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Mitt, Rick and Ron to Georgia: Drop Dead

Mitt, Rick and Ron to Georgia: Drop Dead

CNN has cancelled a scheduled March 1 debate in Georgia just ahead of Super Tuesday after Romney, followed by Santorum and Paul, announced they would not participate.

This makes perfect sense, of course.  Why should Republican candidates pay respect to the heart of the South, a region which will be key to Republican success in November.  No, because George likely is to go for Newt anyway, the other candidates will not even show up for a debate.

Just like all the candidates ran and hid from the New Hampshire debate because Romney was likely to win.  Oh, wait.


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Why risk a thrashing with Newt, when you are not likely to win anyways. They want to fit this over the airwaves with ads and consultants, not informed discussion of whats going on.

CNN should have kept the Debate on and let Newt take on the Moderators.

DINORightMarie | February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Ha! The other candidates don’t want Newt to debate them…..because, as usual, he will win, and they will lose any lead(s) they have before Super Tuesday. Refuse to give the man a platform, hoping to force Newt out.

Very transparent. And pathetic. They have no game, no fight in them!

Only Newt wants to debate, to discuss solutions, to take it to Obama.

    I just wrote this article for

    It’s appropriate to title it Newt vs. the Three Wimps because they don’t have the confidence to man up against the intellectual heavyweight of the foursome.

    Perhaps the heat got too hot in the kitchen for Mitt?

      raven in reply to LFRGary. | February 16, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Good piece.

      Self promotion is very tiresome, Gary.

        Hope Change in reply to gad-fly. | February 17, 2012 at 12:17 am

        Totally all due respect here — and under normal circumstances, perhaps I would feel the same, gad-fly.

        but this is a fight for our country and I have the impression that LFRGary is all about correcting the course our country is on. If we don’t want to click on the link, we can just skip it.

        I realize it is generally bad form to self-promote in the comments on some else’s blog, but this seems different to me. YMMV, of course, but to me, this is not so much self-promotion as just an effort to get the ideas out there. And to gain more readers at his blog, I see that you are right about that.

        I don’t know. Just some thoughts.

        We’re building a kind of team that has never existed before. Newt is including everyone. We don’t know what it will look like. I’d rather err on the side of getting a chance to see the material. If I don’t like it, I won’t go back. But I’m eager for all of us who care about this to have access to the best and the brightest ideas and analysis. Which I don’t know if there are an of, at that website. I haven’t clicked on it yet. Because I don’t like self promotion either. Oh I’m so inconsistent.

        I just don’t like communism.

      wodiej in reply to LFRGary. | February 17, 2012 at 3:35 am

      good article. Santorum’s campaign thinks it’s more important to shake hands than to debate policy? Right…chicken.

To state the obvious:

They figure that Georgians have no alternative but to vote Republican. Their precedent: how the RINO establishment treats conservatives and libertarians.

I don’t think this was a case of taking the south for granted. If I had to guess…Mitt bailed because he didn’t want to answer anything that could be a tough question. He’s just praying his ad assault on the others candidates pays off and he squeaks by to the nomination. Santorum, seeing Mitt was out, had a better chance of being hurt via patented Gingrich debate surge than benefiting himself, so he followed suit. Paul I have no idea.

But I feel Romney is trying to contain the damage at the moment and once he fled, Santorum did not want to give Newt the stage.

As much as that debate could have been a game changer, I actually (kind of) like the cancellation. The common theme throughout all of the debates is that the gop should not be letting the liberal media define and ridicule them, along with dumbing down the entire process with the most asinine, unimportant, insane questions. Put the debates in the hands of people who aren’t in the tank for the opposition.

Pathetic…. running away from debating Newt. What are they going to do when it comes time to debate Obama?

Looks like more people looking for the 3rd rising of Newt too – Go Newt!

Can we please pick a candidate and start campaigning against Obama now? This malicious, deleterious dog-and-pony-show is an embarrassment. The fact that this vetting process played out the way it did is a testament to the unseriousness of the GOP establishment.

I wish the GOP candidates could agree to tell ABC (given the Stephanopoulos WH consulting that…ahem…Bill J. first noted), MSNBC, CNN and CBS to pound sand about hosting GOP debates and then set up alternative debates through Hot Air, the Heritage Foundation, etc., etc.

