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. Robert

    BAWAWAWAWAWAWAW

    The Donald sucks big time. Show me your birth certificate.

    December 13, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. 4 More Years!!!

    Nice!!! Please run as an independent Donald Trump. This will all but assure Obama's re-election!!!

    December 13, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Jason

    Go home, Satan. Your spray tan is fading and the dead squirrel is leaking.

    December 13, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican Mama - I'm thinking bigger bowl ... yes?

    December 13, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. orlop

    Wow! does this guy follow through with anything? I don't believe anything that he has to say.

    December 13, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Jamie

    I suppose it's too much to hope for that he finally figured out that people only watch him for the Disaster In Progress value?

    December 13, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. kathy w

    Trump is like the (really annoying) little boy, who's off to the side, doing everything he can to get the attention away from where it belongs, and on to himself.

    December 13, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. D

    ..seriously Ive never seen a reacion like this from CNN' "posters"...Trump find a hole and crawl in at some point this has to wear on that needlessly outrageous ego...though Id like to add something...could it be that after all the years of old white men screwing with people is beginning to wear on people..think this speaks to a larger problem for white men...of a certain age and ideology...in short, there day is done...in the collective consciousness of the public..white men have become Homer Simpson

    December 13, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. dizzylucy

    Oh come on. It's obvious he's not doing it because everyone (but Gingrich and Santorum) basically laughed and called him a joke. Conflict of interest, ha!

    December 13, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Tony in Maine

    These are people who think they are ready to govern my country? ROTFLMAO

    December 13, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Byrd

    Does one less idiot in the GOP field really matter? I think not.

    December 13, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Connie

    Finally, Trump is put in his place - bowing out and going home. Now if only we can stop Mr. Rush (where's Obama's grades?) Limbaugh's insanity, maybe the world will be right again. The GOP is now officially a side show circus act. And all this talk about Gingrich vs. Romney; the votes in Iowa will be split between the two of them, and Ron Paul will win the Iowa vote. Watch.

    December 13, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. n

    Trump why don't u go back to your penthouse and shut up we are all tired of your BS

    December 13, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Okay, Donald,

    now show us your grades!!!

    December 13, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. katie

    HE'S ANOTHER WOMANIZER, explains why he and Newt are buddies, they share the same immoral infedilities.

    December 13, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. TexasAnnie

    I am sitting here in the Chicago airport listening to 4 businessmen from Germany talking about what a debacle the U.S. Republican primary election is right now. They're probably more informed than most Americans because they are actually discussing the issues & where the different candidates stand. And they're saying they feel NONE of the Republican candidates come off as being ready for the job of President. Say what you want about those from other countries– but the bottom line is this is how much of the rest of the world sees us right now.

    December 13, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. rude

    Good news indeed. His stupid hair was too much of a distraction from the stupid noise coming from the other candidates mouths.

    December 13, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Gabriel Hodz

    Wow! I guess Pat Sajak was available to host the debate after all.

    December 13, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Tom Rankin

    I had to put my hip waders on to get through this article.

    December 13, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. faboge

    Real reason why he is pulling out is because most Americans pulled out knowing what a big bufoon he is, its not because he thinks he can win any race, leave alone a presidential race!

    December 13, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Jake

    Another reality show bites the dust.

    December 13, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. BlackDynamite

    Sarah Palin has more political credibility than this clown
    BD

    December 13, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. DaveS

    Shocking! Though it would have made for an entertaining event. Since this was supposed to be about business, here's my replacement panel: Jeff Skilling, Jon Corzine, Brian Harrison of Solyndra, Tony Hayward of BP. I'm guessing most or all need or will need a job soon!

    December 13, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Did you hit a deer?

    "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"

    So by that you mean to say that if Ron Paul wins the nomination (and he just might) then you will throw your bad hairpiece in the ring to help Obama get re-elected? You have already said that although you like Ron Paul, He has zero chance of winning. I wonder if you understand Donald, that nobody takes you seriously anymore (as if they ever did) and that YOU have zero chance of winning support from the anyone? Your third party bid will garner less than 1% of the vote. You are horribly misinformed about the political workings in washington, stick to what you know........bankruptcy.

    December 13, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. Jeff

    I think it's safe to say a guy who's had to claim bankruptcy four different times should not be described as 'a successful businessman'. Don Trump is a caricature of a person, really, and I find it kind of embarrassing that he's such an attention hound that the rest of the world associates he and his silliness with how we practice capitalism. I wish he would save us the humiliation of being associated with him and just go away. Seriously? Don Trump even being mentioned as running for President should be embarrassing to all Americans.

    December 13, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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