Romney went on to slam some of the television networks involved in airing the GOP primary debates, insinuating that the GOP candidates were forced to respond to liberal attacks levied by the moderators. In total, seven debates were hosted by CNN, five by Fox News, three by MSNBC and NBC News, and two by ABC News. Bloomberg, CBS News, and CNBC also hosted a debate each.
The former Republican nominee urged supporters to “agree that we’re gonna do, you know, I don't know, eight debates, and we’re gonna, we’re gonna do one a month, and we’re gonna pick stations that are reasonable, it’s not all gonna be done by CNN and NBC, alright — I mean, we’re gonna try and guide this process so that it’s designed to showcase the best of our people as opposed to showcasing liberals beating the heck out of us.”
Additional debates had been scheduled after the final Feb. 22 contest in Mesa, Ariz., but Romney — then the frontrunner — announced that he would no longer participate. Romney's wife, Ann, told a crowd in Michigan that she had decided they would no longer participate.
"Maybe I should just do all the talking and let him just stand here and watch me," she said. "I've also decided no more debates. If we're going to do another debate, he's going to sit in the audience and watch me. And that'll be it."