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Mitt Romney won't commit to Florida GOP debate in Tampa
St. Petersburg Times ^ | January 21, 2012 | Aaron Sharockman

Posted on 01/21/2012 3:41:45 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

TAMPA — Mitt Romney on Friday wouldn't commit to Florida's first 2012 presidential primary debate, further upending a campaign that has swung from perfunctory to unsettled in a span of 48 hours.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said the campaign had "no announcements" on the Monday night debate, which is being hosted by the Tampa Bay Times, NBC News, National Journal and the Florida Council of 100.

Romney probably will decide whether to participate and under what terms after today's primary in South Carolina. Polls there show he now trails Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich pounced on the indecisiveness while campaigning in Orangeburg, S.C., saying that if Romney didn't show, it would "become a running joke."

"Romney can't claim that he's prepared to debate (President Barack) Obama if he's not prepared to debate Newt Gingrich," the former House speaker said. "So I'm confident he'll be there Monday night."

NBC officials said planning for the 9 p.m. debate set on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida was continuing.

(Excerpt) Read more at tampabay.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012election; coward; floridaprimary; gopdebates; gopprimary; loser
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Yesterday afternoon Mitt Romney was all for debates when asked by Sean Hannity [during his radio show] his feeling about debates -- it let's the voters see who you are.

Then on "The Five" Dana Perino was suggesting is was time for the debates to go away (while lifting her mask quite a bit while discussing Newt Gingrich's ex-wife, and more honestly revealing her support for Romney).

1 posted on 01/21/2012 3:41:49 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

of course not...

He doesnt want whats left of his butt to be handed to him..


2 posted on 01/21/2012 3:50:12 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

hm... interesting tactical move by Romney if he follows through.

Newt gets most of his momentum and support from the debates, if Romney simply refused to do anymore... that might be a problem.

of course I guess they could still have Newt debate Paul... but that would be pretty sad.


3 posted on 01/21/2012 3:52:49 AM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
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To: Tennessee Nana

Can his campaign believe the upside of this decision outweighs the downside?

Romney’s camp may be calculating that submitted absentee ballots can put him ahead in Florida — but hedging their bets depending on the outcome of the SC vote.

Currently Romney has a double digit lead over Gingrich in FL.


4 posted on 01/21/2012 3:55:25 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Tennessee Nana
"He doesnt want whats left of his butt to be handed to him.."

He is probably having nightmares of Newt getting these standing ovations during the debates.

5 posted on 01/21/2012 3:55:58 AM PST by lstanle
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To: TexasFreeper2009
maybe they can leave an empty chair....

Practice for Newt debating an empty suit.

6 posted on 01/21/2012 3:56:01 AM PST by spokeshave (Mitt will release his tax returns when 0bambi releases his Birth Certificate and grades)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Poor Mittens is running scared. GOOD!

Mitt Romney wound be every bit as bad for our Nation as YoBama has been.


7 posted on 01/21/2012 3:56:04 AM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: spokeshave

or a telepromter :)


8 posted on 01/21/2012 3:56:43 AM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
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To: TexasFreeper2009
LOL!

I can imagine that after Romney did such a cowardly thing in Iowa, and trashed Newt, that now he sees what a fired up Newt can do with just a few smart words.

Newt does have an ax to grind and some serious payback coming Romney's way. Romney lied in Iowa, and Newt did not have the funds to fight him. Romney and Paul spent millions to trash Newt, and they are very nervous that it actually went against them.

(I love it!)

9 posted on 01/21/2012 3:59:41 AM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP (If you come to a fork in the road, take it........)
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To: spokeshave

What? Romney does not feel Florida is worthy of its own debate?


10 posted on 01/21/2012 4:00:09 AM PST by tsowellfan (http://twitter.com/cafenetamerica)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

This is just a preview of what we’ll get after Newt wins the nomination. Osama will be shuckin’ and jivin’ and making all kinds of excuses why he can’t debate Newt. No one wants to debate Newt. The only person in the world capable of standing up to Newt is Chuck Norris and even Chuck Norris endorsed Newt.

Newt would win a presidential debate without even showing up!

The word “debate” did not exist before Newt created it.


