Governor Buddy Roemer issued the following statement challenging Newt Gingrich to a one-on-one debate in New Hampshire.
"Over the last several weeks Newt Gingrich has challenged anyone and everyone (almost) in the Presidential field to a series of Lincoln-Douglas style debates. Well Mr. Gingrich, you are no Lincoln. And for that matter, you're no Douglas.
"The concept of a Lincoln-Douglas debate goes back to 1858 when Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas debated one of the most important issues of their time, the issue of slavery. What weighty issues are addressed in these debates? They're a circus.
"I challenge Speaker Gingrich to a one-on-one debate to address the issue -- the only one not being discussed -- money in politics. Let's hold it here in New Hampshire, where the First in the Nation primary has been overshadowed by pandering to national media outlets, where retail politics has been disregarded for carefully staged book tours.
"If Gingrich won't debate me, I won't be sad. There are obviously topics he prefers to discuss, candidates he prefers to debate, and those he wishes to avoid. I won't suggest he's picking contests he knows he can win because he's afraid of losing. But if he won't explain to the American people where he gets his money and what favors he owes to special interests, then he certainly isn't qualified to be President. A president should be free to lead."