 p.m.

8 candidates will face off in the primetime debate.

8 candidates will face off in the primetime debate.

FOX Business Network is allowing more time for candidates to speak — 90 seconds per answer and 60 seconds per rebuttal. The network's staff said jobs and the economy will be a focus of the questions.

The main debate will feature just eight candidates—the fewest of any GOP debate so far in the campaign—because of the polling average that FOX Business used as its criteria.

Just 4 candidates will face off in the "undercard" debate.

Just 4 candidates will face off in the "undercard" debate.

"For some, there`s a disappointment about how many may be on the stage. But I think, as far as the answers are concerned, you`ll see a different dynamic," Grzech said.

FOX 17s Josh Sidorowicz is the only West Michigan reporter in Milwaukee and will have live reports from the debate throughout the week.