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The first Republican primary debate is tonight. The two-hour debate will start at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday and be shown on Fox.

Former President and current primary frontrunner Donald Trump will not be at the debate tonight. He has instead opted to do an interview with former Fox host, Tucker Carlson.

His absence should leave space for the other candidates to finally speak on the issues the country is facing. Most of the media coverage has been focused on Trump so far. Over the course of the two-hour debate tonight, candidates will have an opportunity to speak in a place that is not occupied by Trump. Out of sight, out of mind is a real thing.

The key for all of the candidates tonight is the same. Stay on message and avoid talking about Trump. The candidates that are able to focus their statements on President Joe Biden’s failures, the economy’s current state, and the future of the economy will have a good night. Whoever makes it about Trump will lose.

That could be a problem for former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. His entire platform is anti-Trump.

The other candidates should have opportunities to finally endorse themselves instead of opposing the former president.

Tony Katz will be livestreaming the debate tonight on his personal website. He will be watching with bourbon in one hand and a cigar in the other.

To hear Tony Katz’s thoughts on the debate tonight, click the link below.