(CNN) – Newt Gingrich will challenge his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination to a debate next week, the former House speaker said Monday.
Gingrich said he expects to extend the invitation Tuesday for a forum in Mississippi or Alabama, where voters head to the polls on March 13.
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"I think we owe it to the people of Mississippi and Alabama to have a debate," Gingrich said on Fox News. "I think that frankly it's to everybody's advantage to have a debate."
He also used the impending invitation to single out Romney, the current Republican frontrunner.
"I don't think Romney can just hide behind millions of dollars of paid ads," Gingrich said. "He's got to come out in the open."
Gingrich, whose support in national polling has waned, experienced bumps nationally and state-wide following presidential debates earlier in the election cycle.
The former Georgia congressman is hoping a win in his home state on Tuesday will propel his campaign toward strong showings in other Southern states.