Gingrich rules out debates with MSNBC's Olbermann, Matthews
November 21st, 2010
04:51 PM ET
3 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. T'sah from Virginia

    If NO ONE can GETCHA, why worry about GOTCHAS??????

    "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.

    LMAO – Okay, then we will SICK Rachel Maddow on you!!!!!!!!

    What in the HELL??? So who DOES he want to ask questions – Hannity – Limbaugh – ????? Give me a BREAK!!!

    I always asked this question – WHO died and left the RIGHT in charge??? The ginGRINCH who is trying to STEAL an election better JUMP BACK and stop making demands – he DOES NOT run America!!!

    Let's concentrate on Moving America Forward with our current leader President Barack Obama!!

    November 21, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Bill in Vermont

    Hahahahaha. Go ahead – don't participate. It will tell the voters all they need to know about you.

    November 21, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. L

    The ability to think on one's feet is a veer important presidential skill. When Gingrich opens himself only to friendly softballs he weakens his position as a candidate.

    When the president is in meetings with other national leaders he gets more than preplanned softballs.

    November 21, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Who cares!

    Newt is old news! And by the way he's too old!

    November 21, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. anthony

    Without even declaring that he is running, without having won a single state, Gingrich is already making demands. Hey Gingrich, have you noticed that you are polling behind Palin?

    November 21, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. thomas

    Newt always spins History !
    Referring to the series of three-hour debates between former President Abraham Lincoln and Sen. Stephen Douglas in the mid-1800s as a model. Newt was that before the internet , before the cell phone , Twitter , Facebook, Dancing with the Stars ?
    Newt , Your so smart your stupid !

    November 21, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. kyle

    All fake canidates report to Faux News for all your question about running for office.

    November 21, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    I think Newt doesn't want those personal life questions popping up on him. You know being the party of "family values" and morality questions about not fitting that lifestyle can get kind of sticky after awhile.

    November 21, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    newst you are a complete moron. Why don't you and that AK idiot fly off into the sunset. Neither one of you has a chance to become president so why even bother with silly "requests".
    It didn't work for angle. It's not working for the imbecile from AK and it will not work for you.
    If you can't face the media you are a first rate coward, then again .... you ARE a first rate coward!

    November 21, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. William

    So basically ask me easy question nothing that requires diffilcult. He better speak with Fox News about sponsoring a cotton glove debate.

    November 21, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. William

    So basically ask me easy question nothing diffilcult. He better speak with Fox News about sponsoring a cotton glove debate.

    November 21, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. mack johnson

    What bothers Newt and those of his ilk is to have to account for the deliberate half truths, lies, and other forms of deceptions that they pass on to the American public with impunity. Questions only become "gotcha" when you face people who are smart enough to understand the inconsistencies of your pronouncements and positions and who have the courage to point out the clear obfuscations. Newt will be speaking to the Republican Governors conference in San Diego this week–this is the type of forum he likes because to can say anything regardless of the insanity and not be challenged. In the words of his fellow travelers (i. e. Angle of Nevada ) we want people to ask the questions we want to answer.

    November 21, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. Seattle Sue

    Is Newt referring to gotcha questions such as what newspapers/magazines/books do you read. We all know how hard those questions are to answer. If you don't believe me, ask Sarah.

    November 21, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. BIll

    Sound like he wants Sarah Palin or Susan angle debate and forum criteria, i.e. I only talk to "friendly" media and only answer the questions I want to answer. That's is one reason you will never be president Newt baby.

    November 21, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. KJ

    Who among us really want him as our President? He and Kayne must have the same publicist!

    November 21, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. William Marlowe

    Any Politician that believes himself/herself above the scrutiny of the Press or believea they have the right to pick the forum and questions they will be asked by the Press when being asked to demonstrate their qualifications to serve as President of the United States of America does not does not respect the sanctity of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution protecting Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press.

    Anybody running for election by the People of the United States should expect to be able answer and defend his or her opinions, viewpoints or beliefs in front of a panel represented from ALL spectrums of the media and population of this great country.
    The mere fact that he has made this statement clearly demonstrates the lack of qualifications he has in front of the media and would prove disastrous in discussing foreign policy on the international stage.

    Newt Gingrich is not qualified to serve as a local politician let alone the Leader of the free world.

    William Marlowe
    Writer & Photojournalist

    November 21, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. mike

    Gingrich is the biggest hypocrite.

    November 21, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Then WHEN he runs, he needs to hold his own debates. Candidates do not and should not determinie how debates are held.
    Newt- you're interviewing for a job as our President- you don't get to set the terms. Maybe you should stop by Walmart and ask for a job to learn the process before you start running

    November 21, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. FRANK FROM LAS VEGAS

    So he only wants softball questions from Fox No News. No questions about policy changes or where he would cut the budgets, or just how he would balance the budget, just say that it has to be done. In other words he wants to complain about everything and give absolutely no solutions. Just like the rest of the GOP, they are great at lies, misinformation, half truths, but no facts and no plans or ideas, just general statements. Certainly personal questions about his life choices are off limits.

    November 21, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. Reggie from LA

    And these concessions would be made because you are...?
    This smacks of the Palin/Angle/O'Donnell agenda. "I will determine who and what questions I'll respond to."
    Must be nice. I've heard it said that Mr Gingrich is very bright. My question is: So?... What? What are you trying to accomplish for our nation. Seems that GOP doctrine is to plan for more wins in 2012. What about a game plan (a real one) for "somewhat real" Americans (you know, the ones with real and valid concerns, not the really "Real Americans) who need solutions. Anyone who finds answers to our real circumstances with elite politicians and super wealthy folks are duped. Sorry to say it, but true. You are quite stupid. Don't feel bad, though, you are vindicated. It is the historically natural thing to do. Pay attention. You know, like you were told to do in school. I don't recall ever being taught to follow behind anyone, you know, like seeking after a bitch in heat.. Guess I got the wrong schoolin'.

    November 21, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. normajean

    I can't imagine why the debaters would want this mediocre old has- been to join their forums with or without his spoken guide lines. He doesn't want "gotcha" questions because he's forgotten the answers { or never knew them } and he'd have to quickly think up some lies .If we could dig up Abe Lincoln or Stephen Douglas, he'd be happy to talk. In the mean time let's just forget about this old "coot; for any future politcal positions. It's TOO late!!!!!

    November 21, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. JPT

    Is anyone on the right wing even remotely concerned about the notion of freedom of the press now being advocated by Gingrich, Palin, and others? Are you willing to throw out an investigative press in the search for political power? And how soon do you think such freedoms will be restored once lost?

    November 21, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. jenkinsrg

    And so it continues. The republican talking heads play victim for the next two years, accomplish absolutely nothing and think that the public will fall for it again.

    PSST, hey republicans. You won this year because of a LACK of enthusiasm, not because we like you.

    November 21, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Sandy

    It worked for that doofus Rick Perry in Texas. He refused to participate in debates & he still got elected. Shows what a bunch of clueless lemmings the voters were.

    November 21, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Death Panel Sarah

    People who are 'scared' to answer questions usually have something to hide!!!

    November 21, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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