GOP candidate Newt Gingrich said on Monday that if he were the Republican nominee, he would not go against President Obama in a debate if it were moderated by a reporter.
Speaking to a rally in Pensacola, Florida, Gingrich said, "As your nominee, I will not accept debates in the fall in which the reporters are the moderators. We don’t need to have a second Obama person at the debate."
During recent GOP debates, Gingrich has had testy exchanges with moderators from Fox News and CNN. When Fox News' Juan Williams asked Gingrich if some comments he made about impoverished children working as janitors could be viewed as insulting, Gingrich dismissed Williams' question. Some members of the media even thought that Gingrich was speaking in racial code when he gave Williams a fiery response.
Gingrich also attacked CNN's John King during a debate when the host asked the GOP candidate to respond to recent allegations made by his ex-wife. Gingrich blasted King's question. During last week's debate, Gingrich pushed back against a question asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer held his ground and eventually, Gingrich answered a question about recent comments he made about Romney's tax returns.
This is Gingrich's second debate request in the past week. After a particularly calm debate moderated by NBC's Brian Williams last week, Gingrich said he would no longer participate in debates that prohibited audience participation. It is unclear who Gingrich would rather have moderate debates.
After hearing Gingrich's latest debate request, a Romney adviser told Politico, "I don't think Newt's going to have to worry about the format of the general election debates."