Planned Iowa GOP debate scrubbed

…you can read my thoughts on this below, in my earlier posting.

The Associated Press

DES MOINES — A planned debate sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa and Fox News on Dec. 4 has been scrubbed because a key candidate declined to attend, party leaders said.

“We are very disappointed that Iowa Republicans will not have the same opportunity as Republicans in New Hampshire, Florida and South Carolina had earlier this year with their Fox News debates,” Craig Robinson, political director of the state GOP, said in an e-mail.

Party spokeswoman Mary Tiffany said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee committed quickly to appear at the debate, but there was silence from the other candidates. When former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told party leaders Wednesday he would not attend, Fox canceled the event, Tiffany said.

The e-mail blamed “Mitt Romney’s unwillingness to participate” as the reason for the cancellation.

Gentry Collins, Iowa state director for Romney’s campaign, replied in a written statement that the decision to skip the GOP debate was based on scheduling conflicts.

“We will be participating in a Dec. 12 debate sponsored by the Des Moines Register, however, and we look forward to that opportunity to again meet with Iowa voters on the issues,” said Collins, noting that Romney has made 24 trips to Iowa.

Fox had planned to broadcast the Des Moines debate nationally in prime time.

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