David Chalian: ABC Debate Will Be Most Intimate Yet

Yahoo! News' Washington Bureau Chief says the economy will drive the debate.
3:00 | 12/09/11

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Transcript for David Chalian: ABC Debate Will Be Most Intimate Yet
Iowa family leader has put forth. -- -- that requires participating candidates. Marriage. Between man. Signs yeah that was why he won't -- it by. That's something you doing what can only be described as his general disrespect from there. Respects marriage about as much as -- card debt Sheehan that's right Newt Gingrich's think you are dashing into the G of the. And and that's what legends of war immediately is Kim -- and an -- night going four -- he's speaking of legends. We're joined now by a top my guess is not really against his family as he is also a founding. Co host of top line back in the in the dark days of two years ago or so. -- -- in the Washington bureau chief of Yahoo! News welcome back trial -- sir it's as -- you know it's great to be here and even look at these strikes me walking into this room. Six audience I think thought I as I was watchers have you know this really is a different debate and we -- analyst -- because with Herman -- dropping out and Huntsman not qualifying. This is going to be a much more. Intimate affair you actually think going to get. To hear more in -- from all of these candidates because there are fewer of them. So each one gets a little more time -- and of course it also helps that pressure that lightning which we don't actually do their part aren't something we talked about this morning and read about this morning CNN com. There's a lot of thank you for Mitt Romney when he talked a lot about new Gingrich he's the front runner -- -- has to decide what he's Canadian he's obviously -- is Alan -- to go take off the gloves. -- do it up there well it's the big question right because every signal indicates that he is going to because we we all saw a lesson learned by Tim Pawlenty in June right when you. When you start to foretell what your strategy a little bit. And then you don't follow up when you get on the stage you get hammered -- the fact that it has I've never seen a campaign so aggressively so overtly. Launched the sort of comparative contrast -- as the -- campaign has done this week and if he doesn't follow that up all his circuits up on the debate stage. I have a feeling we'll be slam -- I think it seems to me they're indicating he's coming up what. No subtlety there -- for sure now what about -- He is spending today you can't make this up he's signing books at this hour at Union Station in Washington couple blocks from the capitol. Or Clinton having delegates -- adamant in their Washington. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- It's remarkably they're not changing their campaign model obviously even in this late stage he could be in Iowa drawing big crowds -- be a big story today in Iowa. As well what. Do you see any evidence that he should change it I mean right now it is working for him and we have not seen you were just talking a -- strong about this. We haven't -- that traditional grassroots campaigning. Giving any one candidate an advantage I -- if they did we'd be dealing with the front -- Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum they've been here -- so. If it's working form he's hitting his stride at the right moment a few weeks here folks before these guys go to the caucuses and. To two for the run -- campaign decision won't wait for -- Gingrich implosion when he saw others. I think they know that's not likely to happen because we're now the -- Where you can ride that momentum to a closing argument -- an into an election event and that's a whole different ball game and then coming in like we Perry did in the summer with a ton of momentum but. Not to single this is a short period of time to stay in at least in this short period of time. Then of course the contest goes on the inclusion -- her -- you've been looking through a lot of questions Yahoo! users. And want -- now want to ask these guys. What does it really come down to. -- -- Folks out there literally tens of thousands of questions have been submitted if something like north of 70% on the economy and -- -- -- just. The overriding driving issue -- plug in here to government should go to -- -- -- -- -- -- downloaded into now it's an apt from Yahoo! and you'll be able to wait in. On the debate in real time as it's happening we want to hear from you abcnews.com habit as well and we'll get real time feedback as that is done. So economy is the main issue you're -- hearing the candidates -- that that's not where they disagree with. Will get figure that's -- where the debate this week we have -- -- Scott's real right but we we do until then there is debate over sort of whose most consistent conservative for all these years and there is an economic peace to that right. Whether or not -- Romney's record in Massachusetts and raising fees instead of taxes there are economic places where they're gonna wanna separate. The attack this week on