Report: Romney to skip CNN debate on March 1 in Georgia? Update: Confirmed; Update: Santorum out too? Update: CNN cancels debate

posted at 2:35 pm on February 16, 2012 by Allahpundit

Nothing on the wires yet but Red State chief/CNN contributor Erick Erickson says the scoop comes straight from the top of the Georgia Republican Party.

GA GOP Chairwoman Sue Everhart tells me Mitt Romney will not participate in the GA GOP debate prior to Super Tuesday.

The Georgia GOP is co-sponsoring the debate with CNN so Everhart’s in a position to know. Also, remember this Byron York piece from last month? Romney’s team has been grumbling about the debates for awhile now:

“There are too many of these,” Romney strategist Stuart Stevens said after Monday night’s Fox News debate at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. “We have to bring some order to it. We haven’t accepted Florida…It’s kind of like a cruise that’s gone on too long.”…

As part of his complaint against the current debate schedule, Stevens expressed lingering irritation at the January 7 ABC News debate in New Hampshire, in which Romney faced a long a tendentious series of questions about contraception. (“It was such a lousy debate,” Stevens said.) More generally, Stevens suggested that in the long course of the campaign, this year’s key issues have been exhausted. “We’re down to the most obscure questions,” he said. “When more than ten debates mention Chilean models, and it’s not a fashion show, then something’s wrong.”

That was published on January 17, the day after Gingrich revived his candidacy by sparring with Juan Williams at the Fox News debate in South Carolina. Team Romney was grumpy about having to play to Newt’s strengths by participating in so many of these pageants — but they kept on participating anyway, and Romney recovered well enough to stomp Gingrich at both Florida debates and win the state. That being so, it’s baffling that he’d pull out of Georgia. Yeah, granted, he’s an almost certain loser in a southern stronghold that’s likely to split between native son Newt and social con Santorum, but this isn’t just any debate. It’s the last one before Super Tuesday so there’s almost no chance of it being canceled; even without Romney there, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul will be eager to use the platform to make their closing arguments before the big vote five days later. With Mitt absent, they can take as many free shots at him as they want. He risks coming off as the arrogant establishment presumptive nominee who needn’t deign to show up at all the events the others bother with. Given the problems he expects to have turning out the base in November, why would he snub the south?

What am I missing here? Is Romney calculating that, if left alone onstage, Santorum and Gingrich will have no choice but to tear each other apart? Mitt actually needs a Newt comeback right now in order to pull Santorum back down to earth and keep the conservative vote split, and with Romney less of a threat in the south than Santorum is, Gingrich really has no choice but to focus his attacks on his “junior partner.” I guess Romney figures that giving Newt extra time in the spotlight to tear into Sweater Vest is the best thing he can do for his own candidacy right now, even if it means taking a beating there between them in absentia. That’s cynical. But that’s Mitt for you.

Erick hasn’t posted on this yet but there’s bound to be something at Red State shortly. I’ll update when there is.

Update: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is hearing this too, and notes: “Contracts among the players in a debate – the hosts and the broadcasting unit – typically include an escape clause that would permit CNN to dump the enterprise if one or more of the prime candidate refuses to show.” Won’t the rest of the field be anxious to go on with the show, though? Romney could have bigfooted a network into cancelling a debate by pulling out a few weeks ago, maybe, but now CNN’s got the new frontrunner plus Gingrich on his home turf ready to go.

Update: Erick was right. Team Mitt says he’s passing.

Update: I’m dumbfounded. From CBS reporter Lindsey Boerma:

Romney isn’t alone on skipping March 1 debate it GA, it seems. Santorum “has no plans of doing it right now,” spox tells me.

Why on earth wouldn’t Santorum want a free microphone to dump on Romney before Super Tuesday? Sure, Newt’s going to win Georgia anyway. So what? Mystifying.

Update: According to Ethan Klapper of National Journal, the debate is kaput. Amazing. I guess Santorum calculated that, with Romney gone, he’d be better off cutting Newt’s oxygen by skipping the debate too in hopes that CNN would cancel. Mission accomplished.


