Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. will go head-to-head against Newt Gingrich in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate in New Hampshire this month, a bid to gain some traction in a must-win state, and get the kind of airtime in debates that has so far eluded the former diplomat.

But Huntsman has turned down a Dec. 27 Republican presidential debate sponsored by the conservative Newsmax Web site and moderated by Donald Trump.

Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., speaks during the Orange County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, July 30, 2011. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

Here is a statement from the campaign:

“We look forward to discussing the issues that matter to the American people in a serious, substantive debate with Speaker Gingrich later this month. It is telling that Governor Romney has declined to participate because this substantive format makes it hard for him to hide from his record.

In addition, we have declined to participate in the ‘Presidential Apprentice’ Debate with The Donald. The Republican Party deserves a serious discussion of the issues so voters can choose a leader they trust to defeat President Obama and turn our economy around. We are confident that leader will be Jon Huntsman.”