Cain and Gingrich to meet for tea party debate
October 24th, 2011
05:09 PM ET
7 years ago

Cain and Gingrich to meet for tea party debate

(CNN) - Two 2012 hopefuls will go one-on-one in November at a debate sponsored by the Texas Tea Party Patriots, the group confirmed to CNN Monday.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain will both participate in the event, which is slated to take place at a resort near Houston and will focus on fiscal issues.

Iowa Rep. Steve King will help moderate the event, which will take place Nov. 5. King is considered an influential Republican and a highly sought-after endorsement in Iowa, host of the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus.

Gingrich offered CNN some perspective about how the event came about following a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa.

"The tea parties in the Houston area called us and said – I think in Woodlands – said they'd love to get Herman [Cain] and me to talk in a dialogue, not a debate," Gingrich said. "And they wanted to use Paul Ryan's plan on Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security as a base. Then have us discuss each of us, our thoughts about it, how we'd do it, what we'd approach. So it should be very creative and very positive, I think. And Herman [Cain] and I – we were talking the other night at the Des Moines [Faith and Freedom Coalition] event that we're both looking forward to it because we think it'll be different."

Gingrich has been vocal in his desire for different kinds of debates than the ones currently featured in the presidential primary process. Speaking at the Iowa presidential forum sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition Saturday, Gingrich said he'd challenge Obama to seven 'Lincoln-Douglas'-style debates.

The Lincoln-Douglas debates took place in 1858 and featured long philosophical discussions between Abraham Lincoln and his opponent Stephen Douglas.

Gingrich said the debates he was proposing would be three hours long, and feature a timekeeper but no moderator.

-CNN's Shannon Travis, Paul Steinhauser and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is always fun to have two clueless people talk about something they know nothing about.

    October 24, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Paula


    Gingrich is OUT. The attention he seeks won't be forthcoming. This is simply because of his low moral grounds. As an infidel by nature and by example, there's no way he can compare with Herman Cain. If I were Gingrich, I wouldn't even attend the Value Summit.

    Is Gingrich that simple to think that Americans will just brush aside his immorality/promiscuity and vote of him anyway? Every other person in the race show's regard for a stable family life except Gingrich. Isn't that true?

    He was out of the race from the moment he stepped into it.

    October 24, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Goodbye pizza man ha ha ha

    October 24, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Jake

    which will air on Comedy Central.

    October 24, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Richard

    I agree. Gingrich is like a non-entity in this race. He has been seeking attention, but no one pays him much mind. people don't talk about it, but we all know the reason.

    October 24, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. diridi

    Just plain idiots. Do they have belly dance? idiots.

    October 24, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Richard

    Many people don't care to hear Gingrich's point of view on any issue. He turns of people with his attitude towards marriage, more so as a so-called conservative. Yeah, a conservative without values.

    October 24, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How do you compare apples and oranges with nuts?

    October 24, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Mr. Cain is unwise to take on this debate challenge. What does he stand to lose or gain? What does Newt stand to lose or gain? This is a no brainer. Cain is in the top tier, while Gingrich is the bottom tier. Unless Mr. Cain anticipates being in the bottom tier with Gingrich come Nov. 5, accepting this debate challenge is most unwise.

    October 24, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. SecedingfromTexas

    A "push the Paul Ryan plan" forum.
    Sounds odd and most certainly boring.

    October 24, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. edog

    Ya! Two GOPer's that are only out to sell books. What a great idea they say... how else can we pretend to be serious but know deep down we are not, to continue this scam so dumb and idiot Tea Bagger's will continue to give us money and buy our books!

    October 24, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Rick


    Why Gingrich and Cain only? Is it because they prove to be two comedians in the race? Why don't they appear together on Jay Leno or Jon Stewart's comedy shows? maybe Conan O'brian's sounds better

    October 24, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Debbie

    Waste of time. Gingrich kicked out of Congress for ethics violations and has never been nominated for anything since due to his leaving his dying wife. Cain's 999/909 is just another 19% tax hike. Nothing to debate, waste of time.

    October 24, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Ringer

    I think a "dialog" is far better than any of the current debate systems. Also Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich are long time friends. The "dialog" will not have derisive intent like the circus CNN and MSNBC want to put on.

    October 24, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Cain stole some of the frontrunners' glory with his craptastic tax scheme and was soundly thrashed with it. Gingrich never had a snowflakes chance in Death Valley.

    October 24, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    OMG – it's the ginGRINCH that's trying to steal Cain's votes!! I guess the "T par T" is desperate for a far-RIGHT lunatic and Perry has proven NOT to be so far-RIGHT after all!!! And the more they learn about Cain – the more they will learn he's a "flip-flopper" too.

    Dang – ALL of the candidates on the right are flip-floppers!!!

    Obama 2012

    October 24, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. garabaldi4u

    The Pizza Man versus old Gray Bollos. More Tea Party talking points, signed pledges, and victimizing of the middle class and poor. Hail to the Corporations, Wall Street, and the Banks. No plan except beat Obama. Oh yeah, I'll skip everything and tune in boys.

    October 24, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. OneAverageAmerican

    They are both running for vice president. When Ron Paul wins, he won't select either one.
    VOTE RON PAUL 2012

    October 24, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Real Patriot

    They should have this debate after Iowa-by then they both will have a lot of time on their hands...


    October 24, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    this is a waste of time AND money because neither one of these guys have a chance to become POTUS and Cain may have blown his chance at being on ticket as VP.

    October 24, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. Canuck

    I noticed in the GOP debates the word poverty was never mentioned – its a huge problem in the USA , but they'd rather discuss abortion. I don't think the subject of poor people will be high on these two's discussion points either.

    October 24, 2011 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. kayla

    two peas in a pod

    October 24, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. Jeff

    Pros and cons for Cain in accepting this challenge:

    Pro is that since Gingrich is a creampuff at times in debates by praising the other candidates, he can win easily with his rhetoric.

    Con is that Gingrich is such a great speaker that he could easily out debate Cain and make him look stupid.

    High risk, high reward for Cain here, and low risk, high reward for Gingrich.

    October 24, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. Jeff

    whoops, meant high risk LOW reward for Cain

    October 24, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. Switters

    I really don't like newtie – but he's going to "clean Cain's clock"..........

    October 24, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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