Gingrich rules out debates with MSNBC's Olbermann, Matthews
November 21st, 2010
04:51 PM ET
4 years ago

Gingrich rules out debates with MSNBC's Olbermann, Matthews

(CNN) - If presidential debate organizers want former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to participate in their forums, they'll have to meet his stipulations.

"I would not participate if it was a hostile reporter asking 'gotcha' questions with a certain time limit," Republican Gingrich said on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" Sunday.

He said instead of participating in debates sponsored by the media, candidates should invite news outlets to cover their debates.

"There's no possibility that I would ever go to a debate and have (MSNBC's Keith) Olbermann or (MSNBC's) Chris Matthews asking questions," Gingrich said.

NBC News - the organization that employs Olbermann and Matthews - and Politico announced plans to host the first Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library, sponsored by the Reagan Presidential Foundation in the spring of 2011. A host for the debate has yet to be announced.

"I'd be glad to do it at the Reagan library but without the kind of Mickey Mouse questions asked by hostile news media," Gingrich said.

He said he would rather have a dialogue about the issues between the candidates, and he referenced the series of three-hour debates between former President Abraham Lincoln and Sen. Stephen Douglas in the mid-1800s as a model.

Gingrich also reiterated his plan to announce his decision about a presidential run in 2012 in late February or early March of 2011.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Death Panel Sarah

    "He said instead of participating in debates sponsored by the media, candidates should invite news outlets to cover their debates.".....yeah, like FAUX __NEWS!!!

    November 21, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Newt this isn't 1777 where voters only tool of learning about you is during a debate, this is the 21st century better know as technology. Voters can look between your toes without you ever opening your mouth because your name hasn't changed, unless you have plans of debating under an alias unknown to anyone in the U.S.

    November 21, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. tt

    Newt, how could you be a president and ignore the press? Did you not talk about Pres. Obama and his so call snubbing of FakeNews.

    November 21, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. Greg

    If you think Palin is a divisive politician, wait until Newt steps into the arena. I rank him close to Cheney on the arrogance meter.

    November 21, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Dan

    A "gotcha" question to a politician is defined as any question they should know the answer to, but weren't asked in debate prep and therefore don't have a vague response to. You know, like asking a "Constitutional expert" about the Constitution.

    November 21, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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