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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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.

Paul vs. Gingrich. Lincoln-Douglas, combined with Thunderdome.

Two men enter, one man leaves…

JohnGalt23 on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

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

What good is that if liberal punching bag Mitt isn’t there?

I think Santorum believes that it’s possible the debate could help Mitt if three more-conservative candidates attack each other, leaving the unavailable Mitt as the go-to option…again.

Of course, I don’t believe that, but maybe the Santorum campaign thinks so.

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Update: Santorum out too?

Dang. I was hoping for True Conservapalooza.

I’ll have to settle for The Pudgy Futurist and Crazy Grandpaw Comedy Hour.

KingGold on February 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

“I was against this debate before I was for it.”
/Mitt Kerry

WhatNot on February 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Old and busted: TrueConservatives should stop participating in liberal CNN debates!!!

New hotness: Anyone who refuses to participate in the ninth CNN debate is a loser!!!!

rockmom on February 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

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.

Way to go. CNN will cancel the whole thing now. Maybe this was a poke in the eye to CNN and the State Run Media.

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 3:02 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

For Santorum to really be winning, he will need to withstand an assault from the “Death Star.” There is a reason why the Romney supporters have been ignoring polls showing Santorum ahead, and it’s because he’s been behind before.

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

Yes, it’s pretty clear you’d like to see anything except actual issues discussed, such as Obamacare or government spending, particularly if talking about it might make Romney look bad.

Doomberg on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

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

amerpundit on February 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

But why?

Doughboy on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

There are three debates that were scheduled between feb 22 and march 5.

Romney is going to the feb 22 debate in arizona.

Romney is going to the march 5 debate at the reagan library.

One debate in a week is enough.

Why do you need two debates the week before super tuesday on march 1 and march 5.

Debates take two days each of not campaigning elsewhere.

Romney is bringing some order to the process but the romney bashing media including conservatives will take it out of context.

How are you supposed to campaign in 9 states with all these debates.

There are enough debates and this georgia debate was never finalized including the location and anti romney forces put it out there that he is torpedoing it.

ryandan on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

This looks bad for Romney.Very bad.But i guess if you knew you were going to loose the state you were born in Michigan this debate could hurt you much more going into super Tue.

logman1 on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 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

So thats the plan?

sharrukin on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Paul campaign says he’s skipping, too.

amerpundit on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Good. He is snubbing conservatives right before Super Tuesday. Hopefully by Wed the 7th he will be seriously regretting that move. RP needs to get pumping on Va

Southernblogger on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

I agree that there is plenty to discuss. Recall that there were no questions asked about the SOTU in the debate that was given the next day, for pity’s sake.

Since Santorum is now the front-runner in several polls, it would still be a newsworthy debate. It’ll be interesting to see if CNN cancels it.

Y-not on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

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.

Both weasels are afraid of Newt. May they destruct each other.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Quitter!!!!

idesign on February 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Heh.

davidk on February 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

NO….Chickenchit Mitt?

Savin his millions for superpac attack ads that he can’t do anything about.
Best Presiduncy money can buy!

ConcealedKerry on February 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

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

Affirmative

Norwegian on February 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Remember when saying you were skipping debates was an unforgivable blunder?

Good times, good times.

Y-not on February 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Why on earth wouldn’t Santorum want a free microphone to dump on Romney before Super Tuesday?

Cause he might get asked a question about his record. And, he’d be one on one with Newt who is in a take no prisoner mode.

BacaDog on February 16, 2012 at 3:05 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

I should’ve put a few sarc tags after my comment. As a Southerner I know he doesn’t even rate as a conservative. It’s a convenient label he decided he needed to use starting back in about 2007 or so.

INC on February 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Yes, it’s pretty clear you’d like to see anything except actual issues discussed, such as Obamacare or government spending, particularly if talking about it might make Romney look bad.

Doomberg on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Have we been talking about that? Because I could swear we’ve been talking about corporate vultures, tax returns, what part of the country you hail from as a mark of how conservative you are, how much one person can say “Ronald Reagan” in a single hour, and how much someone’s religion resembles voodoo magic.

KingGold on February 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Why would Rick skip when he needs the free exposure?? It is not about Ga

Southernblogger on February 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

But why?

Doughboy on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Real men!