This is a slap in the face to American voters. Hope this leads to grassroots enthusiasm to turn out at caucuses and primaries. In Washington State it is ridiculously hard trying to find on the Internet where caucuses are meeting.

    heimdall in reply to CWLsun. | February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Here is information on the Washington state caucus:

    I am excited to attend it as I think this is the first presidential primary election where my vote actually matters in Washington! I hate the way this is system is run, two states like Iowa and new Hampshire should not be the only states that matters every time…

Not sure why ANY Conservatives or Republicans appear on the Commie News Network in the first place. Why make CNN look like a real news organization by appearing there? I just do not get it…

CNN should have responded that the event will proceed as planned, featuring any candidate willing to show up.

Instead CNN caved in order to establish a precedent, one that will allow Obama to opt out of any head-to-head debates. Anything where Obama would be forced to respond in real time to an adversarial opponent.

Obama’s chosen format will be some variation on a scripted interview. Where each candidate is only addressed by, and responds to the interviewer, one no doubt sympathetic to Obama. The other candidate may not even be physically present.

    JEBurke in reply to ThomasD. | February 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    So now CNN should dictate how Republican party primary campaigns are run?

      ThomasD in reply to JEBurke. | February 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      No, they should simply adhere to their commitment to hold the previously agreed upon event.

      If all of the candidates bow out that would be one thing, that only some are allowed to dictate the end of the event indicates a degree of favoritism.

      That you try to conflate the two is instructive.

Recall the reaction to the suggestion that Rick Perry was considering whether to skip a debate or two?

Come on guys, what did you expect. Those three lame arses can’t campaign on who the were (Romney -still can’t find where he’s conservative, Santorum was WAY BIG GOVT. spending & a lobbyist – let’s not even go into his last election loss & his very strong comments on gays, etc. and Paul – nuff said) and none of them have strong platforms. So debate for them is all about their attack ads at each other. Newt is only one that fully lays out a strategic plan to turn around America – way before he’s inaugurated. Don’t worry, Newt is now back in full force and 1 debate will not stop his message nor his surrogates (Dream Teams). GO NEWT – THREE’S THE CHARM.

It will really get fun when, if Romney or Santorum win the nomination, Pres. Obama says he only will not debate (or have only one).

Obama trashed the Democratic prize issue of public financing of the presidential campaign last time so why not the debate format that only started with Kennedy/Nixon in 1960 and didn’t become “normative” until 1976?

His reason: the Republican candidate has already indicated that his positions are well enough known to the public so he could afford to skip primary debate(s). And certainly President Obama’s positions are already well known.

They’re giving Obama a nice fig leaf. Not that he needs one, but he has one now. Dumb, dumb, dumb. They can’t see beyond their noses.

Romney was probably ashamed (cue his TM sheepish expression) to come to another debate after he lied SEVEN times(see* below) in the last CNN (FL) debate alone.

Note – The March 5 Debate at the Reagan Library in California has also been cancelled.

Romney probably had to cancel that one too…due to the suffering he endures when exposed to concentrated Ronald Reagan conservatism. Having to be there twice during one campaign would probably make him melt like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Newt should follow the Romney caravan from stop to stop and debate anyway…just like he plans to do with Obama. Or, record a Romney campaign speech and refute it point by point.

Newter Romney. Newt-ralize him, Mr. Speaker.

*Documented lies in the CNN debate:
1. He denied accusing Newt of exaggerating/lying about his part in Reagan’s administration only three days before on Monday night in Tampa.
2. He lied about his own ‘ghetto language’ ad that bore his voice
3. He claimed all his business was run by a blind trust, a tactic that Mitt himself called ‘the oldest ruse in the book’ in a previous campaign.
4. He said he voted for republicans in the past when there was a republican to vote for, but if you look back at the Gingrich ad exposing his lies, it turns out when George H.w. Bush and Buchanan were running, he voted for a liberal democrat.
5. He denied the cost of Romneycare to taxpayers in Massachusetts. “Half of those people got insurance on their own. Others got help in buying the insurance.”
False. In fact, 98% of the additional people insured after Romneycare was passed have it paid for or subsidized by the federal government or Massachusetts government. Of the 412,000 additional people who had health insurance in 2010 who did not have it in June 2006 (pre-reform), only 7K of the 412K (1.7%) had unsubsidized health insurance. The rest were covered through Medicaid, Commonwealth Care, or a program of subsidized care for the unemployed.
6. He denied the impact of Romney care on citizens of Massachusetts. Romneycare has increased the price of healthcare premiums for every citizen of Massachusetts. Premiums have increased by 55 percent since Mitt Romney became Governor, a rate 13 points higher than the national average and the third highest growth rate among the states.
7. He said he lowered taxes in Massachusetts 19 times. Yet he raised fees and corporate taxes twice. No wonder Massachusetts was rated at the bottom of all the states (47-49th) in job and business growth.

