By Erin McPike
(RealClearPolitics) With the Republican presidential primary appearing to have narrowed into a two-man contest, Human Events and Red State moved quickly to lock down a date for a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
The two organizations went so far this past Monday as to firm up the Annenberg Theater at the Newseum in Washington as the venue on Dec. 19 after another debate originally scheduled that day was canceled. For its part, the Newseum was excited to host the pre-primary forum.
There was just one problem. While Gingrich was ready to take his place on the stage, the Romney campaign politely declined in a series of mostly e-mail exchanges.
As Joe Guerriero, publisher of Human Events and Red State, put it to RCP: “Newt was all over it, and the Romney camp basically said no. It wasn’t a harsh no, but it was a no.”
A Gingrich spokesman confirmed to RCP that the candidate was interested and accepted the invitation, but a Romney spokeswoman didn’t return a request for comment.... (continued)