Who Are The GOP Debate Moderators? The Second Round Hosts Are Ready To Pit Candidates Against One Another

The first GOP debate in August was a whirlwind of outbursts from Donald Trump, attacks on Hillary Clinton, and meme-worthy bloopers. And this week, it's happening all over again. CNN is hosting the second Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in California on Wednesday. The debate moderators are a vital aspect of the event — preparing the hard-hitting questions, pitting candidates against one another, and really setting the tone for the whole evening. After the first debate, Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly even found herself in a feud with Trump because of a question she posed to the presidential hopeful. So who are the moderators for the second GOP debate?

Jake Tapper, the anchor of CNN's The Lead and State of the Union, will moderate Wednesday's debate, along with CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash and Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt. According to CNN, Tapper is already in California prepping for the big night, and he plans to force the candidates to have real discussions with each other. On CNN's Reliable Sources, Tapper said:

What the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other — specific candidates on the stage — on issues where they disagree, whether it's policy, or politics, or leadership. Let's actually have them discuss and debate.

Hewitt thinks that it's important for Americans to watch Wednesday's debate and hear from the candidates who aren't getting as much media coverage as current front-runners like Trump. He said on MSNBC's Morning Joe: "Wednesday night matters a lot because the United States tends to take the falloff from politics. They like to focus on football, family, and the holidays and then they zoom back in in January." Hewitt also told Morning Joe that viewers should pay attention to Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich, as he expects that they'll be ahead in the race once January rolls around.

Just like in August, the second GOP debate will be split into an earlier debate and a prime-time event to accommodate all the candidates. In addition to Trump, Walker, Rubio, and Kasich, the main debate will feature Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina. The earlier forum will consist of Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, and George Pataki. Rick Perry dropped out of the race on Friday.

You will be able to watch both debates on CNN, or stream them online.