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Mitt Romney: I'm in Monday's Tampa debate

Mitt Romney will be in Tampa on Monday night for the GOP presidential debate on the campus of USF. His campaign confirmed his plans to the Tampa Bay Times this morning after he took flak from Newt Gingrich on Friday for not committing.

Philip Rucker of the Washington Post quoted Romney saying this morning in South Carolina, "Yeah, yeah, I'll be doing the debate on Monday."

Gingrich pounced on Romney's indecisiveness Friday, saying that if Romney didn't show, it would "become a running joke."

"Romney can't claim that he's prepared to debate (President Barack) Obama if he's not prepared to debate Newt Gingrich," the former House speaker said. "So I'm confident he'll be there Monday night."

And now we know he will be.

The 9 p.m. debate is being hosted by the Tampa Bay Times, NBC News, National Journal and the Florida Council of 100. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will moderate, with a panel including Times political editor Adam C. Smith.

Watch it on NBC or streamed live on No public tickets are available.

We'll provide play-by-play of the night with live tweets courtesy of the staff from @PolitiFact and @PolitiFactFL. While you're watching, tweet your debate reactions to @PoliticsTBTimes, and we'll feature the best insights in our digital coverage on

The USF Student Government is hosting a debate watch party at USF Tampa on the western end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza lawn. The party will open to guests at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Posted by Amy Hollyfield