The Romney campaign has not yet committed to Monday’s NBC debate.
This week, Romney strategist Stuart Stevens told the Washington Examiner that the campaign was becoming wary of debates. The Tampa debate would be the 18th major debate of the primary season, though just the second among the four remaining candidates — Romney, Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
“There are too many of these,” Stevens was quoted as saying. “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.”
What is going on? This would be political suicide. Romney would lose Florida and then be a laughing stock. I posted on Redstate my belief that once Romney’s electability was questioned that he would be done as a candidate. But you would think he try to find traction among Northern voters, so why scuttle your campaign before trying?
Could Romney know he is doomed and be thinking of running as a Third-Party Candidate? I doubt this, but what is his campaign thinking? Sure Newt has been dominating the debates, but to skip a debate? It looks cowardly. Of course, Romney was the only candidate unwilling to debate Newt one-on-one.
I have to say, it would be a much more interesting race if Romney were to drop out. Gingrich versus Santorum. But, alas, I assume Romney will show up anyway. If he doesn’t debate. I’m sure he will say “I have to work to release my taxes by Friday Night excuse”.