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Newt really doesn't like silence. Or the media. On Tuesday, he blasted both scourges upon his campaign at once in his criticism of Monday night's NBC debate in Florida, threatening not to participate in any more debates if the audience isn't allowed to cheer.
Via the New York Times' The Caucus blog, Gingrich went on Fox and Friends to talk about his win in South Carolina and his strategy in Florida as the new front-runner of the week. During the appearance, he was asked about Monday's debate, at which the audience was instructed not to applaud or cheer, and seemed to abide by the rule, as opposed to previous debates, during which the audience's input -- booing and cheering alike -- has been a key part of the show.
"The media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they’ve done in every debate." Gingrich then said he would "give notice" on future debates, saying that he won't participate unless the audience is freed to cheer him on. "We’re just not going to allow that to happen. That’s wrong. The media doesn’t control free speech. People ought to be allowed to applaud if they want to."
As of now, all four candidates are scheduled to appear at CNN's debate in Jacksonville, Florida on Thursday.