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. Alan Smithee

    "It will be the biggest pull out known to man," said The Donald. "Bigger than Viet Nam, bigger than Iraq, bigger than Ernie McCracken ever pulled out."

    My compliments to anyone that gets that last one. Great film.

    December 13, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. ksheets

    Donald Trump is nothing more than a pompoous ass. For him to even think that he could win a presidential election is so laughable.

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Dave C.

    Having a reality TV host host a debate would be mocked by the rest of the free world. This preserves the tradition in our respected political system, IMHO.

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. OGOL

    ahhhh ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Sandra

    Trump was left wearing his prom dress and no one was coming! What a dilusional fruit loop! Jon Stewart will be so disappoinred! That "debate" would have provided weeks of entertainment!

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Good... We don't need him doing this. Never should have been invited in the first place. Elections should not be reduced to reality TV BS.

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. JimAR

    Run, Donald, Run!

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. george of the jungle

    well I guess he got all the publicity he wanted out of that mess. Are done with him yet??? He and newt are so full of them selves. Go ahead and run donald . love to here your stupid answers to the worlds problems. Oh will you sign a pledge to be faithfull???

    December 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Steve

    So even Trump acknowledges that the debate was a stupid idea from day one.

    What does that say about Gingrich and Santorum?

    December 13, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    So, let Santorum and Gingrich conduct their own Lincoln/Douglas debate, instead.

    December 13, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Crook County, IL

    "..but Trump said other candidates declined because of his potential run." No you pompous windbag, you backed out because only two people were willing to kiss your...um.."ring". I believe my candidate, Jon Huntsman, declined because per Jon: "I believe that the presidency of the United States of America is beyond reality shows … this is a joke."

    December 13, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Russ139

    The chief Clown, of the Clown Party.

    December 13, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Don B

    But he does need air-time because his brain is lacking oxygen, just not the media hype he is given. However, ratings are more important than reporting on something more sensible

    December 13, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. No Bush

    He may run for president! But, only Newt and Santorum will vote for him!!

    December 13, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. G.G.

    #Brian. Shouldn't that read "and stop giving him" hair" time"?

    December 13, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Alex

    Elvis has left the building!

    December 13, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. keeth

    Run, Trump! Run! Fail, Trump! Fail! (the latter is assured)

    December 13, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. JimAR

    Donald Trump/Christine O'Donnell 2012!

    December 13, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Pan3

    What an ego-maniac!

    December 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Lisa

    The Big Top closed before it ever got erected! He may have been right - it very well could have been the most watched ... but not for the reasons he thinks.

    December 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. closetiguana

    I wonder if he even believes his own B.S. Who am I kidding? Of course he does.

    December 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Columbus

    The Donald is our modern day P.T. Barnum, his primary objective is to make money. Although there isn't much left, lets keep what little dignity in our presidential selection, as we can.

    December 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. tigerakabj

    Dominican mama 4 Obama, that's what I was thinking.

    I'm upset that Ronney, Bachmann, and the others didn't want show though. This has been one of the few reality tv shows that I am watching from start to finishing without getting bored. Everyday it's something new. For example, today Romney is blaming Democrats for the unearthing of his 2002 video in which he says that "I'm a moderate and progressive." Now Democrats are mind-control time travelers. It's a real hoot.

    I look forward to voting for President Obama again next year and helping him keep the WH, get back the House, hold the Senate, and reclaim statehouses nationwide.

    December 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Rick

    Donald: "You're fired".

    What a freaking moron this guy is. I hope he runs for President, though. His family will vote for him as well as every person who ever won The Apprentice. That will be about it.

    December 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. me

    How does this guy get people to keep printing his name?

    December 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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