S.C. Debate: Mitt Out. T-Paw In.

posted at 4:20 pm on May 2, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

It appears that we’re going to have an honest to goodness Republican presidential primary debate. All the stars will be there on the red carpet, adorned in sartorial splendor and ready to trot out their plans for a better future for America. Or will they?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) won’t participate in a GOP presidential candidate debate set for Thursday, the first of the 2012 cycle.

Romney, a putative front-runner for the party’s nomination, won’t participate in the debate in South Carolina because of its early position in the cycle, according to top aide Matt Rhoades.

“Gov. Romney will not be participating in this week’s South Carolina debate because it’s still early, the field is too unsettled and he’s not yet an announced candidate,” said Rhoades. “Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party have both been notified of this decision.”

Well, OK. We may not have Mitt, but the rest of the field will be on display so we can begin evaluating our choices for the next cycle. Oh… wait…

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) has declined to participate, and other figures — including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — are ineligible to participate because of the forum’s rules.

Wait a minute here… is this a GOP debate or The Daily Show? Is anyone coming?

By contrast, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has joined several other Republicans — Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and pizza magnate Herman Cain — in committing to the debate.

T-Paw has been putting the pressure on the other candidates to show up, but the field will still be fairly sparse. Still, for those fans of the Dark Horse Primary race poll earlier this week, it may be an opportunity for some of the candidates with name recognition issues to shine and build up some buzz.

Anyone going to be live tweeting it for us?


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Who cares? Both suck.

RedNewEnglander on May 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM

For heaven sake. These are what we have against Ojesus? Already over.

andy85719 on May 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

I love Herman Cain, but this debate is a joke. First of all, it’s freaking May 2011. It’s too early. Secondly, until the serious contenders(T-Paw is at best 2nd tier) show up, this is a waste of time.

Doughboy on May 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

It’s too early. Wake me up in May of 2012.

Badger40 on May 2, 2011 at 4:24 PM

T-Paw could certainly use the exposure.

Romney could use the time to hide from his political shadow.

portlandon on May 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Doughboy on May 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I think it’ll be good exposure for him. I’ll watch.

Bee on May 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Perfect photos for this item, Jazzles.

cynccook on May 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Too freakin’ bloody early. Politinerds, politicians and pundits need to find another way to get their rocks off.

Dongemaharu on May 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Doughboy on May 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I think it’ll be good exposure for him. I’ll watch.

Bee on May 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

(For Cain, in case that wasn’t clear.)

Bee on May 2, 2011 at 4:27 PM

It’s too early. Wake me up in May of 2012.

Badger40 on May 2, 2011 at 4:24 PM

more like March, but who is counting?

upinak on May 2, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Run Herman Run!

Knucklehead on May 2, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Is it just me, or does T-Paw look like Dana Carvey in that photo?

parteagirl on May 2, 2011 at 4:30 PM

It’s certainly too early to mean anything, however, if Cain is there I’ll definitely watch. I have questions about his ability to campaign and this should provide an early look at him. I though he blew it with that remark about not including any Muslims in his cabinet. I’m curious to see if he will continue to say dumb things like that or if he’s a quick study.

MJBrutus on May 2, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Romney is just listening to Sarah, as usual, and shouting “Me too! What SHE said!!!!11!!!!”

It’s WAY too early to be having these things, and while I respect Fox’s rules, allowing only declared candidates, those brave souls who are “exploring” things, No serious candidate will be on the stage.

I like Cain, and he’s by far the class of this field. He’s not qualified to be President, nor is he electable. Still, at least there will be a Conservative on the stage with all of these democrat light poseurs.

gary4205 on May 2, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Obama just keeps racking up points while the listless, mundane, warmed over crop of Republicans babble meaningless rhetoric and chase their tails. If they don’t find a viable candidate soon we’ll be stuck with another 4 years of “Obamenation” and a seriously trashed economy that will get much worse.

rplat on May 2, 2011 at 4:35 PM

No thanks.
I will watch Sarah tonight though. :)

Dear Friends,

Tonight, Sarah will be giving a Tribute to the Troops at Colorado Christian University at 7:00pm Mountain Time, 9:00pm Eastern. She will be appearing along side distinguished military leaders and service members to show appreciation to our nation’s men and women in uniform past, and present – at home, and abroad.

All proceeds will be donated to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a charity benefiting families of the fallen.

You can watch the event live online at SarahPAC.com.