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#inevitable////

Donald Draper on February 16, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Wait a minute here ! No Contraception follow up ? What the heck ?

FlaMurph on February 16, 2012 at 2:37 PM

He must be re-assessing his campaign.
/Cain

WhatNot on February 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

My, how electable.

I’m thinking of placing Ron Paul ahead of this robotic jackass…

Common Sense Floridian on February 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

What is he nutz? Forget Georgia. This is right before Super Tuesday! He’s basically paving the way for Santorum to knock him out of the race.

Doughboy on February 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Smart.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

He should have stopped wasting his time at these long ago. It didn’t help his inevitability thing.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

My, how electable.

I’m thinking of placing Ron Paul ahead of this robotic jackass…

Common Sense Floridian on February 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Welcome aboard!

astonerii on February 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Skip them all – CNN, ABC, all the Alphabet Networks.

Make the Liberal Media Cesspool the issue.

It’s hardwired everywhere out here in the hinterlands, like cheering against the Yankees or the Dodgers.

Take the cheap, easy win.

Bruno Strozek on February 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

“… but now CNN’s got the new frontrunner plus Gingrich on his home turf ready to go.”

Hang in there Newt…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on February 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

We’ve heard this about other debates as well. I’m sure he wants to pull out, but as soon as his campaign advisors realize how bad it looks, he’ll be forced back in, particularly if he starts losing.

Doomberg on February 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

even if it means taking a beating there between them in absentia. That’s cynical. But that’s Mitt for you.

The raw courage of Chicken Little, mixed with the battlefield strategic puissance of George Armstrong Custer. ;)

Kent18 on February 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Hopefully Romney and his insufferable enablers drop out so a Conservative can be nominated. At least, someone with a pretense to being Conservative. Mittens lost that facade long ago.

TKindred on February 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

What am I missing here? Is Romney calculating that, if left alone onstage, Santorum and Gingrich will have no choice but to tear each other apart?

Then he would calculate wrongly.

They would gang up on the two 800 pound gorillas who aren’t on stage.

Gingrich and Santorum would share some first and second place finishes all over the south.

cozmo on February 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Newt only succeeds when he ignores the competition and attacks the moderators. Call it the Newt vs CNN debate I suppose.

Not sure hot that’s any use against Obama.

hanzblinx on February 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Yes! Another debate! Just what’s needed.

Good Lt on February 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

An indication that Mitt is about ready to throw in the towel…he is smart enough to see the writing on the wall.
If he loses Michigan and Arizona, he is toast…I think this is a desperate attempt to shake things up, a last gasp of air for his campaign…

right2bright on February 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

“Contracts among the players in a debate – the hosts and the broadcasting unit – typically include an escape clause that would permit CNN to dump the enterprise if one or more of the prime candidate refuses to show.”

In other words, Mitt is trying to shut that entire debate down?

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

More generally, Stevens suggested that in the long course of the campaign, this year’s key issues have been exhausted.

No coverage as yet of Solyndra, Fast&Furious, and a whole slew of other government overreaches. Like, will a president Romney use recess appointments while congress is still in session? Will a president Romney use kinetic military activities? There is plenty left out there…

astonerii on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

There was a time when candidates wanted to connect with voters.

Deafdog on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Since Romney won’t be there to defend himself, I guess Newt’s going to be able to successfully attack him, hm?

KingGold on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

My, how electable.

I’m thinking of placing Ron Paul ahead of this robotic jackass…

Common Sense Floridian on February 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

About time.

Ron Paul should be getting at least 70% of the vote in Virginia, since only he and Mitt are on the ballot, but I’m sure that’s not going to happen…

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

He’s CRAZY to pass up a CNN debate ! Those guys would do him a solid !!

FlaMurph on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

These debates have done nothing but prop up underfunded losers.

Pull the plug on this crap, Mitt.

matthew8787 on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Quitter!!!!

idesign on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

particularly if he starts losing.