NOTE: A person can lie so much that they actually believe their own lies. This is pathological and is a symptom of a departure from reality, facts and evidence that is characteristic of liberalism.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | February 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Um, so far, the Arizona CNN debate 2/22/12 at 8pm is still on.

    Maybe Romney be forced to face the music and explain his 7 Lies in the last debate.

Meager men. A curse of our time.

Neither of these pretenders is winning anything.

Maybe Newt can debate himself. After all, he’s been on both sides of the issues that are important to Republicans.

But his groupies here blindly ignore his past positions so they probably woundn’t enjoy watching Newt with his “I said, but I changed my mind so then I said” debate.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to retire05. | February 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    At least Newt’s changes of mind were reasoned with the advent of new evidence.

    Romney’s flip/flops occurred during a single campaign and varied with the audience.

    There is one hilarious video expose’ of Romney saying ‘clean coal’ in one meeting and ‘dirty coal’ in another meeting, back and forth – and Romney did the same thing in regard to other issues.

    Looks as though Romney will change any of his principles, convictions and positions for a dollar or a vote. Then, he was progressive, but governed left of Ted Kennedy, now for the big time, he says he’s a conservative.

    Then to top it off, Romney shows amazing chutzpah or disconnect, from reality, calling Gingrich and Santorum liberal democrats…
    (This is called psychological PROJECTION – Psychological defense, typical of liberal left – symptom of psychological dishonesty/denial – accusing others of one’s own behavior/character flaws) –

    Here he is lying again… without even a blush:

    A person can lie so much that they actually begin to believe their own lies. This departure from reality, facts and evidence is characteristic of liberalism.

    Hope Change in reply to retire05. | February 17, 2012 at 12:25 am

    all due respect, retire05 –but — are you sure you’re not Pasadena Phil?

    colossally uniformed, check
    mischaracterizing, check
    never researching, check
    yet ever undeterred.

OK, how exactly is it in Mitt’s or Santorum’s best interest in engaging in debate #54,678,983?

HOW DARE they do what is in their own interests and not drop out and endorse Newt!!!one!1!

I’ve watched a bazillion debates already, and I stopped watching them some time ago. I wouldn’t have watched this one, either.

Too bad for Newt that his last couple of debate performances weren’t so hot, popping the balloon of Newt’s supposed debate superiority.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Astroman. | February 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Newt was flabbergasted with Romney’s non-stop lies. See my comments above.

    Romney evidently got a coach to take away the tell-tale stutter that usually proceeded his lies, but unfortunately coaching couldn’t or didn’t prevent the falsehoods that slipped from Romney’s lips. Coaching just made Romney a more effective liar.

    In six days, unless they cancel the Arizona debate, we will see if Romney made accountable for his lies in the last debate. He may call in sick at the last minute.

    The only way he can save himself is to own up to his lies and nasty campaign tactics…including using conservative bloggers as paid political operatives.

      Astroman in reply to Uncle Samuel. | February 16, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Ah yes, Newt only tanked in the debate because Mitt lied so much.

      And this is supposed to inspire confidence in Newt’s ability to debate Obama, the current liar-in-chief? Facepalm.

Retire and Astro have no defense for their candidates running scared. Astro you could watch a million debates and unfortunately for us we’d still have to listen to your ignorant rants. As usual when Romney starts another bad habit (lying, distorting and now running from debates) he literally hands Obama another gift. Since Santorum & Paul also decided they don’t need to debate think that sends same message about all 3 candidates, that most already know. Santorum, Romney & Paul all have 1 good debate in them & they’ve blown their wad.

    Yeah, because when one football team has the lead, and only 2 seconds on the clock, kneeling the ball to run the clock out is “cowardly.” No, it is called being intelligent.

    Mr. Jacobson’s post, and your comment, are as disingenuous as Mitt Romney. This isn’t about the South or about cowardice or debates, this is about your guy having virtually no chance, and with Romney & Santorum’s latest chess move, Newt now has NO chance.