Click here to see Sarah’s statement on Osama bin Laden.

Tim Crawford
Treasurer, SarahPAC

tencole on May 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Doughboy on May 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I live in Greenville SC – will be at the Peace Center Thursday night – and I hope to knock off about 4 Manhattans before the silly show starts.

jake-the-goose on May 2, 2011 at 4:38 PM

So happy Herman Cain will be there. :) And Pawlenty as well. I like both of those gentlemen better than Romney, Huckabee or Gingrich any day of the week.

squeek71 on May 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

I love Herman Cain, but this debate is a joke. First of all, it’s freaking May 2011. It’s too early. Secondly, until the serious contenders(T-Paw is at best 2nd tier) show up, this is a waste of time.

Doughboy on May 2, 2011 at 4:23 PM

It’s being held at the same time of year as the last debates. The first Republican debate in 2007 was also in early May.

Hollowpoint on May 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Don’t know why their doing this either.

It is so obvious Herr Doktor is the best candidate and the only true American who follows the Constitution to be there anyway!

He is the only man who can save America you know…

bumbumbumbumbumbum

…begins humming the theme song from the movie Flash Gordon:

Ron Paul! Ah, ahhhh…SAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE!

bumbumbumbumbumbum

Ron Paul! Ah, ahhhh…KING OF THE IMPOSSIBLE!

bumbumbumbumbumbum

Ron Paul! Ah, ahhhh…HE’LL SAVE EVERY ONEOFUS!

catmman on May 2, 2011 at 4:42 PM

I was surprised to see that in the latest Fox poll Herman Cain had 4%- higher than Pawlenty!

Jon0815 on May 2, 2011 at 4:45 PM

This will give us some information about how Pawlenty and Cain do in front of an audience like this. I’ve never seen either of them in this kind of forum.

petunia on May 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

tencole on May 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I will also be watching…

Live at The Right Scoop, and SarahPac.

idesign on May 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

so Bachmann isn’t going to be there either. Interesting. that points to her not running. a dark horse needs debates like this to push their name and ideas. The fornt runners not so much…

unseen on May 2, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I was surprised to see that in the latest Fox poll Herman Cain had 4%- higher than Pawlenty!

Jon0815 on May 2, 2011 at 4:45 PM

But yet Pawlenty’s the one with the “real shot” at winning. Funny how that works.

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 4:53 PM

So the candidates at this debate (I’m being generous) have a 5% combined chance of winning the nomination

Raisedbywolves on May 2, 2011 at 4:53 PM

I get the feeling that Pawlenty’s campaigning for VP.

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 4:55 PM

mark it down. I’n going to give Mitt and his buttboys kudos for making the right decision here. I think mitt’s decision had a lot to do with the OBL thing. I do question the timing. The debate is what thurs and he waits until Tues to annonuce he won’t be there. Weird. But it is too early so he made the right decision regardless of why he made it.

unseen on May 2, 2011 at 4:55 PM

The debate is what thurs and he waits until Tues to annonuce he won’t be there. Weird. But it is too early so he made the right decision regardless of why he made it.

unseen on May 2, 2011 at 4:55 PM

The only way he’d go is if Palin and Huckabee went.

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Who cares about debates this early on (not me) BUT……I could get real used to not seeing Mittens or Newt at ANY of them. Time for fresh blood, and they both had their chance. Dismissed!

search4truth on May 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Something to keep in mind as we watch this and all GOP debates this cycle: who will be able to handle being called a racist who wants to starve grandma and who will fold like a cheap suit? Because that is going to get said about every candidate, whether they are “serious” and can appeal to Independants or not.

Kataklysmic on May 2, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Something to keep in mind as we watch this and all GOP debates this cycle: who will be able to handle being called a racist who wants to starve grandma and who will fold like a cheap suit?

Kataklysmic on May 2, 2011 at 4:59 PM

All of them except Palin, Bachmann and Cain.

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

It’s being held at the same time of year as the last debates. The first Republican debate in 2007 was also in early May.

Hollowpoint on May 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

I understand. I remember watching the Dems YouTube debate(the one with the infamous snowman question) in July 2007 and there must’ve been at least 10 people on stage. I just think it’s unnecessary to have Presidential debates a year a half before the election.

Doughboy on May 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

^ Two women and a black man. That’s where the cojonoes are in the GOP right now.

