Sorry, Portland, There Won't Be a Presidential Debate Next Week

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It's official: The GOP candidates are done debating each other. The last planned debate, like the one before it, will likely be canceled.

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Reuters


As the Republican candidates continue their acrimonious squabbling, there's one thing they can apparently agree on: No more debates!

There was one last GOP primary debate on the schedule -- this coming Monday, March 19, in Portland, Oregon. But it looks like a boycott is afoot.

Mitt Romney is skipping the debate, his campaign said in an email -- he'll be campaigning in Illinois, which holds a March 20 primary, instead. Representatives from the Ron Paul and Rick Santorum campaigns said they weren't planning on attending, either. "It doesn't appear it will happen to us," the Paul campaign's Jesse Benton said in an email. Newt Gingrich's campaign didn't respond to a query.

The debate was to be cosponsored by PBS, the Washington Times, and the Oregon Republican Party. A statement on the party's website, dated last week, proclaimed "plans moving forward." A party spokesman didn't return a phone call seeking comment on those plans.

Oregon holds a May 15 primary. The last planned GOP debate, scheduled to be held in Georgia ahead of Super Tuesday last week, was also canceled for lack of participation.
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Molly Ball is a staff writer covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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