Mitt Romney won't be at SC forum, Newt Gingrich will be

By Seanna Adcox

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 24 2011 4:48 p.m. MDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is not coming to U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's forum for Republican presidential hopefuls on Labor Day, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has accepted an invitation.

An organizer of the Palmetto Freedom Forum said Wednesday that Romney's campaign declined, citing scheduling conflicts. Gingrich's campaign confirmed Tuesday he would attend the Columbia forum.

Former DeMint state director Luke Byars says Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, Texas congressman Ron Paul, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will also be there.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani declined the invitation, citing a family conflict. Organizers did not hear from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin before Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline.

Invitations were based on White House hopefuls having a 5 percent or better showing in RealPolitics.com polls.

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