    Time for Newt to step down and support Santorum. You and Mr. Jacobson would be saying that, if you had any consistency. But like Romney, you don’t have any consistency. Flip flop.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Astroman. | February 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      NO Astroman. Please do not bring sport into your justiications. Most people want to believe in sportsmanship & even though some are so obsessed as to make promises to God for their team’s win -they still want it a fair win.

      Wherever possible refs & rules are implemented against unfair -running down the clock.Most ball games aim to require play of ball & penalise hogging .

      As the Brits would say -That just is not cricket.

        “An unfair running down of the clock, against the rules?”

        LOL. Seriously, what “rule” is being broken by canceling one of the bazillion debates? I can’t remember any primary that had so many debates before.

        No, the truth is, what you are most upset about is not some absurd “unfair running down of the clock,” but that it hurts the candidate of your choice. Be honest. OWN it.

      wodiej in reply to Astroman. | February 17, 2012 at 3:45 am

      no, that’s cowardly.


You completely missed the point on this one, Professor.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with Georgia.

The other 3 candidates just screwed Newt, bigtime. Gingrich needed a debate victory prior to super Tuesday to resurrect his campaign. Now, there won’t be a debate at all.

You can mark this as the death knell for Gingrich’s campaign. He’s done.

The GOP wants to take the conservative base for granted this year. Naturally, they want to ignore the South.

This is lamentable, but changes little. Given that it’s Georgia, Newt was going to win, just as he’ll win the Georgia primary on March 3rd. With no debate, instead of winiing, Gingrich will, um, win. No one is coming out of Super Tuesday with a commanding delegate lead anyway. This is definitely a long haul primary run now.

Why Romney won’t debate is obvious enough (think KFC), but it surprises me that Santorum pulled out as well. A review of responses here and elsewhere reveal that a negative reaction to renegers is way more common than the ‘good move’ reaction.

” Why should Republican candidates pay respect to the heart of the South…”

Oh please – if you were supporting anybody besides Newt – you’d be saying what the rest of us are saying – 21 debates is WAY too many.

I’m sure you’ll say that the 4 past debates in Florida don’t count since Florida isn’t really a “southern state”…

But what about the 6 debates in South Carolina? Does SC not count as a southern state?

I, for one, will be glad when this whole mess is over and we finally have a nominee.

    Hope Change in reply to bogopogo. | February 17, 2012 at 12:36 am

    hi, bogopogo —

    People who are actually looking for some substance do not think this is too many debates.

    We think the formats may be stupid and the “hosts” are mostly in the tank for Obama, but there need to be MORE debates, and they need to be like the Lincoln-Douglas debates. We need to know what the candidate has in mind for policy. Not the drivel most of the candidates are handing out.

    Those of us who support Newt want to hear MORE about how he intends to solve problems and what the American People can do to restore our country.

    I Newt is elected, I will actually look forward to the State of the Union and his speeches and press conferences. YES. GO NEWT. THREE’S THE CHARM

    The debates are AWESOME if you support Newt. Even the lame debates.

      Astroman in reply to Hope Change. | February 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

      After the bazillion of debates already completed, who actually needs yet another debate?

      I mean besides Newt, whose campaign is in desperate need of something, anything, at this point.

    wodiej in reply to bogopogo. | February 17, 2012 at 3:47 am

    yeah, we wouldn’t want anyone to get vetted before Obama picks their bones clean.

Astro, thank god Santorums playing football. Newt is playing war.

By the way, the one being disingenuous is Ricky for saying he’s a conservative. Thankfully, his vetting is beginning. Starting to hear Ricky squeal now.

Romney knew if he attended the debate Newt & Rick would beat him back to the stone ages, so I guess he figures he is risking more by attending than by being criticized for not attending.

Since Romney’s not attending, I see that there is no point in Rick attending since Romney is the target.

What Newt’s people should do is get a cardboard cutout of Romney and hang a sign on it that’s says something like “I Fear Debating Newt” put it behind a podium and build an ad around it; How will this guy take on O if he can’t take the heat from Newt? They should take the cutout on the road with them to Newt rallies and continue to make the point.

Newt needs to capitalize on this because it clearly illustrates he is the one who doesn’t back down from the fight.

This was a strategic move, plain and simple, and most likely
a smart one for Romney and Santorum to make (although only time will tell). Gingrich is running out of momentum and money, he’s tanking in the polls and the MSM is re-framing the contest as Romney v. Santorum. Could that change? Of course! It has about ten times since last summer. But Newt needs a debate (actually as many debates as possible) to turn the trajectory of this contest around yet again.

