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It Begins: NBC News, Politico, Ronald Reagan Library to Host First GOP 2012 Presidential Primary Debate

The 2010 midterm elections have just ended, and already the news organizations are gearing up for the 2012 Presidential race.

NBC News says it will be the television partner for the first 2012 Republican presidential primary debate, which will be hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Spring, 2011, with a second debate on the eve of “Super Tuesday” in 2012. Politico will serve as the online partner for the debates.

“The fact that we are already talking about the 2012 presidential race only foreshadows how invested and deeply-rooted America will be in the political discussion come next spring,” said Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, in a statement. “We look forward to working with our esteemed colleagues at Politico and the Reagan Library to produce a world-class debate.”

The debates will be a repeat of the 2008 campaign, which saw the Reagan Library hosting the first debate, and MSNBC televising it.

More information after the jump.

REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY FOUNDATION TO HOST FIRST GOP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE OF THE 2012 CAMPAIGN

NBC NEWS AND POLITICO TO CO-HOST AND MODERATE

Simi Valley, CA – Former First Lady Nancy Reagan today announced plans to invite all of the leading contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination to two debates at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The Reagan Presidential Foundation plans to play host to both the first GOP presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle in spring 2011 and a second GOP debate on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries.

The Reagan Foundation has confirmed NBC News as the television partner and POLITICO as the online partner of the first debate. The media partners for the second, pre-Super Tuesday debate will be announced in 2011.

“Ronnie would be thrilled that the road to the White House will begin at his Presidential Library,” Mrs. Reagan said. The Library hosted two debates in the 2008 election cycle, including the first of the election cycle. “I look forward to welcoming and watching the top candidates debate the issues next spring.”

“The fact that we are already talking about the 2012 presidential race only foreshadows how invested and deeply-rooted America will be in the political discussion come next spring,” said Steve Capus, President of NBC News. “We look forward to working with our esteemed colleagues at POLITICO and the Reagan Library to produce a world-class debate.”

“We are honored to be involved in a presidential debate with NBC News and the Reagan Foundation,” said Robert Allbritton, publisher of POLITICO. “There are so many important issues confronting this nation, and POLITICO is eager to work with NBC News to fashion a rich and spirited debate among the candidates about the major policy issues of the day.”

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Ronald Reagan’s legacy of inspired freedom and his timeless principles of individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy, and national pride. It sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center and The Air Force One Pavilion. Located in Simi Valley, California the Library houses 63 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and over 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President. WWW.REAGANFOUNDATION.ORG

NBC News has been a leading source of global news and information for more than 75 years, first on radio, and today via broadcast and cable television, the Internet, radio and cell phones. Operating around the clock with bureaus in key cities in the U.S. and overseas, NBC News provides immediate coverage and in-depth reporting of major events to a worldwide audience. For more than a decade, NBC News has served as the dominant force in television news, watched by more Americans than any other news organization. NBC News provides more than 25 hours of weekly programming, including the top-rated Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today and Meet the Press programs.

POLITICO is a Washington, D.C.-based political journalism organization that serves as the one-stop shop for the fastest, deepest coverage of the president, the new Congress and the 2012 presidential race. POLITICO’s journalists break news and drive conversation about the White House, Capitol Hill and Washington lobbying, plus the intersection of politics with Wall Street, media and personalities. POLITICO launched in January of 2007 with the mission of covering politics with enterprise, style and impact.

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