11 posted on 01/21/2012 4:01:17 AM PST by 109ACS (If this be Treason, then make the most of it. Patrick Henry, May 1765)
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To: spokeshave

LOL if Mittens doesn’t show up, you think Newt is smart enough to figure out how to maximize any advantage?

I do.

They probably won’t leave an empty podium but that would be nice. But ALL candidates could invoke Romney’s name and it would be left without reply.

I can’t see Mittens actually doing this - beyond the huge advantage it gives the others to shot on him w/out response, it provides clear evidence that he isn’t ready to debate ozero or be president... yeah just don’t show up when it’s tough... that won’t work.


12 posted on 01/21/2012 4:02:36 AM PST by Principled
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Theres suppose to be 2 MILLION absentee ballots sent in already ???

Is that right ???

Wonder how many are for Paul or Perry ???

also they may include Democrat ballots for Obama


13 posted on 01/21/2012 4:03:01 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Not for long.

Newt will be ahead in FLORIDA by Wednesday!!!

(Btw, only 6% of FL voters have voted so far by absentee.)


14 posted on 01/21/2012 4:04:08 AM PST by CainConservative (Newt/Rubio 2012 with Cain, Huck, Petraeus, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
[Currently Romney has a double digit lead over Gingrich in FL.]

The polls you refer to, are based on old and inaccurate samples. Most internal polling since the debates in SC, and especially after last night, Newt is well established as in the lead. Very similar to SC.

You can expect to see Newt win Florida also. Santorum has no money or organization in Florida either, so his numbers will probably be in the single digits by then.

Romney falls apart when he gets exposed and rattled, especially now, that he is actually being asked some hard questions and the “coronation” has now been scrapped.

15 posted on 01/21/2012 4:10:04 AM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP (If you come to a fork in the road, take it........)
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP

Much will depend on money pouring into their campaigns.

The Florida primary is a BIG ad buy primary.

I imagine Romney has made a lot of ad buys.

He already has locked up endorsements of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, and former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

It could be dicey for Romney in the debates because of the Cuban versus all other Hispanic votes. Gingrich would capitalize on this during a debate.


16 posted on 01/21/2012 4:10:25 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: PSYCHO-FREEP
The polls you refer to, are based on old and inaccurate samples. Most internal polling since the debates in SC, and especially after last night, Newt is well established as in the lead. Very similar to SC.

I am going on what I've seen. I expect there will be an uptick for Gingrich.

17 posted on 01/21/2012 4:13:41 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: CainConservative
.....(Btw, only 6% of FL voters have voted so far by absentee.)

That is a lot of voters. Remember Iowa.

18 posted on 01/21/2012 4:15:10 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The billionaire from Vegas who gave Newt’s PAC $5 mil for ads in SC is giving him up to $20 mil more for FL ads.

But don’t tell Willard.


19 posted on 01/21/2012 4:16:42 AM PST by CainConservative (Newt/Rubio 2012 with Cain, Huck, Petraeus, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

20 posted on 01/21/2012 4:21:10 AM PST by 109ACS (If this be Treason, then make the most of it. Patrick Henry, May 1765)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

That includes for the Dems.

Willard is TOAST after SC.

Btw,

Early Voting in GOP Primary To Begin Across Florida Saturday

5 counties, including Monroe, already began voting Monday

15 hours ago – Early voting in the Republican presidential primary is set to begin throughout Florida the same day South Carolina holds its primary.

Voters in all 67 Florida counties will be able to go to the polls Saturday and casts ballots.

Early voting began Monday in Hillsborough, Hardy, Hendry, Monroe and Collier counties. The number of days available to vote ahead of the Jan. 31 primary is shorter in the rest of the state because of a new voting law that is not being applied in those five counties.

The early voting period will end the following Saturday in at least 62 counties. Elections supervisors can keep polls open up to 12 hours a day in 62 counties and 8 hours a day in the five counties that began voting last Monday.


21 posted on 01/21/2012 4:21:40 AM PST by CainConservative (Newt/Rubio 2012 with Cain, Huck, Petraeus, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

People...is it not clear to you at this point that Romney will lose in November??? Was it not clear that McCain would lose??? The MSM is going to reelect Obama if they are able. He is their product.

