GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has rejected an invite to attend a Republican debate set to be moderated by real estate mogul Donald Trump later this month, he said Tuesday.
"I'm not participating," Romney said during an interview on Fox News. "I spoke with Donald Trump earlier today and indicated that we just can't make this debate."
Asked how Trump took it, Romney said it went over without incident.
"He understood my perspective and wished me well," Romney replied.
(Video of Romney on Fox News above, via Mediate)
Donald Trump, through a spokesman, sends over a response to Romney's decision not to attend the debate he is hosting.
"It would seem logical to me that if I was substantially behind in the polls, especially in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida, I would be participating in the debate. But, I can also understand why Governor Romney decided not to do it."
This isn't exactly the most searing criticism of Romney. But it's a swipe nonetheless.
On Monday, Trump said he wouldn't be bothered by their absence, calling them both "joke candidates."
Candidates Newt Gingrich, who met with Trump this week in New York, and Rick Santorum are the only ones to have confirmed their attendance to the debate, which will be sponsored by conservative outlet NewsMax and broadcast on the ION television network.