Trump pulls out of debate
December 13th, 2011
02:19 PM ET
8 years ago

Trump pulls out of debate

(CNN) - Donald Trump pulled out of the debate he was scheduled to host on Dec. 27 with conservative media organization Newsmax, according to a statement from the real estate mogul.

Trump, who considered a Republican presidential bid earlier this year, said he will not moderate the event to avoid a conflict of interest stemming from a potential independent presidential bid.

"It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate," Trump said in a statement. "Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate."

Republican candidates Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, agreed to participate in the debate, but Trump said other candidates declined because of his potential run.

"I would like to thank Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for having the courage, conviction, and confidence to immediately accept being a part of the Newsmax debate," Trump said. "I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!"

Responding to the announcement on Tuesday, Santorum said he was looking forward to a match with Gingrich at the debate.

"The media has anointed Newt as the frontrunner, isn't it time he go toe to toe with the consistent conservative alternative? The people of Iowa deserve as many opportunities to hear from the candidates as possible, because while Obama is beatable, we have to elect a conservative nominee who's record is a clear contrast to the President's," Santorum said in a statement to CNN.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who's met with Trump multiple times, was widely expected to attend the debate but made headlines last week when she declined the invitation.

On Tuesday she explained her decision, saying the debate ultimately wouldn't be worth her time given that only three candidates would be facing off on stage.

"It wasn't going to be a real debate," she said on Sean Hannity's conservative radio talk show. "There was no point in it."

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus took issue last week with Trump's impending role as moderator, calling into question his potential run as an independent and saying he would understand if some 2012 candidates turned down the offer.

"I think that having a successful businessman serving as a moderator has a lot of value but the issue here is whether the moderator should be a person who is still batting around the idea of running as an independent," Priebus said on Fox News.

Also see:

Gingrich, Huntsman's friendly foreign policy debate

Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney

Cheney: Don't underestimate Gingrich

Santorum counting on Iowa


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. huh?

    "I think that having a successful businessman serving as a moderator has a lot of value"

    WHAT?!?!? You mean a guy who had a dad that was a multi multi millionaire and ran multiple companies into the ground, having to declare bankruptcy multiple times to get out of those debts.

    THAT is a successful businessman? These people are CRAZY!

    December 13, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. ddblah

    Oh, no! The world is going to end today!

    December 13, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. drdiane50

    Oh puhleeze!!!!!!! Why was ANYONE taking any of his nonsense seriously? Trump is a grade A buffoon, and the mainstream media, and the public, should NEVER have given him a platform for any of his ludicrous rantings.

    December 13, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. V in Chicago

    This is so funny. Trump didn't "pull out". Everyone but Santorum (who is desperate for attention) and Gingrich (enough said) were the only two desperate enough to show. Trump was dumped!!

    Nice spin though, Donald. This way it makes it look like you're calling the shots – NOT!!

    December 13, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. TexMan

    Too bad his father did not pull out when he had the chance.

    December 13, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. RB

    I'm surprised he didn't trot out his daughter to make the announcement like he's done in the past. She must have been "washing her hair" today.

    December 13, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. TheCynic

    "noemi

    Trump is like a festering boil on the butt of humanity....... Enough said!!!!" <- So very true!!!

    In my opinion, most of the political system in this country has been reduced to idiots and biggots. These men seriously want us to consider them for President??? What a joke. What has this country come to??????? The way these men represent themselves on and off TV disgusts me.

    December 13, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. nathan

    He pulled out because everyone blew him off. Period.

    December 13, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Mike

    Donald, your FIRED!

    December 13, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. carly

    Gee what a surprise. another publicity stunt by this nutcase.

    December 13, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. mary

    The thought that this guy could ever become president is scary.
    He is thin skinned, hostile and everything is about money... He would run the United States like a corporation..
    Deal with other countries only on issues where the bottom line was about money..
    Scary.. Because where would compassion and humanity fit in? No where..

    December 13, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Tonald Drump

    "Trump pulls out." -> Not quite coitus interruptus. He's not done screwing with us.

    December 13, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. bry55

    Trump's ego must really be hurting.

    December 13, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. max

    I never understood why someone would declare Trump the kingmaker except as a publicity stunt. Those repubs that went to visit him initially should be seen as too stupid to be president.

    December 13, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. ObamaJoe

    Mitt Romney made a very wise decision ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    December 13, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Rebecca

    Boycott everything Trump!!!! He's an outright racist and is proud of it. Don't watch his shows! Don't watch his pageants! Don't stay at his hotels! BOYCOTT TRUMP!!!

    December 13, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Pat

    Hopefully we will have Gin Grinch as GOP nominee(MR corrupt) and Donald(Mr Bankrupt) running as independent. It will make great entertainment to have an serial adulterer and this fake hair piece.

    December 13, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Obamajoe

    it's a miracle,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,he is still talking without shame,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    December 13, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. noemi

    What a joke he is he's like a boil on the ass of humanity.

    December 13, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Dee

    Ron Paul was correct; Trumps's presence diluted the legitimacy of this process.

    December 13, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. erich2112x

    The great puller outer.

    December 13, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. King

    When Trump was a child he bahaved like a child, but now HE a man bahaves like a child. Foolish...Very foolish.

    December 13, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Bigfella

    Let's be honest. Without all the candidates, no one will watch and in turn, no money will be made. Isn't that what Trump is all about. He can milk the whole independent thing until next November, he will be in the news until then. The guy ain't no dummy, except when it comes to running for president.

    December 13, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. SixDegrees

    Uh – it was his debate to begin with. He organized it. And he's pulling out because there simply isn't a debate; everyone invited declined but for two, and there is little doubt those two would have bailed by the end of the week anyway.

    Are the Democrats paying Trump? 'Cause it sure seems that way.

    December 13, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Nick-o

    No Donald, nobody wanted to come to your little party, so you had to cancel in order to save your fat face

    December 13, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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