Skip to comments.Mitt Romney won't commit to Florida GOP debate in Tampa
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 ...
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).
of course not...
He doesnt want whats left of his butt to be handed to him..
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.
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.
He is probably having nightmares of Newt getting these standing ovations during the debates.
Practice for Newt debating an empty suit.
Poor Mittens is running scared. GOOD!
Mitt Romney wound be every bit as bad for our Nation as YoBama has been.
or a telepromter :)
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!)
What? Romney does not feel Florida is worthy of its own debate?
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.
LOL if Mittens doesn’t show up, you think Newt is smart enough to figure out how to maximize any advantage?
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.
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
Not for long.
Newt will be ahead in FLORIDA by Wednesday!!!
(Btw, only 6% of FL voters have voted so far by absentee.)
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.
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.
I am going on what I've seen. I expect there will be an uptick for Gingrich.
That is a lot of voters. Remember Iowa.
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.