Doomberg on February 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

What do you mean “if”, look at the polls, and I would bet his internals are showing at least that and maybe worse.

right2bright on February 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth commence.
Remember…denial is not just a river in Egypt.
Inevitable! LOL.

kingsjester on February 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Then he would calculate wrongly.

They would gang up on the two 800 pound gorillas who aren’t on stage.

Gingrich and Santorum would share some first and second place finishes all over the south.

cozmo on February 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

But that’s the point. If the delegates are won proportionally and Newt manages to siphon off enough, Mittens figures Santorum won’t be able to win enough to secure the nomination. I think it’s too much of a stretch for this to be the reasoning behind skipping the debate, but if you believe that conspiracy theory, that would be the Romney camp’s mindset.

Doughboy on February 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

These debates have done nothing but prop up underfunded losers.

Pull the plug on this crap, Mitt.

matthew8787 on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Well, that one “underfunded loser” is kicking his @ss…

right2bright on February 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Yes! Another debate! Just what’s needed.

Good Lt on February 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I don’t know that debates are bad things. The more the merrier!

philoquin on February 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

He risks coming off as the arrogant establishment presumptive nominee who needn’t deign to show up at all the events the others bother with.

Like he did in Iowa, when six other Republican Presidential candidates showed up for the Frank Luntz moderated Thanksgiving Family Forum, but Romney did not and it hurt him. Romney thought he could avoid that event and still win Iowa. He was wrong.

ITguy on February 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

How funny would it be if Romney doesn’t show and Newt’s opening statement at the debate is that he is dropping out of the race and endorsing Rick. Rick and Ron have the whole time to unload on Mitt!

crowhop on February 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Strategery.
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Link: Thanksgiving Family Forum

ITguy on February 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

There was a time when candidates wanted to connect with voters.

Deafdog on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Don’t like Mitt, and no, he can’t connect with voters at all, but continuing to go to these to get hit with cheap shots is not smart. Another discussion about gay marriage, contraception, and Obama’s greatness is not useful.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Quitter!!!!

idesign on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Severely.

Kent18 on February 16, 2012 at 2:46 PM

“When more than ten debates mention Chilean models, and it’s not a fashion show, then something’s wrong.”

I like either kind of Chilean model.

Perhaps Romney also has a staff that cannot relate to regular people.

WhatNot on February 16, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Darn – no funny underwear, dog crate or posthumus baptism questions now.

ctmom on February 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

but if you believe that conspiracy theory, that would be the Romney camp’s mindset.

Doughboy on February 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Nice use of conspiracy theory. A conspiracy of one man! That has to be a record low number of participants!

astonerii on February 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

So he’s going to miss one of the million debates, none of which I watched anyway.

So what?

NoDonkey on February 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

LOL, Mittens is scared of debates… Some executive

Norwegian on February 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Didn’t Mittens once say…

“If you can’t stand the heat in this little kitchen, wait until the Obama hell’s kitchen turns up the heat.”

… Oh, wait!

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

“There are too many of these,” Romney strategist Stuart Stevens said

Translation: “Everytime this moderate squish talks…..the electorate likes everyone else more…and the cost of the negative ads to try to take back ground is killing us!”

Tim_CA on February 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

My, how electable.

I’m thinking of placing Ron Paul ahead of this robotic jackass…

Common Sense Floridian on February 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I put Ron Paul ahead of Mitt a long time ago because I believe he is serious about slashing spending. Other than becoming president, I don’t have a clue what Mitt is serious about.

flyfisher on February 16, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Knowing him is not loving him.

Citizen-003528 on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Yes! Another debate! Just what’s needed.

Good Lt on February 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Don’t like drinking games?

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

My, how electable.

I’m thinking of placing Ron Paul ahead of this robotic jackass…

Common Sense Floridian on February 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Welcome aboard!

astonerii on February 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

-
That’s right you weenies- BOW TO THE LIBERAL MEDIA- SO THEY CAN TREAT YOU FAIRLY.

