(CNN) – Donald Trump stoked an ongoing back-and-forth with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul Monday, dismissing Paul's decision to skip a presidential forum he is set to moderate in December.
Trump said the choice by Texas Rep. Paul and rival candidate Jon Huntsman not to attend will result in a better event.
"I think most candidates are going to join, and I think these two candidates have zero chance of getting elected, so it makes no difference," Trump said Monday on NBC's "Today." "I think that they are joke candidates and they are doing very poorly."
"Frankly, it gives more air time to people that really have a chance at getting elected," Trump added.
The reality show star, who decided against his own presidential bid in May, is set to host a debate, with the conservative Newsmax magazine Dec. 27 in Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state. Paul and Huntsman are the only candidates thus far to announce they will not attend. The other contenders have yet to formally declare their decisions.
Trump's comments comprise the latest jabs between him and Paul, which started during the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. During his speech Trump said Paul, who is making his third bid for the White House, had "no chance" of winning the GOP presidential nomination.
Paul rebutted the remarks at the time and after the debate announcement last week said the Republican Party could be hurt by allowing Trump to moderate the final debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.
During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, the twelve-term congressman told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that he doesn't "understand the marching to his office."
"I don't know that he had the ability to lay on hands and anoint people," Paul said.
The comments come as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich becomes the fifth potential Republican nominee to visit Trump in New York.
Trump said Gingrich's recent rise in national and state-wide polls is due to his blunt and truthful rhetoric.
"I think one of the reasons he's surging, he's like a rocket ship because of the fact that he says it like it is," Trump said.
– CNN Associate Producer Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.
How low can the GOP go.....? Answer is, pander to a loudmouth birther with a bad combover. Huntsman and Paul hit it right on the head. This clown thinks he's a kingmaker. In reality, he's an anchor that will hurt more than help
This I told long time ago saying GOP is full of bunch of Rich Clowns, that destroyed this nation....they are for filthy Rich, Corporate and Oil idiots, not for you Middle Class America, not for you Middle Class America....Obama2012.
He's calling others "a joke"?! Pathetic. Just how is this person so prominent? Hasn't he failed a number of times in his businesses? What does he do?
Not sure what the fascination with Donald Trump is for GOPers. No doubt CNN and other news outlets will eventually get to the story behind its "hero worship" Trump reporting.
One can only hope some of the candidates do agree to participate. The comedic value will be priceless!
Couldn't somebody tell Trump to stay in his tasteless gold/plastic tower and never talk in public again?
Hey Republican stooges, Bwah-ha-ha-ha! It must be really embarassing to have this loser drawing so much attention to your collection of psycho presidential candidates.
You can redeem yourself by nominating John Huntsman, the only adult candidate.
The real "joke" is that all of them, including Trump, are jokes.
Paul has no chance? He's running 2nd in Iowa and 3rd in New Hampshire. What the heck kind of "no chance" is that? Paul has the 3rd strongest warchest, behind only Perry, and he's got volunteers up the wazoo.
Sorry Trump, just because you say it 10x out loud to yourself doesn't make it true.
Donald Trump is the joke. This man is a waste of space, walking human garbage. I don't know why you give this man any of your time. He's lower than pond scum. Anyone who goes to that debate is desperate.
Takes one to know one. Whether you agree with Hutsman or Paul, at least they're not self-promoting blowhards trying to get their face on the news. They have serious proposals and represent viewpoints that are different and provide options to the GOP field and voters. Trump isn't fit to walk in their shadows.
Trump is an embarrassment to the country as an entertainer...he should have nothing to do with the office of the President! His birther witchhunt, his toying with a Presidential run as a way to gain publicity...it is a travesty toward the revered office.
when is the kabooki repug clown show is going to end. trump the bither investigation guru is going to take serious matters of running the country serious, are you kidding me. trump is the lyingest repug out their, he might give baukman a run for her money in that department. when do trump have ever taken politics serious, oh i forgot, its only when it put money in his pocket with his kabooki theatre antics he love to ram down the gullible in america throught.
Bigger jokes than Trump's candidacy? I think not.
Trump is wrong...
They are ALL jokes...including Trump himself...
This is the black hole the Republicans are in: they spin encouraging employment news against President Obama; their lead candidate is Newt (Mr Cheater) Gingrich; and Donald Trump is a Republican power broker. These buffoons are going to save our country?
Trump you cannot be trumped as the biggest loser and joke of them all.
Have your investigators been found in Hawaii yet? Where are your tax returns.
I would love to see this comb-over clown try to have an intelligent debate with Ron Paul.
Trump is the ONLY reason I won't be watching that debate.
The circus is coming to town. If it wasn't tragic, it would have been funny. Delusional and Megalomaniac are we!
What an egomaniac!
I dislike Paul's and Huntsman's politics – both are Republicans, but Trump couldn't fetch coffee for either one. He, not they, is the joke.
Agree – whatever Donald Trump points to as a 'good' candidate is circus side-show material. In truth – Donald Trump is a leading indicator of 'bad'.
Donald Trump is one that voted for Obama and one of the millions that realizes today that it was a huge mistake! The Debate without Huntsman and Paul WILL be better because it will allow the real front-runners, Gingrich and Romney more time to discuss the substantive issues affecting our Country
Trump made an absolute fool of himself this morning on MSNBC, as only Trump (or Gingrich) can. You can see it on
their web site. One thing he 'argued' about was the report that anybody he endorsed would lose voters. He
As Americans, we are being laughed at by the rest of the world due to these fools making a mockery of the election to the highest office in the nation, perhaps in the world. Then they wonder why we are losing respect around the world.