Eunuchs are having the time of their lives.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Newt and Paul should have a one on one debate/discussion about freedom and liberty so that maybe Romney and Santorum will learn what it’s all about.

FloatingRock on February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Paul campaign says he’s skipping, too.

amerpundit on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Looks like no one wants to have a debate on Newt’s home turf.

All three of the non-Newt candidates pulling out is decidedly less strange than Romney taking a pass while Santorum and Paul show up to debate Gingrich.

teke184 on February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

It’s kind of like a cruise that’s gone on too long

 
Yeah, there’s nothing worse than… wait, what?
 
Way to not seem out of touch, Team Romney.

rogerb on February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Maybe Mitt was too hasty in getting rid of that debate coach, the one that took all the credit.

saspepper on February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Paul vs. Gingrich. Lincoln-Douglas, combined with Thunderdome.

Two men enter, one man leaves…

JohnGalt23 on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Sounds good to me.

abobo on February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Way to go. CNN will cancel the whole thing now. Maybe this was a poke in the eye to CNN and the State Run Media.

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Real ‘tough’ men to beat Obama, oh yeah!

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Paul campaign says he’s skipping, too.

amerpundit on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Looks like an all-out repudiation of the liberal media.

You’d think some people would be happier about this. Rage against the machine, y’all!

KingGold on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Newt should haul in a lifesize cardboard cutout of chickenchit and the crazy uncle and prop them up on either side of him and simply ask if these two are afraid of fellow Repunks how are they going to beat the Lyin kING and his Presstitutes?

ConcealedKerry on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Good for them.

Finally standing up to the liberal media striving to control the debate.

Lawrence on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Good. He is snubbing conservatives right before Super Tuesday.
Southernblogger on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

How is skipping a CNN debate “snubbing conservatives”?

RightWay79 on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

There are too many debates, so Romney’s right about that. Rick Perry was also right about it.

I note that the debates are the main forum in which Gingrich is able to score points on Romney. Romney may figure Georgia is a loss anyway, and that he doesn’t need to set up any video moments in which Gingrich nails him on his record. A Romney loss in Georgia will simply look as if he right-sized his effort there, as long as he basically stays away and doesn’t put much into it. If he let the debate draw him into a head-to-head confrontation with Gingrich, a loss in Georgia would have more weight to it.

J.E. Dyer on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

The way real men do it, show up at CNN and ‘poke a knife into their eyes’ for being “state run”.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

This entire thing is odd to me. As the primary schedule gets rolling along so intensively and there are no longer a long string of candidates on stage, I think they’re more important.

INC on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Romney and Santorum are afraid of Newt and think they can grow a heart before they face Obama? Yikes! Go Newt! Go Paul! the field is narrowing.

DanMan on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Why would Rick skip when he needs the free exposure?? It is not about Ga

Southernblogger on February 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

To silence Newt. If 3 candidates are out, CNN cancels.

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

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.

I’m wondering if this means the debate gets cancelled, thus denying Newt one of his best platforms right before the Georgia primary, and probably lowering his vote total. Coordination between Mittens and Rick?

rbj on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

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.

Because he is as dense as the Santorum haters have been claiming?

cozmo on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

The-heh, all of a sudden “there are too many debates”.

Oh, my, I’m laughing my schadenfreudig head off.

What bunch of decojonified men. What a disaster.

Twits, one and all.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

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.

To deny Newt a chance to become the Not Romney. Santorum can win the head to head vs Romney, but if Newt is in, Mitt wins.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Maybe Newt isn’t out of the running after all…

There are too many debates. Nevertheless, all these candidates pulling out of a debate on his home turf does have some significance- he’s still a threat, methinks…

cs89 on February 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Maybe Mitt was too hasty in getting rid of that debate coach, the one that took all the credit.

saspepper on February 16, 2012 at 3:06 PM

From what I read it seemed that the media gave the debate coach the credit, the coach tried to not say much, but Mitt & Co. became miffed that Romney wasn’t seen as the wunderkind.

INC on February 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Romney is going to win both Michigan and Arizona. This is a good tactical move, and evidently Santorum might not show for this debate, either.

BTW Romney haters, the polls are behind the reality. Romney and Santorum are already tied in Michigan, and Romney remains in the lead in Arizona.