FlaMurph on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

flyfisher on February 16, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Hair care.

kingsjester on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

If he’d rather skip the debate and read a prepared statement from a teleprompter about how he’s still inevitable… sure, he could do that. We can in return crown the Not-Romney :P

Ukiah on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I never thought I’d be rooting for Mitt, but he needs to get his machine moving to take out the Sweater Vest with the Room Temperature IQ as soon as possible.

Romney might lose against Obama, but Procreation Boy would lose in a landslide and take Congress down with him.

This. Cannot. Be. Allowed. To. Happen.

DRayRaven on February 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

LOL, Mittens is scared of debates… Some executive

Norwegian on February 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

A tower of tapioca! ;)

Kent18 on February 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

These debates have been great, because they’ve allowed us voters to see all of the baggage and weaknesses coming out, before we actually vote.

Just remember all of the gems Mitt’s provided us with during the debates:

1. “I’m running for office! I can’t have illegals!”

2. “Rick, ten-thousand? Ten-thousand dollar bet?”

3. “There’s no need to get angry about it.”

Then the post-debate comments, which were even worse:

4. “I’m not concerned about the very poor, they have a safety net…”

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

There was a time when candidates wanted to connect with voters.

Deafdog on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Was that back when they had 3 primary debates instead of 30?

RINO on February 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Knowing him is not loving him.

Citizen-003528 on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

There it is.

Perfect.

Tim_CA on February 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

With Mitt absent, they can take as many free shots at him as they want. He risks coming off as the arrogant establishment presumptive nominee who needn’t deign to show up at all the events the others bother with.

Perhaps his political tin ear is at work again, thinking the debate would be cancelled if he didn’t show. I’d bet CNN & GA GOP would go ahead with it, thinking they’d get an even better debate without Romney there.

INC on February 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

This is the kind of tactic that works when you’re comfortably ahead of everyone else and don’t want to allow the competition to be seen at your level.

The problem for Mitt is that, as of now, he’s NOT at that level of support.

teke184 on February 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

This reminds me of that old novelty song:

Please, Mr. Custer…

kingsjester on February 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

My initial thought reading this was, good, stay out of it. The more I think about it Atlanta is Gingrich country and this hurts Santorum. Romney stands to gain on Santorum in this mix. He needs to show up in Georgia.

FireBlogger on February 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Update: Erick was right. Team Mitt says he’s passing.

This is a big mistake.

INC on February 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Don’t like drinking games?

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Let’s add “severely” to the list.

Tim_CA on February 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

That’s right you weenies- BOW TO THE LIBERAL MEDIA- SO THEY CAN TREAT YOU FAIRLY.

FlaMurph on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Yeah, that is the reason I make my decisions. In order to make other people happy. /sarc
Is that how you life your life? Must be a sad pathetic worthless existance that rarely ever accomplishes what you want…
Instead I weight the evidence, I review the choices, I look at likely and unlikely consequences and then I make an informed choice.

astonerii on February 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Maybe he heard that CNN intends to focus the entire debate on contraception?

slickwillie2001 on February 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Good. He gains nothing from participating, and there have been far too many of them at this point anyway. What is left to “debate”?

changer1701 on February 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Fearless Leadership.
**snort**

kingsjester on February 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Romney thought he could avoid that event and still win Iowa. He was wrong.

ITguy on February 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I don’t disagree completely with your comment as a whole, but…. coming in second by a handful of votes sure wasn’t a blowout.

Both Santorum and Romney did very well in Iowa… one attended that forum, one did not. I’m not sure that presence at that Forum was a necessary step to caucus success.

RightWay79 on February 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Update: Erick was right. Team Mitt says he’s passing.

This is a big mistake.

INC on February 16, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Mitt’s whole campaign is a big mistake.

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Update: Erick was right. Team Mitt says he’s passing.

Good. Now, so long as he doesn’t backtrack, maybe the True Conservatives will finally get an end-all be-all forum to hash out just who is, or is not, a True Conservative.

