The Campaign Spot

Oh, Hey, Those All-Important, Race-Changing Debates? Nevermind.

In the final Morning Jolt of the week, an examination of Chris Christie’s acts of respect for Whitney Houston, whether Rick Santorum would be a gamble for the cause of limited government . . . and oh yeah, debate season appears to be over:

The March 1 Debate: Just Newt vs. the Moderator, No Holds Barred!

What if they held a debate and no one came? Now we know the answer: “Mitt Romney’s campaign said Thursday that he will not take part in debate, the final one before Super Tuesday on March 6. In addition, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is reportedly sitting it out as well, and Rick Santorum’s campaign says he’s likely to skip it too. CNN, confirming that Romney and Paul won’t participate, now says that it will pull out of the debate. ‘Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate,’ CNN said in a statement.”

Ben Shapiro seems to have whiplash from the sudden change in the perceived importance of debates: “There’s a good political reason for Romney and Santorum to pull out: they have nothing to gain. Santorum is running far ahead of where he thought he would be at this point in the race; Romney doesn’t want to give Santorum any more ammunition. Ron Paul would rather spend time fundraising and wearing tinfoil hats. The big question is: now the debates don’t matter? For months, all we heard was that debates were the best way to select our candidates. On that basis, we ousted Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Now debates have taken a backseat to basic campaigning.”

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