Yesterday afternoon, a Lincoln-Douglas style debate was held at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire between Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman, Jr. Mitt Romney had originally been invited to debate Gingrich, but he choose not to do so, which is why the former Utah Governor agreed. The 78-minute debate was not carried live by any television network and there was no live streaming video, so nobody got to watch the event as it happened, other than the live audience. Foreign policy was the main topic, as was the future of America′s standing in the world. So since you probably missed it, through the magic of You-Tube, you can watch the entire debate, which is embedded below.
During the debate, the two presidential hopefuls first discussed our relationship with Israel and the threat on the Iranian nuclear program. Thanks to the format, the debate was more of a friendly and frank discussion of the issues. Both Gingrich and Huntsman were critical of the failings they see with the Barack Obama administration. That we are seen as a weak nation in the Arab world, ready to bail out on long term allies when we no longer have the stomach for exercising global leadership.
Likewise, our relationship with China became a major topic. Here again, both men agree that Obama has made the situation worse. Gingrich made it a point to acknowledge Huntsman superior grasp of China and its impact on the future of world affairs. Newt wants us to be competitive with China, but believes that it is vital that we distinguish between our relationship with the Chinese regime and their people. Huntsman put into context the internal pressures that China faces with its own people.
All in all, the Newt Gingrich – Jon Huntsman, Jr. debate in New Hampshire was worthy of watching. The format of a Lincoln-Douglas debate allowed for an informative dialog between the former Speaker of the House and former Utah Governor. There were no game-show pablum or gotcha moments. Once again, it would seem an error in judgment for Mitt Romney to decline debating Gingrich in such a format. Perhaps he knows he would lose? It is too bad that nobody carried the debate live. But you can watch all of it below.