Mitt Romney to skip Nevada 2012 debate next month

Holly Bailey

Mitt Romney's campaign announced Tuesday he won't appear at the next scheduled 2012 GOP debate, set for next month in Nevada.

The forum, sponsored by The Daily Caller and Americans for Tax Reform, is scheduled for July 10 in Las Vegas against the backdrop of the Conservative Leadership Conference.

But Romney aides said Tuesday the GOP frontrunner won't be there--though he does plan to attend six other debates between now and the end of October, including a CNN debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 18.

Romney aides declined to elaborate on why he's skipping the Daily Caller/ATR forum. It could partly be visibility: The debate is set to air on YouTube, but, as of now, won't be aired by any major TV networks. So far, the only 2012 GOP candidate to confirm attendance at the event is Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain.

But the former Massachusetts governor's decision could also be driven by his campaign's desire to limit his exposure in what could be potentially unfriendly forums.

Still, Romney did reconfirm he'll participate in an Aug. 11 debate in Iowa sponsored by Fox News and the Iowa GOP--even though he's skipping the state's GOP straw poll that week and has hinted he won't campaign much in the state.

(Photo of Romney: John Moore/Getty Images)