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Ann Romney: 'No More Debates

Think you've seen all the debates you can handle? Try being a candidate's spouse. Ann Romney said Saturday in Michigan that she's had just about enough. The comment drew laughs from the crowd but given the seemingly endless battle royale between Republican presidential hopefuls, Mrs.Romney may be serious in adding her comments to a growing opinion among party insiders and onlookers who believe that the debate season has had far more of a detrimental than positive effect on the party. The Hill reports on Mrs. Romney's comments while introducing her husband before his speech to the conservative group Americans For Prosperity Saturday:

"'I've also decided no more debates,' Ann Romney said to laugher in her introduction of her husband. 'If we do another debate, he's going to sit in the audience and watch me.'

The Republican field has battled itself in more than 20 debates and forums since the early months of 2011. As the wide array of candidates has steadily been narrowed the attacks have grown more intense and personal.

Ann Romney joked Saturday that she should 'do all the talking' for her husband, who has been criticized for his gaffes on the campaign trail. In a speech in Detroit on Friday, the candidate tried to show his support for the American auto industry by naming the American cars his family owned. But when he said his wife 'drives a couple of Cadillacs,' critics said he sounded out of touch with less wealthy people.

'Maybe I should do all the talking and let him just stand here and watch me,' Ann Romney said Saturday."

POLITICO's Maggie Haberman notes that Ann's offhand comment about her own public speaking ability "of course, is something many have said about the Romneys as a couple - that she has much more warmth on the stump, and appeal to crowds, than her husband does." Haberman writes that given this public perception, Mrs. Romney's comments were "all the more surprising" when "vocalized."

Concerns were raised as far back as October questioning whether the absurd number of nationally televised debates were a benefit to the candidates or the current President.

Another CNN GOP debate had been scheduled for March 1 in Atlanta, but after three of the four remaining GOP candidates backed out last week, CNN canceled the debate. 

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