Republicans Prep For Debate

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 11:05am

The Republican debate in New Hampshire tonight could be filled with fireworks.

The top candidates are going into tonight's debate in New Hampshire with an agenda. Mitt Romney needs to maintain. Herman Cain needs to prove why he's moving up, and Rick Perry has got to show he can survive.

Front-runner Mitt Romney has 37% lead in New Hampshire where tonight's debate is supposed to focus on the economy. "Government will spend what you give them and then some. And so my view is hey guys let's not talk about taking more of the money of the American people, let's talk about living within the means," says Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, (R).

But questions about Romney’s Mormon faith are likely to surface tonight, along with criticism of the health plan he created as Governor of Massachusetts.

Romney's called Rick Perry light on immigration; that could come up tonight.

Perry is raising lots of money but sinking in the polls after a poor debate performance. "This debate this week will be very important for Rick Perry to prove himself once again he is still in the top tier candidate status," says Politico’s Shira Toeplitz.

Businessman Herman Cain will look to show why he's surging ahead. Cain says he's ready for "gotcha" questions, and can't wait to talk about his 9% sales tax. "It's really simple,” explains Cain. “When people understand it they will support it and they will demand it."

Michelle Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum and others will be looking to prove they can still win the nomination -- or even just stay in the race.

President Obama will be in Pittsburgh today, touring a union training center and pushing his jobs plan.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

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