Jake Tapper to moderate CNN’s first Republican presidential primary debate

Jake Tapper
FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2014 file photo, Jake Tapper of CNN poses at the CNN Worldwide All-Star Party in Pasadena, Calif.

Washington (CNN) — Jake Tapper will moderate CNN’s first Republican presidential primary debate, he announced on Sunday.

Tapper, the host of the network’s “State of the Union” Sunday show and “The Lead” on weekdays, was picked to lead the event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library on Sept. 16.

The prime-time debate will actually be split into two parts: One with the candidates that national polls rank as the top 10 GOP contenders, and one with the candidates who didn’t make that cut.

The broad GOP field has presented a challenge for both Fox News and CNN as debate hosts.

Fox News announced a plan for an August 6 debate that would only include the 10 candidates that were at the top of the heap, as determined by an average of national polls.

Fox’s proposed criteria created the most consternation, partly because it is hosting the first debate, partly because it is a favorite of conservatives, and partly because its rules are more restrictive than CNN’s.

Some Republican Party leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire have said they feel the use of national polls stomps on their roles as the first in the nation caucus and primary states, respectively.

Tapper announced that he’ll moderate the debate on Sunday, at the end of his first show as CNN’s new “State of the Union” host.

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