I want to see talk of contraception and mandates. I want to see talk of the K Street project and the couch with Pelosi. I want to see Bush’s compassionate conservatism against Toffler’s futurism. I want to see Ronaldus Magnus name-checked at least a hundred times. And I want to see, finally, who becomes Not Romney.

KingGold on February 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

This is the kind of tactic that works when you’re comfortably ahead of everyone else and don’t want to allow the competition to be seen at your level.

The problem for Mitt is that, as of now, he’s NOT at that level of support.

teke184 on February 16, 2012 at 2:51 PM

True—and the South isn’t his backyard.

INC on February 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

flyfisher on February 16, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Hair care.

kingsjester on February 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Well yeah, there’s that.

I also forgot that he’s a lifelong varmint hunter. I wonder how he does it without an assault weapon? I’ve never figured out how to hunt without assaulting my prey.

flyfisher on February 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

But that’s the point. If the delegates are won proportionally and Newt manages to siphon off enough, Mittens figures Santorum won’t be able to win enough to secure the nomination.
Doughboy on February 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

That’s an awful big gamble on Romney’s part. Santorum does well and Romney ends up coming third, or fourth, in all the states but Virginia.

A lot of voters are only now starting to pay attention and skipping the debate before super Tuesday will not bode well.

cozmo on February 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

What a huge mistake. Is anyone else getting the feeling that the Romney campaign isn’t going to be around in another month or so?

cpaulus on February 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Mitt’s right about there being too many and beauty pageants. It’s still a big mistake to miss.

Notorious GOP on February 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Why does the Stupid Party allow CNN to conduct their debates in the first place?

Oh right, stupid party.

angryed on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

O.K., I will ask again.

Where are Jailbreak, joana, bluegill to explain all of this to us?

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Isn’t this sort of what McCain did in 2008? Suspend the campaign in order to pass TARP or something.

Ann Coulter, please report to the principal’s office. Miss Coulter, you’re wanted in the principal’s office.

SouthernGent on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Mitt’s whole campaign is a big mistake.

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

What is their strategy on this? Do GOP insiders think he has a better chance if he keeps his head down? (As Mitt likes to do).

How will he convince Southerners that he’s a severe conservative?

INC on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I don’t care what the rationale is… this is good for the other three candidates.

I think Newt and Santorum will stay positive. Newt seems to have learned his lesson based on what he said earlier this week (and the speech that followed).

Y-not on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I think its a good idea. I think Team Romney thinks they are going to win both Michigan and Arizona and dont want to risk losing that momentum if either Sanotrum or Gingrich has a “moment” that hurts him. MSNBC already canceled the debate on March 5th, so the 22nd would be the last debate before super Tuesday. This is actually incredibly shrewd, because if the debate goes on as scheduled it does give Gingrich an opportunity to knock around Santorum a bit. Its just a good move and even if they both choose to go after Romney instead, the audience will be down because Romney isnt there, or CNN cancels the debate. All good scenarios for Romney frankly.

nswider on February 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Good. Now, so long as he doesn’t backtrack

KingGold on February 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

We are talking about Mitt Romney.

sharrukin on February 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Without Romney the ratings for this debate will be nobody. 8 CNN debates is enough for anyone. Santorum better like being asked over and over and over again about contraception and …

BobScuba on February 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Key quote from the release from Romney’s team:

“We have participated in 20 debates, including 8 from CNN”

Perspective.

RightWay79 on February 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Super-genius. Skip the region that doesn’t really care for you.

kingsjester on February 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

He’ll be gone by the end of March. Hopefully having connived enough delegates so no one else gets to 1144.

Valiant on February 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Don’t wad your panties palinistas, after Michigan and Arizona this race will be over….and Romney will win both.

Falz on February 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Good. He gains nothing from participating, and there have been far too many of them at this point anyway. What is left to “debate”?

changer1701 on February 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

What’s left to debate? Seriously?

