Behind The Scenes At The Presidential Debate

Debate 4x3

Business Insider

Ames, Iowa—There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes at a presidential debate that you can’t see at home, from “spin” by campaign operatives to interviews with the candidates.Here’s what you didn’t see on TV at last night’s Fox News / Washington Examiner debate.

The Press Filing centre / Spin Room

This is where reporters, photographers and producers watch the debate -- and where campaign operatives and GOP leaders flock to after the debate to 'spin' the media.

The Business Insider Desk

Watching The Debate

Let's just say the viewing angle from the floor to the jumbo-trons showing the debate was not comfortable.

Spin Alley

Dozens of reporters crowd Bachmann aides for comment on their candidate's performance.

Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn was in a great mood after the debate. He will be the master of ceremonies at Saturday's Straw Poll.


Candidates entered for brief interviews with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Here Michele Bachmann is surrounded by staff as she leaves the room while being chased by reporters.

Pawlenty Talks To Fox's Sean Hannity

The candidates used their post-debate interviews to drive home their points without the time-constraints of the debate -- or the need burden of a response from another contender.


Sen. Rand Paul, the son of contender Rep. Ron Paul, discussed his father's performance.

Left out, but still here

Rep. Thad McCotter did not make the cut for the debate, but showed up afterwards anyway. He discussed his position on debt and deficits with reporters, and spoke kindly of his fellow-candidates' performances.

On being left out, he said: 'You've got no time to cry over spilled milk because there's so much of it.'

More interviews

Herman Cain appeared in shirtsleeves to discuss his debate performance. He and Rick Santorum were the only candidates to speak to the assembled media in the filing centre.

While he didn't repeat his blow-out performance in the May debate, he seems pleased with himself.

Avoiding the press

Like Bachmann, Ron Paul was whisked out of the room quickly after his interview with Hannity.

Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman didn't not speak with Hannity, and Huntsman did not have anyone spinning for his campaign after his tepid performance.

Embracing the press

One of the last to speak with Hannity, Santorum met with any reporter that wanted to talk with him, and expressed his displeasure with not getting enough airtime in the debate.

Gingrich and Hannity

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus

Priebus didn't seem at all concerned by the personal tone of the debate, saying it was just the candidates differentiating themselves. He said the ultimate goal remains defeating President Obama, and that the GOP field's performance was a step toward doing that.

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