Trump hits 'joke candidates' Paul and Huntsman
December 5th, 2011
10:27 AM ET
3 years ago

Trump hits 'joke candidates' Paul and Huntsman

(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.


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Jon Huntsman • Ron Paul
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. frag

    I think Gingrich and Romney will both live to regret doing this debate, if it isn't suddenly cancelled because of "scheduling difficulties"!

    December 5, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Me in MN

    Huntsman is the only worthwhile candidate the GOP has. The joke is that he's polling so low. My vote will go to Obama in '12 but I respect Huntsman. The joke is also the Donald, bloviating, making a fool of himself, switching political affiliations so he can always be the opposing party when a President takes office (as if he could win it himself). Donald, go file bankruptcy...again!

    December 5, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. emmy skadittle

    I really don't understand why the republican candidates are spending time pandering to this guy? It would seem that associating with a joke like trump, should hurt your campaign but I guess i will never understand republican voters

    December 5, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Scott Keller

    Kudos to Dr. Ron Paul for standing up and doing the right thing. All these debates are an absolute joke. The only republican that has a chance of beating Obama is Ron Paul. He is the only candidate that is talking about the Federal Reserve and their illegal activities over the past 100 years. Ron Paul can easily pull votes from the Occupy and Tea Party movements, something no other candidate has a shot of doing. I've been writing in Ron Paul's name for the past 3 presidential elections and will continue to do the same until this 2 party farce is exposed.

    December 5, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Pyrometman

    Trump is a fool. I see his attempt at moderating a debate as a conflict of interest anyways. It doesn't even have to be "clown-like".

    Anyways, his response to Ron Paul stepping away from his debate just shows that Trump would have been biased to his own views and would be using the opportunity to just attempt a beat down.

    Smart move for Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman to stay away. The rest, if they were smart, would also stay away.

    December 5, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Niki

    I think Trump is taking the spotlight away from legitimate GOP candidates – so he helps their cause by being the foil instead of the candidates. Without Trump, it'll be easier to see how flawed the GOP as a whole is.

    December 5, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. Curt

    The only thing thats more of a joke than Donald Trump is all the Republican candidates that for some unknown reason think its necessary to meet with him. Please, I beg you, stop giving Donald Trump any mention in your news. The majority of people don't care what he thinks !!

    December 5, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Jules

    Interesting that the two candidtes he calls jokes seems to be the only ones with any shred of integrity. Even though I don't agree with their views on many things, they don't seem to be the ones pandering to every special interest group.

    December 5, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. CJ

    I think all the candidates should be a no show.....this field of candidates is like a bad reality show , so turning it into a Trump reality show only makes it worse! This egootistical millionaire gives me the creeps and I would not watch this debate just because it is Trump! Good for Huntsman and Paul , shows some character over the other lot of crazies.

    December 5, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAhadists

    Trump is a joke. The little respect I had for him has long diminished. I respect Huntsman and Paul for turning down this spoof of a debate.

    December 5, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. political/journalism observer

    DUMP TRUMP
    A spokesperson with the Gingrich campaign said "there is a 2 p.m. press conference in New York, which would follow a meeting with Donald Trump".
    I believe having Donald Trump as the "moderator" of the Iowa debate crosses every line. The quote above and Trump's comments about both Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul as well as reports in CNN of favorable Trump positive comments about Newt Gingrich immediately disqualify Donald Trump from moderating this debate.
    CNN – keep your Journalistic Integrity!!! Have Trump comment after the debate as a former "flash in the pan", possible candidate if you must, but a moderator should have experience and at least a modicum of impartiality.
    jk

    December 5, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Gary Sartori

    If anyone is a joke, it's Trump!! Trump has been a joke since he went after Obama on the birther issue. I used to have a little bit of respect for Trump, but his massive ego has really turned me off!!

    December 5, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. greg4hobbit

    It does not matter what anyone thinks of Ron Paul or Gov. Huntsman. Trump is a crazy rich nut so the real question is why any of the presidential hopefuls would agree to be at a debate hosted by him? My opinion of any presidential hopefuls would suffer that shows up for this so called debate.

    December 5, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. mdn

    This is absurd. A real estate mogul, who has been bankrupt more than once, is hosting a presidential debate? Only the Republican could think of this. This sort of thing diminishes the republicans and the electoral process. Thankfully Paul and Hunstman recognize that and have stepped back. True that they don't have a real chance of becoming president, but they do elevate the discussion.

    How does Don Thump, who endorsed Obama in '08, get this kind of street cred with the republicans?

    December 5, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. CJ

    I agree with ME IN MN , Huntsmans the only worthwhile candidate in this bunch, so for me and my house I will vote for OBAMA in 2012. And I live in the south....go figure, I will vote for a smart and intelligent man , not a hate filled party that the GOP has become in this section of the country.

    December 5, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. rich

    who cares what trump has to say ?
    he is just another mouth piece, with a bad comb over !!

    December 5, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Perry

    Really? Trump is a joke!

    December 5, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Reason

    Trump is a joke... no serious candidate will participate in this debate with Trump as moderator...

    I give major Kudos to both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman to telling Trump, you're fired – lol

    December 5, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. MBSeattle

    Me too Donald

    December 5, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Adrian

    and Newt decided to attend and his decline begins NOW!!!! can we please just admit Ron Paul is awesome already?

    December 5, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Obviously Trump is thinking in terms of TV ratings and not substance, and he's confused as to which is more important to the country. What he wants is recognition and validation, and unfortuantely, he's manipulated enough of these fools to get both. By the way, when is he going to release his financial records like he promised?

    December 5, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Max

    Bully

    Trump has always being a bully, especially to those who disagrees with him. He is essentially like a miserable woman who stretches any argument beyond limits. He always stoke a quarrel with people who are bent on ignoring. The candidates who identify with Trump are showing how stupid one can be in any given situation.

    Again, it's all about promoting himself and we all know that he became rich on the backs of the less fortunate.

    Why don't the media just ignore Trump and move on?

    December 5, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. political/journalism observer

    DUMP TRUMP
    A spokesperson with the Gingrich campaign said "there is a 2 p.m. press conference in New York, which would follow a meeting with Donald Trump".
    I believe having Donald Trump as the "moderator" of the Iowa debate crosses every line. The quote above and Trump's comments about both Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul as well as reports in CNN of favorable Trump positive comments about Newt Gingrich immediately disqualify Donald Trump from moderating this debate.
    CNN – keep your Journalistic Integrity!!! Do not participate in this vaudeville act. Have Trump comment after the debate as a former "flash in the pan-joke candidate" if you must, but a moderator should have experience and at least a modicum of impartiality.
    jk

    December 5, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. the truth

    Really, HE wants to talk about an unelectible candidate. He dropped out of the race! He is only holding this event for publicity. Good for Paul and Huntsman for not attending the Donalds commercial for his TV show... Romney and Gingrich are the JOKE for agree to this debacle.

    The sad part of this, what Republicans don't realize, is that if they put their support behind Paul, he can win against Obama hands down. Romney and Gingrich will not pull in any votes outside the Republican base, so a vote for them is a vote for Obama.

    December 5, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Big Al, in Arkansas

    Ron Paul tells Trump 'No Thanks". Another reason Ron Paul is head and shoulders the best Presidential hopeful. Look at the others bow down to be graced by the Chumpster. No indecision on Ron Paul's part.......what a Leader. Newt would will end up be co-host on the Trump reality show.

    December 5, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
1 2 3