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Friday, December 2, 2011

Gingrich, Huntsman to take part in Lincoln-Douglas-style debate

Two presidential contenders will square off this month 19th Century-style.

Republican candidates Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman have agreed to Lincoln-Douglas-style debate in New Hampshire sometime in the coming weeks, according to Huntsman’s campaign staff.

Staff members have not announced the date or location of the debate, nor have they revealed specific rules. But traditional Lincoln-Douglas debates are modeled after the classic sessions between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in the 1968 election. It is typically a one-on-one format and allows the participating candidates much more time, up to 10 or 15 minutes, to make their arguments. By contrast, contemporary debates typically allow candidates no more than 90 seconds.

Representatives for Gingrich, the former House Speaker, could not be reached immediately for comment Friday afternoon.

“We look forward to discussing the issues that matter to the American people in a serious, substantive debate with Speaker Gingrich later this month,” said Tim Miller, a spokesman for Huntsman, the former Utah governor. “The Republican Party deserves a serious discussion of the issues so voters can choose a leader they trust to defeat President Obama and turn our economy around.”