Those hoping to see a Lincoln-Douglas style face-off between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney will be disappointed. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has declined an invitation to a one-on-one debate with Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire next week.
And as quick as the Romney campaign declined the invite, Jon Huntsman's campaign accepted the December 12th debate offer. Huntsman's campaign manager Tim Miller sent an email declining the invitation to a Newsmax debate moderated by Donald Trump, and announcing the Lincoln-Douglas debate with Gingrich.
Gingrich has already held two such debates in early November. The first was with Herman Cain in Texas. That event was deemed by many in the media "a GOP lovefest."
The second debate was with Rick Santorum as part of a forum put on by the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC in New Hampshire. Santorum recently challenged Gingrich to another debate in Iowa. But, Gingrich's camp is declining the invite because "they have already debated."
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates were a series of seven debates, in a run-off for the Senate in Illinois between the incumbent Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln. They lasted three hours each, and were held in towns across the state over a month and a half.
Unlike the typical prime time TV format of today, the first candidate spoke for an hour, then the second spoke for 90 minutes, and the first ended with a 30 minute rebuttal. The candidates took turns going first at each debate.
These one-on-ones with Newt haven't stuck that exact format, but they are devoid of buzzers and bells.
Gingrich has also challenged President Obama to such a debate. He says, if Obama doesn't agree to it, he'll follow Obama around like Lincoln did to Douglas - until he caves in.