How ’bout Fast & Furious, Solyndra, NDAA, ObamaCare, federal mandates, tax reform, so-called spending “cuts,” effectiveness/ineffectiveness of the War on Terror, Iran sanctions, the Welfare State, civil liberties, Constitutional Government, gun-rights, free-trade, and on, and on.

Most of the debates have been about personal issues, and yet, I still have no clue why Mitt Romney wants to be President of the United States.

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

UPDATE: Santorum press secretary Alice Stewart tells me his campaign has not confirmed whether or not they will participate in the debate.

Uh, why would Santorum pass if Mittens won’t be there? That’s like 2 hours of free publicity on national TV.

Doughboy on February 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

BobScuba on February 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Bingo.

nswider on February 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Like, will a president Romney use recess appointments while congress is still in session?

Using “Romney” and “President” in the same sentence will bring seven years bad luck. Besides, it’s an oxymoron.

timberline on February 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Don’t like Mitt, and no, he can’t connect with voters at all, but continuing to go to these to get hit with cheap shots is not smart. Another discussion about gay marriage, contraception, and Obama’s greatness is not useful.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

The quality of the questioning has been bad, and will continue to be bad, but that’s besides the point.

Only us political junkies watch all the debates. For many super Tuesday voters, this might be the first time the tune in. It’s a questionable strategy to say, “I’m tired of these forums,” because you miss the chance to connect with a whole new crowd!

Deafdog on February 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

did they go full-petunia?

batterup on February 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Don’t wad your panties palinistas, after Michigan and Arizona this race will be over….and Romney will win both.

Falz on February 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

You do know that he’s losing in Michigan, don’t you, sport?

kingsjester on February 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

What is their strategy on this? Do GOP insiders think he has a better chance if he keeps his head down? (As Mitt likes to do).

How will he convince Southerners that he’s a severe conservative?

INC on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I’m not even convinced Mitt’s a “severe” conservative, and I’m a Midwesterner. The Southerners are even harder to please.

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

They’re all skipping. Santorum, Romney, and Paul will all be no-shows.

amerpundit on February 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

What a huge mistake. Is anyone else getting the feeling that the Romney campaign isn’t going to be around in another month or so?

cpaulus on February 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Was Romney only in the race to knock out all the conservatives first and then bail? Oh, talk about stalking horses!

astonerii on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

“… this year’s key issues have been exhausted.”

– Fast and Furious

– Solyndra

– Federal Agents inspecting a 4 year old’s lunch bag

– Keystone Pipeline and the coming $5.00/gal of gas

– Our own oil and gas production

– +1,000 days with out a budget in the Senate

– +$16,000,000,000,000.00 in debt and climbing

– American “hostages” in Egypt and the $1.8 Billion in aid to the Muslim Brotherhood

– Iran

– Europe and the economic collapse

– Obowma gutting the military and the nuclear arsenal

… yeah, all old and busted.

Nothing left to talk about…

… Maybe Mittens can just form a duet with Obowma?

Seven Percent Solution on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

O.K., I will ask again.

Where are Jailbreak, joana, bluegill to explain all of this to us?

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

On the weekly Thursday afternoon conference call will Romney HQ to discuss the latest talking points.

angryed on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

They’re all skipping. Santorum, Romney, and Paul will all be no-shows.

amerpundit on February 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I hope this is true, and they still don’t cancel it so we can watch Newt himself.

philoquin on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

He’s right, there are too damn many of these awful spectacles. The candidates are forever allowing the moderators to set the tone of the debates to remain as far from the topic of President Obama as possible. And the candidates are not deft enough to refocus the debates on the President. Newt tries every now and again, but can’t help being dragged back into the candidate scrum once someone else in the field calls them out. These guys are over-exposed and not better of for the exposure. Worse, they’re taking down the “Republican brand” with them – whatever the hell that is these days anyway.

JasperBallbaggins on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Was that back when they had 3 primary debates instead of 30?

RINO on February 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

It was when candidates didn’t self-ordain himself as ‘inevitable’

Deafdog on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

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