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. Dave in Nevada

    You bet, it would be a shame to have those hostile reporters ask him questions about the last time he held a public office, and why he left.

    November 21, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. JJ

    Indeed, why would he submit to that if it would uncover the fact that he just doesn't have what it takes to handle two MSNBC reporters, let alone the leaders of the rest of the countries on the planet? LMAO!

    November 21, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. HardJustice

    Seems like 'gotcha questions' means no questions that address his track record of hypocrisy and polarizing hyperbole. He's used to the coddling he gets on Fox News. Olbermann or Matthews (much as I dislike them) would clean his clock.

    November 21, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Typical Republican bully tactic: If you don't agree with me, you're hostile. If you ask me important questions, the truthful answers to which make me look bad, you're "lame stream."

    Typical of a political party that has nothing to offer our country except TRIED and FAILED policies, fear, hatred, division and lies.

    November 21, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. GJ

    Please don't participate then, Newt. The country would be much better off.

    November 21, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. TM

    First there was Palin the QUITTER. Now we have Gingrich the COWARD, who will only answer sycophantic softball questions from Fox News. Newsflash Newt: you're talking about running for President of the United States not the Dainty Flower Bridge Club. If you can't "man up" and face a hostile question then you have no business asking anyone to follow you. Or are you admitting that you couldn't handle for ONE DAY what President Obama has been dealing with for TWO YEARS? You are pathetic. Coward!

    November 21, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Jim from Va

    There is no way that a Republican running for president is going to get treated fairly by anyone that is in the media. Most of the people in the news outlets today have been indoctrinated by liberal educators that believe only Democrats care about people and that Republicans are only interested in rich corporations.Get over it and educate yourself as to who will do best at running the country. Don't let some powder puff media person define who you're voting for and why !!!!

    November 21, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. elhaji22

    If Mr. Gingrich has what it takes to hold the highest office in the land, then it makes no difference who asks what.

    November 21, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Blogson

    So Gingrich wants to dictate the conditions under which presidential candidate debates should be conducted. Perhaps a foreshadowing of what would happen if he (Horrors! – but Palin would be even worse!) were elected!

    November 21, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. annie s

    The newest Republican tactic, learned at the knee of Death Panel Sarah – call all the media unfair and refuse to talk to anyone but FOX News. Hey Newt, it didn't work very well for a couple of those Mama Grizzlies, so you might want to rethink it. As if you have a chance to ever be President anyway.

    November 21, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. GuyinVA

    Sounds like the democrat candidates from the last election refusing to debate on FOX. What good would a debate hosted by Olbermann do anyway? A one hour show, 5 or so candidates, each candidate gets 1 question (that take 2 minutes to ask) with 30 seconds to answer. This of course followed by a 45 minute "special comment." Oh, I can hear Olbermann's hopelessly contrived baritone now: "First question Mr. "Mean-Grinch" (he's so clever, you know). You have 30 seconds to explain why you're aren't the horrible homophobic, xenophobic racist that we all now you to be. You must do so by comparing and contrasting yourself to my perfection. Fell free to reference my one and only fault... excessive modesty. Go!"

    November 21, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Sentinel2010

    No, Gingrich wants to be able to lie and slander and defame others, but he is not supposed to be questioned about such things – including his infidelity and failure of several marriages....

    November 21, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. fayse1

    Newt Gingrich is under contract with Fox News and he cannot appear on other television news programs without the approval of Fox first. As a matter of fact, with the exception of Mitt Romney most of the Republicans who are interested in running for President in 2012 are under contract and / or on the payroll of Fox News and that definitely includes Sarah Palin. Perhaps Mr. Rupert Murdock is trying to shape American politics to his liking. Do you want to be an American or an Australian? As for Sarah Palin, the majority of people posting comments want her to shut up and stay in Alaska.

    November 21, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. LouAz

    Wow, Sharon Angle sure taught Nifty Newt a thing or two about politics. Just like the current Repubs in both houses of Congress – if I can't have it my way then it is NO WAY ! They should all be impeached for nonfeasance (n. Law failure to do what duty requires to be done: distinguished from MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE)

    November 21, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. pj

    Newtie, if you can't handle Olberman and Matthews, how on earth are you going to handle hostile leaders like Ahmadinejad? You just can't be president buddy if you only play with the nice supportive people. Are you delusional?

    November 21, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Kattie

    Are you sure newt newt?

    November 21, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. patcee

    Right! Gingrich wants all his questions scripted so he can choose which ones he'll answer. I understand completely why he feels as he does. If I were him, I wouldn't want anyone outside Fox News questioning me. What a hypocrite and deceiver. Write some more history books and stay away from politics.

    November 21, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. King

    What up with these repugs and facing legitimate media outlets. What they think fox entertainment news is a real media out let, fox themselves said they were an entertaient mews program and they shouldn't be taken serious when some woman tried to sue them. Why these repugs want to hide behind an illitigimate entertainment news program and then turn around and ask the American people to take them serious about getting the country where it need to be, lesson this is not world wrestling entertainment and these people are tired of being wood winkler for two years if these American people ever start thinking rationally, you repugs going to be in trouble, so keep running to fox news for their lies and their fear mongering but hope these people don't ever come to their senses and see what you guys are all about.

    November 21, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. NamePatrick Ujad

    But he would participate in a debate hosted by 'hostile' reporters like Sean Hanity and Rush Limbaugh in a 'hostile' environment like FOX news.

    November 21, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Steve

    The media is supposed to be hostile to politicians that lie.

    November 21, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. NamePatrick Ujad

    I bet he would paticipte in a debate hosted by 'hostile' commentators like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and in a 'hostile' environment like Fox news

    November 21, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Christopher

    I doubt he would have no problem if Limbaugh or Hannity moderated.

    November 21, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. D. Bunker

    Sounds like Newt's skin is as thin as the quitbull from Alaska. No biggie, they're both completely unfit to govern.

    November 21, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. jpgkcmo

    Who could possibly care what this blow-hard says or thinks? He's a failed politician, a typical greedy "lobbyist", and continues to engage in the hyperbole that the media has, strangely, characterized as "policy pronouncements". Why would he want to answer substantive questions? Please!!

    November 21, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. calmncool

    Where does this jerk get his ego?

    November 21, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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