Romney is being set up to lose. Gingrich might lose too, but he will take the liberal media down first.

I’m for Newt simply on that basis.


22 posted on 01/21/2012 4:24:23 AM PST by kjo
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
He has refused to debate Newt mano-a-mano before because he whined that it would be unfair to the other candidates.

Hard to avoid it when he and Newt are the last men standing.

23 posted on 01/21/2012 4:24:41 AM PST by RoosterRedux (Newt: "Why vote for the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama?")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Dana Perino is a walking ad for Romney and has been from the gitgo.

She is from the Bush-Rove elitist groupies.

24 posted on 01/21/2012 4:27:29 AM PST by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: RoosterRedux

Seriously, Willard should call in sick before Monday’s debate. I’m not kidding.

Everytime he debates Speaker Newt lately, he loses 5-7 points minimum.

Newt Gingrich IS truly the Chuck Norris of debating.


25 posted on 01/21/2012 4:30:05 AM PST by CainConservative (Newt/Rubio 2012 with Cain, Huck, Petraeus, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet)
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To: lonestar

Speaking of the TWICE divorced Rove, where has he disappeared to lately? Hmmmm....


26 posted on 01/21/2012 4:33:08 AM PST by CainConservative (Newt/Rubio 2012 with Cain, Huck, Petraeus, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet)
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Oops! Link for #21..

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Early-Voting-in-GOP-Primary-To-Begin-Across-Florida-137778403.html


27 posted on 01/21/2012 4:35:23 AM PST by CainConservative (Newt/Rubio 2012 with Cain, Huck, Petraeus, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Bachmann in Newt's Cabinet)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

But what is he selling? Romneycare? He is unable to even express conservatism.


28 posted on 01/21/2012 4:39:07 AM PST by richardtavor
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
If Mutt refuses to debate Gingrich again in Fla, every question he gets from the media from now until the Fla primary with will start out with...” Are you afraid to debate Newt?”
29 posted on 01/21/2012 4:50:06 AM PST by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: CainConservative

Rove, wherever he is, is campaigning for Mitt.


30 posted on 01/21/2012 4:51:19 AM PST by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Then on "The Five" Dana Perino was suggesting is was time for the debates to go away (while lifting her mask quite a bit while discussing Newt Gingrich's ex-wife, and more honestly revealing her support for Romney).

Yah got that right.

Any wonder that Perino would be a RINO when considering who she worked for; the consummate, "Compassionate Conservative" George Boosh?

Any semblance of her being "objective"--never mind conservative--went out the window a long time ago.

31 posted on 01/21/2012 4:52:20 AM PST by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet
Eric Bollings on the ‘5’ presented her with a hat that had
...”P-RINO” printed on it in big bold letters.
32 posted on 01/21/2012 4:57:32 AM PST by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: CainConservative

Thank you for the information.


33 posted on 01/21/2012 4:59:42 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Mitt gives off flighty and indecisive vibes. Newt is grounded as in gravitas. It would take a larger man to knock Newt over than Mitt.


34 posted on 01/21/2012 5:01:14 AM PST by dennisw (A nation of sheep breeds a government of Democrat wolves!)
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To: lonestar
Dana Perino is a walking ad for Romney and has been from the gitgo. She is from the Bush-Rove elitist groupies.

Yes...but...up 'till now she tried to act as though she were objective about the GOP field -- she failed miserably but she thought she could defend herself as not partisan toward Romney -- not after yesterday on "The Five." She's fully in the tank for him now.

35 posted on 01/21/2012 5:03:00 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: CainConservative

I don’t get this early voting business. If this isn’t ripe for fraud, I don’t know what else is. I don’t trust Florida as far as I can throw it.

(and I can’t throw Florida very far).

Romney avoiding a debate — now that is completely PITIFUL.

Robus and rigorous debate are hallmarks of the political process. Democracy and freedom are strengthened by it. I guess Romney could care less about democracy or freedom.


36 posted on 01/21/2012 5:04:41 AM PST by LibsRJerks
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Romney can't claim that he's prepared to debate (President Barack) Obama if he's not prepared to debate Newt Gingrich," the former House speaker said. "So I'm confident he'll be there Monday night."