Romney and Santorum know this and it is in the interest of both of their campaigns to cut Newt off as quickly as possible. For Romney, with Newt gone (at least no longer viable, even if he remains in the race after Super Tuesday), he can focus solely on carpet bombing Santorum safe in the knowledge that if he destroys Santorum, the not-Romneys largely have nowhere else to go (some will defect to Paul, but only a few). He’ll win by attrition. The “win” will be sobered by the fact that MANY conservatives will have given up out of disillusion rather than jumped on the Romney bandwagon (expect voter turnout to continue to decline) and Romney will have certainly NOT united the party. But, he will still have the nomination.

For Santorum, getting rid of Newt means he becomes the only not-Romney left standing. If he can withstand the Romney assault and corral enough of Newt’s supporters, well…who knows what will happen?

Some of you seem to forget: This is a conested campaign for the Presidency. It is not an Oxford-Style debate; nor is it a symposium a Hillsdale College. Winning the nomination is the end goal and strategy is extremely important to achieve that goal. These debates have long since ceased to be about discussing issues and policy. They are purely about showmanship: Who can appear the most commanding and “Presidential”, who can wow the audience, who can thrash his opponents best, pull off the most zingers, etc. But there is always a great risk involved too. The history of these debates shows how much they can alter the dynamic of the race. Would Gingrich have won South Carolina without them? Would Romney have won Florida (or at least by the margin he did)? Unlikely.

So, for the two men of what is now widely considered a two-man race (rightly or wrongly), debating with the third requires a utilitarian calculus. What do they have to gain by debating? They might successfully humiliate Gingrich, causing him to collpase even further and faster than he already is. But the odds of that are unlikely, given Gingrich’s relative debate strengths and the fact that they’ll be in Gingrich friendly country. What do they have to lose by not debating? Very little. They’ll be excoriated by Gingrich and his supporters as “cowards” (as we have seen on this blog!) But that’s about all. Any lofty argument that their refusal to participate deprives the voters falls flat. As Astroman said, there have been a gajillion debates. Voters have seen the candidates go up against each other plenty of times and have heard every conceiveable issue hashed out. Nothing of significance would be added by having another debate.

And, don’t doubt for one moment that Gingrich would do the same thing were he in Romney’s position. Yes, yes, he’s supposedly such a superior debater. That assumption was called into question after the two Florida debates. Please don’t whine to me about Romney’s “lying” as the cause of Gingrich’s poor performance. As I heard somewhere once, enough with the pious baloney! 😉 Gingrich bombed both times. Period.

That being said, I’ll concede that overall Newt is the best debater in the group. Nevertheless, were he the frontrunner and had the opportunity to cut off a potential rival by refusing to debate, he would do so in a heartbeat. Again, it’s about strategy and it’s about winning.

It seems very clear that they are to afraid to debate Newt in his home state right before the super Tuesday ….. WIMPS !!!

WELL, NOW NEWT HAS MONEY as well as a very precise startegic plan as to how to turn around our cess pit we call our country. And is everyone forgetting there’s the Arizona debate Feb. 22nd. ASTRO your man is gonna get clobbered by Rombo & Mr. Sweater vest will be as thoroughly vetted as Newt was. Santorum’s big Govt. voting is getting out there, his record with earmarks, the reason he lost his last Senate run, his support of Specter, Unions (yeah, these all scream conservative), etc. And for all that think that Adelson’s contribution was anything to do with helping Romney, look who he gave the money to – the Super Pac, who doesn’t have to stay positive & can say whatever it wants against Santorum or Romney. If he gave it directly to Newt it wouldn’t help nearly as much since Newt has said he’s staying positive. He just raised 2Mil in CA and he can run his own positive ads from that. And since other two candidates have Super Pacs – let the Pacs fight it out. NEWT IS ONLY ONE WITH REAL SOLUTIONS, PROVEN HISTORY OF CONSERVATISM, ELECTIBILITY AND ONLY CANDIDATE TO BALANCE THE BUDGET FOR THE NATION. Santorum & Romney have yet to tell us HOW they plan to do anything and have only SHOWN us that they’re more Dem-lites than Conservative. Newts message will get out there with or without debate in Georgia. Too bad for Astro Santorum & Romney haven’t figured out one yet.