February 26th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee sends debate invitation to McCain

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/02/26/art.huckabee0226.ap.jpg caption=" Huckabee wants to debate McCain one-on-one."]
MASON, Ohio (CNN) - As promised, Mike Huckabee sent John McCain an official request Tuesday for a debate.

"Now that the race for the Republican nomination is down to just the two of us, I believe this is the time for a real discussion about our vision for the future of this great country," the letter reads. "I encourage you to join me in a Lincoln Douglas-style debate so that voters can better understand our views on critical issues."

McCain had said earlier in the day that his campaign had never heard directly from the Huckabee camp about a debate, a suggestion the former Arkansas governor has been making for weeks.

"Our Democratic counterparts, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, have had recent opportunities to underscore the differences in their positions. It seems only fitting to me that Republican primary voters are differed the same," the letter continues.

Huckabee's future in the race hinges on the primaries in Texas and Ohio next Tuesday and Huckabee asked that the debate take place before then.

He concludes, "Senator, let's lead by example and get the ball rolling. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this idea and debating you in front of the American people."

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee • Ohio
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. H.S.

    Do you think it's possible for people to lay aside gender, race, age and religious bias and actually LISTEN to the issues/positions each candidate represents? I would love to see this Republican debate. Bring it on!

    February 27, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  2. Danh Tran Glendale, Arizona

    If accepting to debate with Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator John McCain might not be able to get the magic number 1191. The Media has been treating Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul unfairly.

    February 27, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    McCain is already running against Obama.

    Huckabee thinks there will be a miracle.

    Does anybody know where Ron Paul is?

    February 27, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    I'm agnostic, but if I was president I would appoint Huckabee as a official white house reverend, just because he has so much personality, and he's pretty funny too.

    February 27, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  5. RD

    I would LOVE to see this debate.

    February 27, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  6. Peter

    Too late – this is not a close race so why bother

    February 27, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  7. Mrs. America

    I would enjoy a debate just for amusement. I also think Huckabee should join as a regular on SNL. He was funny.

    February 27, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  8. SKelly in Cal

    Tell Huckanut to get out of the race. He already ruined spoiled the campain of the best candidate in the race. Now he's just being dumb.

    February 27, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  9. Maria

    Here we go again.....another critical spirit American again.All I hear is negative things about Huckabee.
    Huckabee's supporters want to see a debate between McCain and Huckabee.We already signed a petition a week ago,but Huckabee's supporters didn't get any response from McCain.

    February 27, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  10. Pari Hession

    Senator McCain

    Last Debate was between you and Mr. Romney. Maybe after a debate between you and Governor Huckabee, I will become your supporter. I guess I have been blinded by Mike's charm and need to have my eyes open.

    February 27, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  11. Stanley Mathew, OH

    Gov. Huckabee,
    First, I'd like to thank you for extending such a gracious invitation to Sen. McCain. Amidst all the negative political rhetoric in both parties, you have really separated yourself by honoring your opponents. I applaud and appreciate you for standing on principle and making politics a little more pleasant for the people.

    Senator McCain,
    I urge you to accept Gov Huckabee's gracious invitation for a non-media controlled debate before Mar 4, 2008. It will be a treat for all Americans (and the rest of the world) to see two honorable men debate the issues that impact our daily lives.

    America preaches democracy across the globe. Let's practice what we preach. Let's model true, honorable and civil democracy to the watching world and show them how it's done.

    God bless you both and God Bless America!

    February 27, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  12. Maria

    There is a scheduled debate on Feb.28 between McCain and Huckabee,but CNN cancelled it.We need to hear this debate before March 4.

    February 27, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  13. Julie

    When will Huckabee realize that miracles don't happen in politics?

    February 27, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  14. La Raza

    Insane McCain is mentally unfit for a debate and to run the country.

    February 27, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  15. Obamacan!

    What's the point? He has virtually lost already!

    (Unless McCain goes down on some past scandal!)

    February 27, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  16. Sarah

    I would very much like to see a debate between McCain and Huckabee. Since the Republican nomination has not yet been secured, voters deserve to hear how the remaining candidates differ on the issues. Thank you, CNN, for reporting on this topic. I hope Senator McCain will accept Governor Huckabee's invitation to debate.

    February 27, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  17. Wilma, in Georgia

    Hey Mac ! Give Huck the Debate he is asking for, if you're so sure about yourself.

    February 27, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. MB

    I'd like to see a debate between Huckabee and Obama, they are the only two who know how to deliver interesting answers. Their knowledge and delivery far outweigh Clinton and McCain!

    February 27, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  19. TerryD

    Maybe Huckabee, while you are demanding a debate, you can also demand John McCain present his clean bill of health.

    February 27, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  20. Forrest Gump, NC

    Wow, Gomer Pyle is still in the game? Pheeew, I guess he's got nothing left better to do other than spend good ol' campaign money flying around the country making a mockery of the GOP presidential election.

    I think Huck should go back to school and trade in his "miracle " degree for a math degree.

    February 27, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  21. Conservative

    I would love to hear what Ron Paul has to say.

    February 27, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  22. Cora

    Hey Grant I guess George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Reagan or any of our other ForeFathers had no right to run this country. Guess what all the GREAT Presidents believed in God. Why do you think this country was blessed in the first place. It takes more faith to believe you came from a monkey and that the earth just happened! Do not mock those that believe in truth.

    February 27, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  23. RB

    Debate might make a voter decision about who or what party to vote for. Huckabee honestly seems to have gotten the short end of the "media" stick. A honorable debate is in order for all concerned.
    It is early to end debating between the candidates as a more fair consensus of the final winning candidate nominee is still wanting.

    February 27, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
1 2 3