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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @silvertop:
    Do you really believe that He With The F'd-up Hair is going to run as an independent, or as an anything for that matter? The same guy that has yet to produce his financials after he promised to do so? I won't accuse you of being "unknowledgable", but I will say that you're displaying ann inordinate amount of naivete.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    December 13, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

    Good picture of Trump's hairdo. I thought it was something more sophisticated than mere hairpiece (whig). Not really, just something glued strongly to his bald head. A trademark, though. Trump without his exquisite haripiece? Unthinkable.

    December 13, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. mm

    He pulled out because there wasn't anyone to play with. Ha!

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

    This pathetic excuse for a man has yet again embarrassed himself and his family and virtually anyone who knows or works for him.

    He is absolutely IRRELEVANT in this entire process and most anything else. He is incapable of telling the truth about virtually anything even when the truth is easier to tell.

    Go AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Thomas

    With all of his money , you would think Trump would go to a barber instead of a pet groomer !

    He looks like a Poodle left out in the rain , nice hair !

    December 13, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Toni

    Squigman said it best!!! LOL

    December 13, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Tom

    "sit on it and spin" – Rosie!

    December 13, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. jim

    if he actually DOES run as an independant, he will guarantee a victory for obama.

    December 13, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Tony

    Please God, give this man laryngitis until...mmm...Christmas 2012!

    December 13, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. maggie

    "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!"

    Ha! Courage? Santorum would attend the opening of can and Gingrich would get there before the can did. Most watched? Nah. Most ridiculed? uh, huh.

    December 13, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. nancy graice

    This is the worst news I've heard today. I genuinely looked forward to the circus that would have been! Newt Santorum? Ick! Don't get any on you!!!!!!

    December 13, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. CdnJIm

    Please re-write headline: Clown quits after Circus cancelled.

    December 13, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. open400

    Al the GOP has to do if they want to try to win is run Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels and say "the economy still sucks."
    This Trump debate makes the GOP look like a bunch of fools. Why – for the love of God! – would you want to have a debate with the moderator possbily thinking about running as an independent?

    December 13, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. paul

    An ego bigger than his hair piece in a headwind. Donald, please run as an independent and let the public vote on whether they think you are "presidential" material.

    December 13, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Y

    Didn't get to say "you're fired"? Bohooo. No audience, no show!

    December 13, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. 9bye9bye9

    Trump is a disgrace to humanity.

    Everything he says is fascist and pro upper class and anti middle class.

    December 13, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Badger66

    I wish Trump's daddy had pulled out.

    December 13, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The fact is Trump's not running. Only a fool would believe otherwise. There's more money to be made in his other schemes and that's all Trump the Dump is about: scheming and wheeling.

    December 13, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. maggie

    Trump pulled out because his made a horse's behind out of himself. He is no more running for president in the future than he was in the past. He would never, ever survive that scrutiny and his ego couldn't take a tenth of it. That he continues to potentially throw himself in the ring demonstrates just how delusional he is. Just reading his statements makes me wonder just how thick the man's skin really is and whether he ever looks in the mirror. His wife must be so embarrassed.

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

    Donald Trump might not have hair or bold all I care but the man knows how to make money. He fed up with all these candidates saying only what you want to hear. The way the economy is going nobody has a right frame of mind to put this nation back on the right track. It is all about money. You must have a plan and to know how to make money to stimulate the economy and put the american people back to work. So Obama was popular but never done what he promised. Nobody knows more than Donald Trump. Don*t under estimate your opponent because he or she does not appears the way you want. When you think you know how, then run. Don*t try to bring someone down. To me that is what is wrong, we always too quick to blame but what we all need is someone knows how. Without the economy this nation is heading south. Donald you got my vote.

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

    these guys have made a mockery of u.s. politics. sad, that in a country of over three million, this is the best we can do? join me next year and vote them all out.

    December 13, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. jamie2334

    Trump is nothing but a Bigot. He needed to pull out before he started.

    December 13, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Chris Scott

    Trump decided to cancel his debate because only two of the eight republican candiates committed to attend. Need more than two clowns to fill up the car.

    It shows how irrelevant he is outside of reality TV even to the likes of Bachman et al; I would put him somewhere behind the Kardashians.

    I have no doubt his monstrous ego is irreparably harmed. Poor poor Donald.

    December 13, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. ivan

    How come people do business with this guy who always breaks his word? He makes money and I can not figure out how anyone would want to do business with him.

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

    This guy is an idiot.

    December 13, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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