Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will meet former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate next Monday, focusing on foreign policy and national security.
Gingrich recently made a slew of appearances in Florida, appearing at a town hall meeting at Jacksonville Landing. Later that evening, Gingrich spoke at a private fundraising dinner in Ponte Vedra that was following by a meet-and-great at the Clubhouse of the Tournament Players Championship.
Though many have questioned whether to take Gingrich’s campaign seriously (some have called it nothing more than a glorified book tour), he has recently surged in the polls, despite garnering little media attention early on in his campaign.
Huntsman hasn’t fared as well. The former U.S. ambassador to China’s campaign manager, Susie Wiles, resigned early on — telling reporters in July that she had only signed up to get the campaign started and it was “just time” for her to go. Wiles, a Floridian, managed successful campaigns for two Jacksonville mayors and for Gov. Rick Scott.
Both Huntsman and Gingrich appeared at the Conservative Political Action Committee event in Florida, which took place in Orlando this September.
In a November appearance on Saturday Night Live, Huntsman poked fun at himself for his constant appearances in New Hampshire and his low numbers. “It is true [that I am polling in the single-digits],” he said. “But only a few months ago, I was polling at ‘margin of error.’ So to have any digit at all is a pretty big deal.”
The debate is set for Mon., Dec. 12 at the Institute of Politics in Manchester, N.H.
In a joint statement, Huntsman campaign manager Matt David and Gingrich campaign director Michael Krull said that the two were looking forward “to debating in a substantive format that will allow both candidates to highlight their experience and view for the country.”