If you want four more years of Obama, then nominate Santorum. Let’s give Obama his wish to make the entire a campaign a referendum on sex and reproductive rights. GOP loses, and the House is washed away, too. Just great.

matthew8787 on February 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

To silence Newt. If 3 candidates are out, CNN cancels.

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Sun Tzu laughs his dead head off.

Newt will NOT be silenced.

Wussies are having a big party.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I think both Mitt and Santy are cowards they don’t want to face Newt now that they are the 2 frontrunners , hey but don’t worry Obama is waiting for either one of you, lets see how good you will do when 1 Billion $ come crashing on you.

evergreenland on February 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Coordination between Mittens and Rick?

rbj on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

No. Mitt wanted Santorum and Newt to deck it out so they would split their votes, but with Santorum out, he denies Mitt.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

To silence Newt. If 3 candidates are out, CNN cancels.

JPeterman on February 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Exactly. Can’t have Newt on stage anymore, can we?

totherightofthem on February 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

To deny Newt a chance to become the Not Romney. Santorum can win the head to head vs Romney, but if Newt is in, Mitt wins.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Then he ought to be able to against Gingrich to cement him as the “not Gingrich”.

cozmo on February 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

The way real men do it, show up at CNN and ‘poke a knife into their eyes’ for being “state run”.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I think Mitt soaked up some French tendencies when he lived in France.

flyfisher on February 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

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.

It’s a smart move AP.

The conservative base hates CNN (and the rest.)

It’s a Culture War ground game now.

Kicking Wolf Blitzer in the nuts has no downside.

Bruno Strozek on February 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

It’s funny how Mitt, who cut Newt’s lard/flesh into blood, needs him to stay in the race, or else Santorum’s got the numbers.

Show me mathematically how Mitt reaches the numbers.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Let’s give Obama his wish to make the entire a campaign a referendum on sex and reproductive rights. GOP loses, and the House is washed away, too. Just great.

matthew8787 on February 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Instead lets make it about a guy who says he’s not concerned about poor people. Yeah. That’s real smart.

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Paul campaign says he’s skipping, too.

amerpundit on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Do you have a link to that? I’ve heard nothing from the campaign or over the grapevine about this…

JohnGalt23 on February 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

The way real men do it, show up at CNN and ‘poke a knife into their eyes’ for being “state run”.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Yes, repeating Limbaugh phraseology on national TV at CNN anchors is the way to go here.

Good Lt on February 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Santorum out too? Hmmmmmm.

How about Newt goes, lays out his plans for the presidency and debates the moderators.

saspepper on February 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Any debate that happens from this point will benefit Newt. He had one bad debate. Otherwise, he’s been very strong in the debates and has always picked up support after them. Plus, he’s had time to regroup and plan a strategy. I don’t think that neither Romney or Santorum want anything to do with Newt in a debate anymore.

cajunpatriot on February 16, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Sure, Newt’s going to win Georgia anyway.

As I write this from my Atlanta condo, let me just say I don’t think that is a given. Yes, it’s his home state. Yes he won South Carolina next door. BUT: 1) His victory in SC has translated into zero momentum, a fact the Georgia GOP voter can’t help but notice, and 2)Your basic Georgia Republican, be he a farmer downstate or a small businessman in suburban Atlanta wants most of all for Obama to lose in November. I don’t see them punching the chads for Gingrich when it is obvious he isn’t going to be the nominee; they’ll want to do what they can to stengthen the hand of Santorum or Romney, whoever seems the likely nominee after Michigan and Arizona.

radjah shelduck on February 16, 2012 at 3:13 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

.
Won’t win Michigan- too many union dems voting against him

FlaMurph on February 16, 2012 at 3:13 PM

sharrukin on February 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Hey seemed to work, now they will probably cancel the debate.

nswider on February 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Sheesh, you East bloc toughies, don’t get soft in the U.S. of today. It w/b a dang shame.

Only unrelenting impertinence and fights, never before conceived of, steel of the first rate, will beat Obama.

Perfumed and protected whining barons and princes will not.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

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

angryed on February 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

+1

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

slickwillie2001 on February 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

+1

kunegetikos on February 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

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.

Well, you wondered how we could get to the brokered convention.

LoganSix on February 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

How about Newt goes, lays out his plans for the presidency and debates the moderators.

saspepper on February 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

CNN might do it for the ratings alone!

