By Barbara Ann Kelley,

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – After weeks of speculation presidential candidate Mitt Romney publicly stated Saturday morning that he will participate in Monday night’s televised NBC GOP debate at USF.

Dylan Byers of is reporting that Romney ended the intense speculation this morning in Greenville, South Carolina by saying, “”Yeah, yeah, I’ll be doing the debate on Monday,” and adding “Yeah, I’m in.”

Before today, Romney never had formally accept or declined the invitation to the debate. This noncommittal left NBC scrambling at the last moment to reassure the public that Monday’s televised debate would still happen, even though the network still had “Fear Factor” and “Rock Center” listed as airing in the debate time slot.

Romney may have been trying to keep people guessing up until the last moment to keep the public eye on him and to foil plans of any large-scale protests that may have been planned.

Florida’s first presidential primary debate of 2012 will take place Monday night at a small theater on the campus of USF. It will be broadcast live in Tampa Bay on NBC affiliate WFLA between 9:00pm – 11:00pm Monday, January 23.

Debate hosts will be: NBC News, National Journal and Tampa Bay Times
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33617


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