CNN cancels GOP debate after Romney and Paul drop out

CNN has canceled a Republican presidential primary debate scheduled for March 1 in Atlanta after Mitt Romney and Ron Paul said Thursday they would not participate.

"Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential primary debate," CNN said in a statement. "Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate. However, next week, CNN and the Arizona Republican Party will host all four leading contenders for the GOP nomination. That debate will be held in Mesa, Arizona on February 22 and will be moderated by CNN's John King."

"With eight other states voting on March 6," Andrea Saul, spokeswoman for Romney, told the National Journal. "We will be campaigning in other parts of the country and unable to schedule the CNN Georgia debate. We have participated in 20 debates, including eight from CNN."

The Paul campaign also declined the invitation. Newt Gingrich was the only candidate that had been confirmed for the March 1 debate.

According to ABC News, Rick Santorum's campaign had not confirmed his participation.

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