INC on February 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Also to whoever mentioned the March 5th debate at Reagan Library, that debate was canceled by MSNBC.

nswider on February 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Glad to see at least one candidate pointing out how ridiculous all these debates have become, they gre pointless about 6 debates back (if not before that), enough already.

clearbluesky on February 16, 2012 at 3:15 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

I’m saving this comment, just mentally. YOU made my day.

Put away the crown, the pipes/cigars, and if you drink, the champagne. It ain’w gon’ happen.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Romney is going to win both Michigan and Arizona. This is a good tactical move, and evidently Santorum might not show for this debate, either.

BTW Romney haters, the polls are behind the reality. Romney and Santorum are already tied in Michigan, and Romney remains in the lead in Arizona.
Romney is going to win both Michigan and Arizona. This is a good tactical move, and evidently Santorum might not show for this debate, either.

BTW Romney haters, the polls are behind the reality. Romney and Santorum are already tied in Michigan, and Romney remains in the lead in Arizona.

If you want four more years of Obama, then nominate Santorum. Let’s give Obama his wish to make the entire a campaign a referendum on sex and reproductive rights. GOP loses, and the House is washed away, too. Just great.

matthew8787 on February 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

matthew8787 on February 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

As the candidate with the biggest war chest, it may well be a good tactical move for Romney, but – like my grand dad used to say – don’t count your chickens in Michigan and Arizona until they hatch. Voters are going to pick the candidate they like the most (and only a handful of them are on hotair).

I wish Romney (and his supporters) would spend their time telling my why Romney is good instead of telling me why someone else has warts.

Deafdog on February 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

What bunch of decojonified men. What a disaster.

Twits, one and all.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

That’s how I see it too. Chickenshatz they are. Maybe CNN will give Newt the airtime to rough of the rest of the field in order to keep the fun going. These debates bring more eyes to CNN than any of their programing.

DanMan on February 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

2012 – Romney has participated in 20 debates so far and is planning on attending at least 2 more.

2008 – There were 21 TOTAL debates, 4 of which were only attended by 4 or less participants.

When did CNN become a Republican Proving Ground?

RightWay79 on February 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Hey seemed to work, now they will probably cancel the debate.

nswider on February 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Looks like it did.

sharrukin on February 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

With Santorum out too — presumably for the same reasons as Romney — the debate would be between Gingrich and Paul. Frankly, I’d watch it with interest. But at this point it will probably be cancelled.

J.E. Dyer on February 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

How is skipping a CNN debate “snubbing conservatives”?

RightWay79 on February 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

It is basically disrespecting the folks you need to vote for you on March 6th. CNN is not part of the conservative equation.

Southernblogger on February 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM

It doesn’t seem mysterious to me at all. If Newt is going to surge yet again, it can only come from knocking another debate out of the park. He can’t afford to do it through advertising, and the networks are ignoring him now in favor of Santorumpalooza. They all have an interest in denying Newt the opportunity to shine in a debate and fire up the base again. Duh.

aero on February 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

My feeling on the debates is, there have been some good ones and some bad ones. Many conservatives have griped about the quality of the questions, with some justification. But what should have been asked that hasn’t been? I know Ed wants to host an online debate, but for what? What does he think he can ask that hasn’t already been asked. Everyone knows where everyone else stands on the important issues of the day. Let’s stop talking already and get voting.

rogaineguy on February 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Why on earth wouldn’t Santorum want a free microphone to dump on Romney before Super Tuesday?

so dense.

CNN.

moochy on February 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I believe most of the reason the candidates numbers began to slide is that there were way too many debates so close together. No more debates there is nothing more to gain and you will only be attacked by the MSM!

Roymunson on February 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

These debates are played out. I don’t seem to remember there being this many during the last round.

BakerAllie on February 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

It is basically disrespecting the folks you need to vote for you on March 6th. CNN is not part of the conservative equation.

Southernblogger on February 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I guess I just don’t see how not attending the 1,000,000th debate this season is disrespectful. Just my opinion.

RightWay79 on February 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

sharrukin on February 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Just read that Newt still plans on being there and is pretty ticked at both Santo and Romney for dropping out. Newt needs this debate, but I have to think now that CNN will drop the axe on it. Should make the debate on 22nd more interesting though, expecting to see a more fired up Newt.

nswider on February 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

CNN Georgia Debate:

Two men enter;
One is Ron Paul.

