Chris Christie secures spot in the Sept 16 CNN Republican debate

 Republican presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie speaks as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., listens during the first Republican presidential debate on Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Republican presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie speaks as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., listens during the first Republican presidential debate on Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be among the 11 Republican presidential candidates at next week’s CNN primetime debate, a slate that features the full diversity of the GOP’s 2016 class and is believed to be the largest group to share a presidential debate stage in modern political history.

1- Chris Christie2- Carly Fiorina3- Donald Trump4- Jeb Bush5- Scott Walker6- Ted Cruz7- Rand Paul8- Marco Rubio9- Ben Carson10-Mike Huckabee11-John Kasich

The candidates will debate Weds, Sept 16, 2015 at 8 p.m.,at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The undisputed leader in national polls, Trump is generally considered the biggest reason why Fox News Channel reached 24 million people for the first GOP presidential debate last month – the most watched program in Fox News history.

Republican National Committee officials have praised the diversity of the field, which includes a woman, an African-American and two Hispanics.

Five candidates lagging in national polls did not qualify for the main event and will instead be featured in a 6 p.m. debate in the same venue: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

The final lineup offers few surprises, yet plenty of challenges for candidates and organizers ahead of the crowded affair.

Anticipating Fiorina’s attendance, Trump last week cited the obvious challenges associated with sharing the stage with so many people.

“I don’t like the fact there are 11 people there now as I understand it,” the billionaire businessman said in a press conference. “There are too many people. Because when you’ve got 11, you’re not going to hear me and you’re not going to hear other people talking, and I think that’s too bad.”

Next week’s debate is among five scheduled before the 2016 primary season’s first voting contest in Iowa next February.

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