A New Scrum Offers a Chance to Build Upon, or Forget, What Happened in the Old

MAGGIE HABERMAN Friday, September 18, 2015NYT FD

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 8.19.39 AMGood Friday morning. The debate is over and the 11 main-stage candidates have left one anothers company to do their spinning, to tweak their messages and to converge on another stage on the other side of the country.

They’re ba-ack.

Less than 48 hours after 11 Republican presidential candidates stood on stage together at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, almost all of them will speak at a forum hosted by the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action, though they are not expected to appear together.

The event, in Greenville, S.C., will feature the same grouping of Republicans except for two — Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, and John R. Kasich, the current governor of Ohio, both of whom declined to attend. Two members of the so-called undercard debate, Rick Santorum and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, are also scheduled to participate.

The event is being spearheaded by a former senator for South Carolina, Jim DeMint, who is seen as a de facto tea party leader and who has strong ties to the party’s more conservative base, and by the state’s governor, Nikki R. Haley. And the questions are certain to be more focused toward grass-roots Republicans.
The CNN debate did little to clarify the field, beyond highlighting the clear rise of Carly Fiorina, who took something of a victory lap on the cable news networks after her strong performance.
But this forum is another chance for the rest of the candidates to make their mark, for Mrs. Fiorina to build on her performance, and for Mr. Trump to try to erase memories of his.