Gingrich says he's thrilled with a no-rules debate

By STEVE PEOPLES | December 12, 2011 | 7:16 PM EST

Republican presidential candidates, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, left, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shake hands after a one-on-one debate in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Dec. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich says he's thrilled with a no-rules debate against GOP competitor Jon Huntsman.

Their discussion about foreign policy at New Hampshire's Saint Anselm College on Monday was modeled after the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in 1858. There were no strict time limits or a formal moderator.

In their debate, Gingrich and Huntsman agreed on virtually everything.

But Gingrich, who is rising in the polls, says more substantive debates are needed. He says the presidential race isn't a reality show.

The format allows Gingrich to showcase his broad knowledge. He's a former college professor who worked in Washington for three decades and was speaker of the House.