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 5:01 PM

* cojo…cojjonno…stones. LOL

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 5:02 PM

^ Well, two black men (with West included) and a Latino man (Rubio). Ain’t it ironic for The Party of Racists?

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 5:03 PM

The only way he’d go is if Palin and Huckabee went.

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

I guess but it doesn’t make much sense for Mitt to do that. He makes them on his level instead of him as the leader. Like I said it’s too early but I hope he didn’t make a decision based on who isn’t going to be there. Mitt has an oppurtunity here to place himself above all these small potatoes but he would be the one they all attack. So I see your point about safety in numbers when there are several front runner sin the debate.

unseen on May 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Wait, “Latino man” is redundant…oh, the hell with it. LOL

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Wait, “Latino man” is redundant…oh, the hell with it. LOL

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Lol. I get your point and agree. One silver lining if an MSM approved milquetoast gets the nomination: we get to sit back and laugh our asses off watching them get Palinized after many an HA commenter swore they never would.

Kataklysmic on May 2, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I hope tonight there’ll be a Canadian election open thread. Good look to our Conservative brethren up north. Last I checked, the socialists were surging up there :-(

IR-MN on May 2, 2011 at 5:11 PM

I don’t think this Hot Air photo of T-Paw is Ed approved.

myrenovations on May 2, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and pizza magnate Herman Cain — in committing to the debate.

So the ‘also rans’ will have their very own forum.

GarandFan on May 2, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Our first chance to see the Cain Train barrel through the competition.

I cant wait.

alecj on May 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Only to watch Cain. Mittens thinks he can win by being the last guy standing, unblemished by any debate debacles or speaking gaffes.

Too bad Mitts, when you decline to debate the likes of HC and other unabashed conservatives, you’re not in, you’re auf’d.

AH_C on May 2, 2011 at 6:36 PM

I like Cain, and he’s by far the class of this field. He’s not qualified to be President, nor is he electable. Still, at least there will be a Conservative on the stage with all of these democrat light poseurs.

gary4205 on May 2, 2011 at 4:35 PM

According to the founding fathers & constitution, he is eminently qualified to be POTUS in every which way. So drop the “quals’ canard, when you mean he’s not politically experienced. Even then, the notion of experienced, as expressed by sceptics here is quite nebulous.

If HC is the most conservative running (ahem, since there’s only one or two others not in at this time), he will have my vote early & often.

AH_C on May 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM

I like Cain. I’m not a huge fan of his involvement with the federal reserve (because monetary policy is my biggest issue) but the rest of his resume and positions looks great.

Nelsen on May 2, 2011 at 7:16 PM

None of the leading candidates have any motivation to declare early and show up for these early-bird debates. All they could possibly do is lose ground: they would certainly be the target for all the lesser-known candidates who need a “major” or two to fall back to give themselves any chance.

Pawlenty is on the cusp, well enough known among party activists and officeholders, but not so well among the grassroots nationally. He may be able to benefit, especially if his performance helps him get any foothold in South Carolina.

But for the most part, it’s a waste of time. Way too early to matter.

Adjoran on May 2, 2011 at 11:36 PM

All of them except Palin, Bachmann and Cain.

pseudoforce on May 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I used to have Bachmann higher up on my list too, but on the Sunday Fox News morning show, she was talking like a politician – giving too many non-answers meant to hide what you she truly thinking in an attempt not to upset anyone. If that’s going to be her ‘running for President’ mode, she needs to stay in the house (or possibly the Senate) where she feels comfortable speaking her mind.

miConsevative on May 3, 2011 at 12:30 AM

I’m fine with the lineup for the SC debate. The 5 or so confirmed should allow for more interation and questions. It should also partially answer who’s prepared to discuss the “issues” and who isn’t. The smaller forun should let Cain have more airtime. T-Paw will have the oppty to discuss his previous pro Man made global warming and Cap & Tax positions as well as his continued support for ethanol subsidies. Paul will get to vent about the Fed. Reserve. Dire will get to watch his Buddy. And, we’ll get to see how Santorum does after his forced hiatus…

Gohawgs on May 3, 2011 at 1:41 AM

It is early, but not too soon for those with low name recognition. T-Paw on paper is a fine candidate but few know him, so it’s in his best interest to get out there and gain some name recognition. Cain should make it interesting too. Maybe if Rand Paul would run at some point his dad would let it go.

waelse1 on May 3, 2011 at 2:25 AM