the Ryan Medicare plan and that's not just health care issue that is an economic issue do you you do see. Places where they can but that you're right we have seen much greater debates in other areas not sort of on the economy and jobs beyond just. Playing around on the -- rights but how you perform as we know it mostly seen -- when he's on top. That's not only gets in the most trouble. -- -- and be able to be disciplined here. Tomorrow night as he has been previously. I think there's going to be we wrote about this as well a little earlier today is going to be this inherent tension in news. You are going to see. Somebody who has met with much success by staying above the -- taking on the moderator saying don't try to instigate fights and yet he's never had to do that from the position of front -- where he's clearly going to be the target of all the other five there on the state. That watching him negotiate that intention of taking all that in coming while still -- -- above the fray. To me is going to be one -- the most fascinating dynamics to watch and tired of it totally agree I mean the difference was even physically he's out on the -- on the wings it's now. Broadly because he's not one is being attacked he can attack the moderator sitting get a lot of success -- that. The giants and I -- this latest yeah. -- that it will be different. What do you make of the of the fact we talked nonstop about on all the fact that this guy has -- organization anyone else he's you know he's been running for president point five years but he's catching on in Italy now. -- chance to be the nominee I think we can stipulate fight I think siren box right. If -- -- -- -- at odds with the Republican -- he's got to eat a high floor but also low ceiling so what kind of factor in dvds and a lot of -- meters and again. He is you know this debate -- ton of questions for a -- going to it. That's one question I don't think it will -- is the Ron Paul question I think Beckett answered on January 3 actually we really have to wait because. To me it's just great. Question that hangs out there ten he he's got more money than last time around he's got more organization than last time around. I'm -- actually translate that. Being too late and motivated army support that -- at the caucuses. Probably from people who were not traditional caucus goers -- that's not his normal electric he's got to do kind of like what Barack Obama did and reshape the electorate a little bit that normally turns up in the caucuses to have a big night. I don't know the answer that yet if he can do that or not but. But that's what they're trying to build and that's what we should all be looking for. Our arsonist is preparing he's obviously -- trying to clean up the middle strategy let those guys fight it out -- -- -- to be the social strong social conservative -- rise above the fray. Can he get away with that and will he be able to on the stage one of his advisors in the Blanco in one of the papers today I don't know witch -- that he has no other choice right -- -- so. I I do think that. That doubling down on the social conservative -- is probably his best bet to to capture enough of the electorate but. I don't know natural spoken yet as we just talk about the Yahoo! questions of common. Peace is not a that the race being driven by social issues I think it may be his only option but it seems to me to be a limited -- It was going to be the economy candidate I have a says yeah that's right he can really -- -- to -- as we know votes in the moral issues as they always do will be physically on on on on opposite sides of the stage Santorum -- -- This either of them have a half that you see where we could get supplies here that he could suddenly catch fire that. All of this other movement that's going on that one of them could coalesce some of the social conservative vote. And surprised -- -- I think if we haven't seen it yet I think it is hard to see how that emerges in the final couple weeks you're gonna. Holiday week pause right and right there isn't going to be even subterranean stuff going on really in the campaign during the week nobody's paying attention -- in -- Sparks something -- -- debater followed up in next week's debate it just I don't know that there's enough time their member Mike Huckabee snuck in there but it wasn't. At the end like this it was actually late October -- November. He had a few months or to -- that I don't know if they're going to be able -- to turn on a -- And it's informs them that they -- secretary of state endorsement you know the last couple seconds of -- time where people -- estimated Yahoo! Yahoo.com right there on the -- be sure to visit us you can join the debate throughout the entire also process of course ABC -- a comedy blogging and we we analyze part of this -- digital shelves throughout awaits the Kennedy abcnews.com all -- -- -- -- Amy Walter at recline. For all of us here it's fun to be back guys is -- -- -- this is great all right an action. Yeah.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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