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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
CNN to partner with CBC Institute for Jan. '08 Democratic debate in South Carolina
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute will co-host a presidential debate on the eve of the 2008 South Carolina Democratic primary, leaders with the two organizations announced Wednesday.

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer will moderate the Democratic debate. CNN correspondent Joe Johns and White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux will serve as panelists to question candidates participating in the debate.

"CNN is pleased to join with the CBC Institute in spotlighting this important primary race," said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. "This debate provides a meaningful addition to our comprehensive coverage of the 2008 presidential election, particularly as it gives us an opportunity to explore more closely a range of issues that will impact the pivotal African-American vote."

"Our goal with the debate is to provide a platform that will allow voters to hear the positions of candidates, from both political parties, on the critical issues facing our nation," said CBC Institute Board Chairman and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi.

"Every voter deserves an opportunity to evaluate the candidates. Collaborating with CNN provides unprecedented viewership and allows us to take the 2008 presidential election to homes across America."

"I am thrilled that the CBC Institute and CNN will host a debate in my home state of South Carolina," said U.S. Rep. and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina. "It is my strong belief that this debate, leading to the first-in-the-South primaries, will be the definitive forum for America as we choose our next president."

Information on exact times and other details of this debate as well as a CNN/CBC Institute-sponsored Republican presidential debate will be forthcoming.
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