Check, please.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Bring back BACHMANN!

El_Terrible on February 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Must mean one thing. The two hundred or so Pro Mormon outdoor boards aren’t working. As far as this

Sure, Newt’s going to win Georgia anyway.

I won’t beleive that until it happens.

Bmore on February 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Newt does a Lincoln Douglas style debate with all three Presstitutes and three cardboard cutouts, yeah bgo newtron go

ConcealedKerry on February 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

If Paul pulls out, I dare CNN to go forward with Newt alone. Just line up a panel of liberal pundits and let them fire away to see if Newt can keep up with a relentless barrage for two hours. Now that would be entertainment! Especially since I’m pretty sure Newt would keep up and then some.

aero on February 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

For the record, I don’t think Newt can win Georgia.

kunegetikos on February 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

This is definitely a coordinated effort to deny Newt some desperately-needed face-time and debate platform before the big Super Tuesday vote, especially since it’s in his home State.

Hopefully, Ron Paul doesn’t cancel and shows people who the real fiscal conservative in the race is.

Aizen on February 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Not dumbfounding at all for Santorum to pull out. His task is to work on his closest rival, not give Newt a chance to rise again in the forum where Newt does best.

michaelo on February 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Paul vs. Gingrich. Lincoln-Douglas, combined with Thunderdome.

Two men enter, one man leaves…

JohnGalt23 on February 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

That would have some serious potential to be a great debate.

Libertarianism versus Newtism.

All the flaws and inconsistencies inherent in Newts positions would be exposed.

Newt would only have the “practicality of libertarianism” as a way to defeat Paul.

fatlibertarianinokc on February 16, 2012 at 3:22 PM

If Paul pulls out, I dare CNN to go forward with Newt alone. Just line up a panel of liberal pundits and let them fire away to see if Newt can keep up with a relentless barrage for two hours. Now that would be entertainment! Especially since I’m pretty sure Newt would keep up and then some.

aero on February 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Lol, I agree. Newt really does own the debates overall.

BakerAllie on February 16, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I’d be more impressed if they quit the debate to protest Stephanopolis’s obvious colusion with the White House in the whole banning contraceptives debacle.

joeindc44 on February 16, 2012 at 3:22 PM

But what should have been asked that hasn’t been?

rogaineguy on February 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

The country is 16 trillion in the hole and there are trillions more in unfunded liabilities. We are f*cked. The candidates have given platitudinal answers and repeat their stump speach lines, but no debate moderator has challenged the platitudes.

I’d like a debate 100% focused on that.

Deafdog on February 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

What’s to be mystified about? The debates are campaign commercials for Obama. Why bother?

InterestedObserver on February 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Mittens, Ricko, and Grandpa Looon just gave Obowma all the ammunition he needs when he backs out of the debates with who ever wins the nomination…

… and the media will be there to remind us.

Thanks guys…!

Seven Percent Solution on February 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Not dumbfounding at all for Santorum to pull out. His task is to work on his closest rival, not give Newt a chance to rise again in the forum where Newt does best.

michaelo on February 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

At this point Rich doesn’t need Newt, but Mitt sure does.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

They all need to boycott. These debates range from demeaning and insipid “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” to “How can you justify your racist theocratic views?”

CNN, ABC, NBC, and PBS. If 0bama won’t join our candidate on a Fox stage, then there should not be any debates at all.

StubbleSpark on February 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Just read that Newt still plans on being there and is pretty ticked at both Santo and Romney for dropping out. Newt needs this debate, but I have to think now that CNN will drop the axe on it. Should make the debate on 22nd more interesting though, expecting to see a more fired up Newt.

nswider on February 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

CNN will bail if its just Ron Paul and Newt. There just isn’t enough there for them to keep it. Santorum is the frontrunner and Romney is the runner up. Newt and Paul are also-rans at this point, unless things change drastically.

sharrukin on February 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

For the record, I don’t think Newt can win Georgia.

kunegetikos on February 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

For the record, no one knows who will win what state, or who comes in 2nd, 3rd, a.s.f., next.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2012 at 3:26 PM

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