Paul should accept Gingrich's Lincoln-Douglas debate challenge
This post contains part of one I made to the Campaign Suggestion Box earlier this week with more information. I'm reposting my most urgent points here because this issue is too important to wait any longer for the CSB moderators (I assume they're backlogged on new messages awaiting moderation); time is running out to arrange a critically important debate before the Iowa caucus.
Gingrich is calling for Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, not only with Obama next year, but with other primary candidates right now. So far he's only debated Cain, and Romney turned him down. Paul can simply publicly _accept_ Gingrich's challenge, forcing Gingrich to put up or shut up. Paul's public call for the debate would be credible, since he's one of the top three candidates, so Gingrich would just embarrass himself if he backs away from his own challenge. Regardless of whether Gingrich accepts it, it's a boost for Paul, in the same way that Gingrich's call for a debate with Romney is a boost for Gingrich.
Not only would such a debate be politically advantageous for Paul, by showing that he can hold his own against Gingrich when given the time necessary for debating substantive issues, but also the content itself would be worthwhile, because unlike the recent Cain-Gingrich debate/lovefest, Paul and Gingrich will actually disagree on important issues. In fact, let's have a real debate, one in which the candidates themselves ask each other questions; then we learn more about them, not only by their answers, but also by the questions which they choose to ask.
Both Paul and Gingrich cited the Christian Just War doctrine in the recent eight-way national security debate, in support of their opposing conclusions. It's a real shame to have just a minute or two for that. Many people want a Gingrich-Obama debate so they can see Gingrich crush Obama, but a Paul-Gingrich debate would be, by far, the most informative presidential candidate debate of our time. This debate could also firmly demote Romney to third place in Iowa, since he refused to debate Gingrich and he'd surely refuse to debate Paul too.
Additionally, Paul needs to co-opt the several good ideas which Gingrich has been touting, give Gingrich full credit for them and publicly thank him for his creativity, and emphasize that those things will be done regardless of whether Gingrich or Paul is the next president. Then immediately follow up with Paul's own most important ideas, explain clearly why these reforms are necessary, explain concretely how to implement them, the time frame to do it, the consequences if they're not done, and the rewards if they are, and challenge Gingrich and Romney to endorse the ideas. If they refuse, then Paul can campaign on the essential reforms which Gingrich and Romney are too timid to embrace. Paul publicly challenging them to endorse his ideas will make them squirm, and puts the focus on Paul, and gives him an advantage regardless of whether they endorse or reject his ideas. Paul publicly praising and endorsing Gingrich's best ideas gives Paul cover for his challenge and exposes Gingrich and Romney if they refuse to even respond. The idea is to force the race into an emphasis on major concrete policy proposals rather than on candidates. Gingrich and Romney take a hit if this happens; Paul gets a boost.
Paul has nothing to lose by publicly accepting Gingrich's debate challenge, and a lot to gain. If anybody from the campaign is reading this, please present this idea to him.
Gingrich has not challenged the primary candidates generally, but rather Cain (his old buddy) and Romney (frontrunner at the time) specifically.
My point is that by publicly saying that he accepts Gingrich's challenge to do Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, Paul can take advantage of Gingrich's calls for debates, even though Gingrich hasn't specifically challenged Paul. Gingrich has called for a debate with Obama, called for a debate with Romney, and had a debate with Cain, and has has said that these debates are a good idea (which is true), and has implicitly boasted about what a great debater he is. He was saying all this, recently, while he still wasn't the frontrunner. Now that he is, Paul can use his boasting against him, by humbly announcing that Gingrich is right, the debates are a good idea, so as a top-three candidate, and the candidate who differs from Gingrich more than any other candidate does, Paul agrees to a debate with Gingrich. That way, either Paul gets the debate, or Gingrich is forced to make a fool of himself by backing away from the debate. Either outcome is an advantage for Paul.
Originally Posted by kylejack
I think that would be a great idea, I keep on getting texts and tweets from the campaign, 9 out of 10 are something against Gingrinch. I think a one on one debate would shut that fat porker up and put him in his place.
Originally Posted by kylejack
December 12, 2011 Gingrich/Huntsman Lincoln-Douglas Debate He is debating Huntsman hxxp://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012-debate-schedule/2011-2012-primary-debate-schedule/
It's in 3 days and sponsor is TBD? Hmm.
Originally Posted by KEEF
Edit: Does look like it's on, though. http://www.boston.com/Boston/politic...jdJ/index.html
Last edited by kylejack; 12-09-2011 at 05:35 PM.
Looks like Governor 2AM* is being resurrected as the next faux "conservative".
* Second Amongst Mormons
I agree that Paul should debate Gingrich. I think Dr. Paul would do much better in a one on one (sit down) type setting than the typical debate style.
I'm not convinced. I think Newt is sinking. Romney is where the battle lies ahead.