Huntsman to skip Iowa debate, plans NH town hall

By the Associated Press | December 2, 2011 | 2:56 PM EST

Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks at a house party hosted by Don and Melinde Byrne in Bedford, N.H., Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is skipping next week's presidential primary debate in Iowa. ABC is to televise the event nationally.

Huntsman on Friday says he'll instead have a town hall-style meeting on Dec. 10 in New Hampshire, a state that is central to his political strategy. Huntsman has written-off Iowa and has spent neither time nor money there.

Huntsman also has accepted an invitation to do a one-on-one debate with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire. The two will meet in Windham for a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate with tea party activists on Dec. 12.

Gingrich has invited each of his rivals for one-on-one conversations.