Newt Gingrich and Robert Gibbs to Square Off in Campus Debate
Two political heavyweights are set to square off in Schwab Auditorium on April 23 as part of a bipartisan event hosted by the College Democrats and College Republicans. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will come to Penn State for a debate that is sure to be both informative and entertaining.
The event has multiple co-sponsors including a $40,000 contribution from the Young America’s Foundation and an allocation request to use student activity fee money from UPAC. Additionally, UPUA will vote on whether or not to contribute $20,000 from its budget at an upcoming assembly meeting to help fund honoraria.
“I’m very excited that these two figures are coming to Penn State to debate,” said College Republicans President Jordan Harris. “There’s no other campus that has been able to get the speakers that we have been able to get in the past year.”
According to Harris, the subject of the debate will be the role of government in the economy — a perfect topic for a college crowd that is generally more accepting of conservative economic issues than social issues.
“It’s hard to imagine a more relevant topic that they could possibly debate than the economy right now,” said Harris.
Gingrich has stayed in the public eye since his role as House Speaker ended in 1999, most notably as a Fox News contributor and a 2012 presidential candidate in the Republican primary. He has also authored or co-authored 27 books and is a regular on the conservative event circuit.
“There is no doubt that Newt has been one of the premier debaters in the last few decades in American politics,” Harris said. “Despite the fact that he is a controversial figure, his resume speaks for itself.”
Gibbs served as a senior campaign advisor for President Obama in 2012 and before that as the White House Press Secretary. He is currently a contributor for MSNBC.
Tickets will be distributed to students free of charge at a date yet to be determined.