If you can't beat 'em ... don't debate 'em.
Mitt Romney will skip
the final pre-Super Tuesday debate, scheduled for March 1 in Georgia to be broadcast on CNN:
"Gov. Romney will be spending a lot of time campaigning in Georgia and Ohio ahead of Super Tuesday," Romney press secretary Andrea Saul said in a statement. "With eight other states voting on March 6th, we will be campaigning in other parts of the country and unable to schedule the CNN Georgia debate. We have participated in 20 debates, including 8 from CNN."
Obviously, there's risk inherent in participating in any debate. But it seems to me the downside of skipping the debate is much larger: not only does it look like you are afraid of your opponents, it also suggests to voters that you don't take them seriously and aren't willing to do what it takes to earn their vote. And if Romney doesn't win Michigan the narrative could be severely bad for him.