by Max Brantley
Mike Huckabee doesn't intend to get bumped into the shadows by Fred Thompson's entry as the conservatives' presumed darling. He's challenged Thompson to a series of "Lincoln-Douglas" style debates. Release on jump. Tim? (I guess, actually, Huckabee is responding to Thompson's expressed desire for this type of debate by immediately taking him up on the mention of it.)
From this, doesn't sound like Fred is any Abe Lincoln.
HUCKABEE NEWS RELEASE
"I am aware of your comments on Fox News that you would like to participate in a series of Lincoln-Douglas styled debates. I would like to officially accept your offer," wrote Huckabee in a September 7, 2007 letter to Senator Thompson.
Huckabee said what is needed is a "real discussion by the candidates about their vision for the future of our country." He said he contacted Thompson following the former Senator's appearance last night on Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes program. During that interview, Thompson expressed his preference of a series of Lincoln-Douglas styled debates in which two candidates would debate a single issue for an hour or an hour and a half.
"I share your view of the debates and agree that Newt's 'Nine Nineties in Nine' concept is a far better way to make sure America's next President has the character and capacity to lead our nation forward, that's why I have already signed that pledge. I agree that what is needed is a real discussion by the candidates about their vision for the future of our country," wrote Huckabee.
Huckabee said an in-depth format on topics such as health care, education, energy independence, terrorism and national security would benefit the American public. "At the end of these debates, the American people will know each candidate far greater and would able to choose which candidate possesses the depth of knowledge on the issues and has the character and capacity to lead or great nation. More importantly, the American people would be able to rely on a true conversation on the issues, instead of just 30-second ads and sound bytes to decide which candidate has the right vision for America's future," wrote Huckabee.
"Senator, let's lead by example and get the ball rolling," he wrote.