If the GOP held a presidential debate and barely anyone attended, would it still be a debate? The AP and Reuters are the latest to duck out of tonight's South Carolina debate, Politico reports. A number of prospective candidates, including Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels, and Mike Huckabee, had already opted to sit it out.
The debate, co-sponsored by Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party, has "restrictions placed on media access" that "violate basic demands of newsgathering," the AP complained yesterday. Photos will only be allowed before, not during, the event, leading both the AP and Reuters to decline to photograph the event. The AP will not cover it at all, while Reuters has not said whether it will file a story. Only Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum will be participating, notes the State. (Read more Associated Press stories.)