TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Newt Gingrich says he doesn't want to debate if the audience can't participate.
A day after the audience at Monday night's debate was instructed to hold its applause by moderator Brian Williams of NBC, Gingrich said he won't let that happen again. Gingrich told Fox News Channel that the media doesn't control free speech and that audience members ought to be free to applaud if they want to.
Boisterous crowds at two debates in South Carolina help drive signature moments in Gingrich's campaign, leading to his victory there Saturday.
Rival Mitt Romney says Gingrich ought to learn to debate in all settings.
Gingrich's campaign said later Tuesday that he would participate in upcoming debates, regardless of the audience rules.
The candidates are to debate again Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)