Santorum on Trump debate no-shows: They're hypocrites
December 8th, 2011
05:52 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum on Trump debate no-shows: They're hypocrites

(CNN) - Rick Santorum scoffed at some of his fellow GOP presidential candidates on Thursday for turning down Donald Trump's debate invitation.

"Many of my opponents jockeyed to be the first to fly up to New York and use Donald Trump for a photo op and no doubt try and secure an endorsement," the former Pennsylvania senator said in a statement. "But when Donald wants to moderate a debate – they refuse to attend. That's what's so wrong with politics today – hypocrisy."

On Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the latest candidate to reject an offer to participate in a Trump-moderated debate to be held on Dec. 27. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have all declined to take part, as well.

Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are the only two candidates to formally agree to the debate, while Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has yet to announce her decision.

"At this critical time in our nation's history, just weeks before Iowan's cast this important vote – many of the other candidates want to hide behind TV ads and mail pieces," Santorum said. "We plan to be there front and center in person to debate Newt directly, and if it's just the two of us, we're fine with it."

Trump, who flirted with a bid for president earlier this year, holds a much sought-after endorsement and has so far played a high-profile role in the GOP race by meeting with several of the candidates.

"Donald Trump knows business and knows global markets – and we all know he'll be able to bring in a broad audience," Santorum said. "And let's be honest, at least Donald Trump will have more in common with the candidates than with vast majority of past moderators."

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Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Rick Santorum
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    This egomaniac couldn't get enough nods to be a candidate, so now he wants to drive the GOP discussion... give up Donald only NBC (IE. General Electric) really cares what you think.

    December 8, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. preprogrammed

    It's the only sense Rick Perry's made......Trump is not a person you want to give any credence to. He's a phony, pizza eating , adulterous, egotist. Anyone who is serious about running, should stay as far away from him and Sarah Palin as they can.

    December 8, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Jamie from Riverside

    Michelle Bachmann will decline as well; i'm pretty certain she has a book signing that day.

    December 8, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Mr. Santorum this is exactly why you only get 2% of Conservative votes.

    December 8, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. David

    Rick who???????

    December 8, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. nina

    No, Santorum, those bypassing this joke of a debate are not hypocrites. They have a thing called "dignity". Really, what is the difference between having Donald Trump moderate this debate versus Jerry Springer? Either way, it'll be fodder for Saturday Night Live.

    You demean yourself and your campaign, Santorum, by even giving Trump the time of day.

    December 8, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. John

    The One that are NOT showing up at Donald Trump debate are the smarter One. And that not saying much with the Candidates that are running. the two that going are just plain dumb.

    December 8, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Can't argue with that.

    December 8, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Willy Ball

    The man is correct about these folks not participating.I'm not a fan of Trump,but I going to guess that the President of the United States will go up against stronger foes from across the seas than what Trump throws at them in a "so called" debate!

    December 8, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. The LONE OKIE

    Trump really believes in his self importantce.. What does Bachman and Perrys religion say about marrige? Newt & Trump married 3 times.

    December 8, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. party_n_bulshiz

    get rid of all GOP and we will have a better society

    December 8, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    "Trump ... holds a much sought-after endorsement and has so far played a high-profile role in the GOP race by meeting with several of the candidates."

    Yep, he's a legend in his own mind, given that several recent polls show that a Trump endorsement would actually HURT a candidates chances.

    December 8, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. Orchid333

    Haha, these guys are so funny. They all want to rub elbows with Trump and at the same time distance themselves from having the "rich" in their pockets. Double-edged sword my friends...

    December 8, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |