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Friday, March 22, 2013

Lincoln-Douglas Debates? Not Exactly

Robert Costa writes at National Review Online:
Newt Gingrich may have run in the wrong cycle.

The former House speaker, long a proponent of Lincoln-Douglas debates, should be a fan of the Republican National Committee’s latest idea for the 2016 presidential primary: Lincoln-Douglas debates, which would enable candidates to make lengthy policy points without an over-intrusive moderator.

Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman, told reporters today at a National Review briefing that he is considering “Lincoln-Douglas-type debates.”

“Everything’s on the table, but the most important thing is that we have a reasonable amount of debates — allow our candidates to be featured, allow everyone plenty of time to make their case,” Priebus said. “I mean, what happened last time was a free-for-all, and it just shouldn’t happen again.”
 Priebus might not literally mean "Lincoln-Douglas-type debates."  The first candidate would speak for sixty minutes.  The second would speak for ninety minutes.  And the first would then have thirty minutes for a reply.  Click here to see complete reenactments, courtesy of C-SPAN.