LOL! One just has to love the way he smacks the baby on the behind!

C'mom mitt, time to get up and go to work. It's Monday - no calling in sick or taking a personal day. Newt just took the silver spoon out of your mouth! Your backstabbing ad$ aren't going to do your work for you nor your insider friend$ looking for political favor.

For such an 'outsider', you have way too many friends inside. So scratch the outsider/businessman tactic.
37 posted on 01/21/2012 5:04:56 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Not unlike how the MSM is in the tank for Obama. Journalism is dead.

BTW, Mitt is afraid to debate Newt?

If he is afraid of Newt, why should even the GOP Establishment trust him?


38 posted on 01/21/2012 5:05:12 AM PST by rbmillerjr (Conservative Economic and National Security Commentary: econus.blogspot.com)
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet
...Any semblance of her being "objective"--never mind conservative--went out the window a long time ago.

And to expand on what Perino said yesterday on "The Five," she suggested that the remaining GOP primary candidates band together and refuse to be in any more debates. Obviously, this will not happen.

39 posted on 01/21/2012 5:08:24 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: rbmillerjr
If he is afraid of Newt, why should even the GOP Establishment trust him?

No doubt they are very nervous.

40 posted on 01/21/2012 5:09:59 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Tennessee Nana

So, if Romney goes away and Paul finally melts, what happens in Virginia? Interesting.


41 posted on 01/21/2012 5:22:59 AM PST by I_be_tc
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To: I_be_tc

VA GOP will be left with egg on their faces


42 posted on 01/21/2012 5:26:46 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: CainConservative

Yea, the libs would have a field day calling it ‘creepy’ but I’d love to see a campaign commercial with Chuck Norris playing on the joke...

It’s bedtime, Chuck walks in the bedroom, gets ready to get into bed, stops and checks under it....

There is Newt smiling, waves at Chuck

Chuck waves back...

Camera pans to an abject look of fear on Norris’s face with Movie trailer style Orchestra hit

Fade to black
“Newt 2012 - Putting the fear into Chuck Norris...Putting the fear in a liberal near you...”

Camera fades in to Chuck with blanket pulled up under his nose with the lights on ;)


43 posted on 01/21/2012 5:33:32 AM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

When danger rears its ugly head, Sir Romney bravely runs away. I'm not sure why he thinks that will endear him to republican voters, but he's not a conservative, so I suppose he doesn't understand us well. Or perhaps he's trying to lock up the far left of our party, in which case cowardice may be a perfect strategy. We know what happens when he goes on stage with Newt, so he's better off being himself and hiding.

44 posted on 01/21/2012 5:35:33 AM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: CainConservative

Newt IS the Honey Badger!


45 posted on 01/21/2012 5:45:13 AM PST by ebshumidors ( Marksmanship and YOUR heritage http://www.appleseedinfo.org)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
She failed miserably at trying to look objective...as have most of the talking heads.

Funny thing is...a lot of people don't like Mitt because Rove and Perino DO.

46 posted on 01/21/2012 5:46:24 AM PST by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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47 posted on 01/21/2012 5:59:00 AM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: lonestar
"Dana Perino is a walking ad for Romney and has been from the gitgo."

That is so true...needs repeating.

48 posted on 01/21/2012 6:05:27 AM PST by mickie (My grandson made it, he's now a Marine.)
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To: 109ACS

LOL!!! It took me a few minutes to get that one. You wouldn’t be referring to all the highjacked bandwidth that we had to endure last fall when Perry was still considered viable?


49 posted on 01/21/2012 6:16:27 AM PST by BobL ("Heartless" and "Inhumane" FReepers for Cain - we've HAD ENOUGH)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; nutmeg
Interesting tidbit--Last night 6PM NBC local Tampa news ran this story, adding that NBC had pulled the debate from the schedule and replaced it with Fear Factor and Rock Center.

Thirty minutes later, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams said the debate would be aired on NBC. Either somebody forgot to tell Williams the debate he is moderating will not be aired on his network, or the news was taped before the decision was made.

Either way, the debate is not currently on the network programming schedule for Monday night.

50 posted on 01/21/2012 6:18:41 AM PST by NautiNurse
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