Newt Gingrich threatened Monday to skip any debate as the Republican nominee versus President Obama that's moderated by a member of the media.
"As your nominee, I will not accept debates in the fall in which the reporters are the moderators," Gingrich said at a rally in Pensacola. "We don’t need to have a second Obama person at the debate."
The threat is in keeping with the scorn with which the former House speaker has treated the press throughout the campaign, particularly at debates. Gingrich most notably won a standing ovation by angrily dismissing a question at a South Carolina debate having to do with extramarital allegations made by an ex-wife.
Moreover, Gingrich has made his debating prowess a central selling point of his candidacy, promising fantastical showdowns with Obama in the general election. A frequent applause line for Gingrich, for instance, is his promise to challenge the president to seven, three-hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates.
As a reminder, though, presidential debates are governed by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which have organized the general election debates since 1998. The commission has already set the number of presidential debates in 2012 at three, slated for this October. The moderators in these debates have not been announced, but will almost certainly be members of the media.