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. Casual

    I have to say......I LOVE IT!!!
    This man who's ego gets to the door before he does, needed this diss more than any other arrogant D-bag I know. I hope this put him a couple steps down finally. He is a legend in his own mind....who must not ever read any of the news outlets comments sections I suspect. If he had, he would have seen the climate on the subject of Donald Trump is stormy at the very least.
    Did I say I LOVE IT yet?

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. enuffsnuff

    Now if only he could just shut up!

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Maryann - Orlando FL

    Inside The Donald's head: "Yes, conflict of interest...that's the ticket, yeah, no one will notice that the candidates were too embarassed to participate.......they'll believe a 'conflict of interest' story....yeah...that's the ticket....after all, they watch my reality show, they'll believe anything."

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. oeblio

    He threw a party and no one bothered to attend. Now we get damage control spin.

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Indy

    This has nothing to do with the possibility of Trump running as an independent, it is because no one will participate and no one will watch. Trump has ruined the Trump name and has nothing left but TV and getting on CNN anytime he wants make fools out of the network.Trump will never run just like the last 30 years he has threatened to run but Americans are not looking for a reality TV slob to run the country anytime in the near future. His Apprentice show will enjoy the lowest ratings ever this coming year, and the best thing that could ever happen is Trump making an independent run and finding out just how much he is not wanted, but Trump has tiny cajones and would never run because he would never work as hard as a President has to work for the PEOPLE, Trump works for Trump.

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. SPQR

    OKay now it is time for Gingrich to get Trumps endorsement, which will cost Gingrich nomination.

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    A legend in his own mind.

    December 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. brownstain

    Get back in the clown car and drive away.

    December 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    What a joke this guy is.

    December 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. wowum

    WHY WHY WHY WHY? I was looking forward to watching Jon Stewart make fun of this debate hosted by Trump. sob*

    December 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. suan

    Would it be because no one else wants to play? Tucking his tail and running as i see it.

    December 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Just Me

    I really wish Trump would run for POTUS so that America can send him a message in no uncertain terms that they do not care for him like he thinks they do. His over sized ego needs to be popped.

    December 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. NoBS

    Only a near-extint white elephant and a pompus ass where left to entertain the ANOINTED REpublican Jack Ass, while all the other dimwits were attending teabagger events in Iowa. lol

    December 13, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. d

    "GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Do you get the point yet Donald? You're a joke! The most substantive debate? With only 2 candidates? Please exit to the rear Donald!!!"

    Well, the most substantive debate yet only had two candidates: Gingrich and Huntsman's debate yesterday. The problem with the Trump debate wasn't the lack of participation, it was that it would have had an unintelligent, arrogant clown for a moderator, and would've been even more shallow than the current debates.

    December 13, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    This bad hair man is truly delusional. Doesn't the fact that only two of the clowns accepted his invitation say anything about him and what sane people think about him?
    If anybody knows first hand about failures and destruction it's this idiot!!!
    Face it trumped we don't like you!!!!!

    December 13, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. max

    Running as Independent? Get real! He does not have the money to....liar!

    December 13, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. ThsIsNotReal

    The only reason "The Donald" cancelled this is because he got rejected.

    This is just like when a guy get s dumped by his girlfriend and then tell everyone "it was mutual" to save his ego.

    December 13, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Jeff

    This would have been the most watched debate? A debate between 2 candidates and a reality show host that appears on a cable channel I'm sure most of America is unaware if they even recieve, let alone whats on it, would top the numbers of a network debate containing all candidates and a respected moderator? How delusional can some people get?

    December 13, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. skip

    No one is listening to you Mr. Trump. You're loud, but your words fall on deaf ears.

    December 13, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. elgatoblanco

    I used to think this was just some silly man spouting nonsense... But more and more I realize with terror that this silly man is so twisted that he believes the stuff that comes out of his own mouth. I pray he is delusional enough to join the race as an independent. Split the conservative electorate. Hand the presidency to Obama.

    December 13, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Moe of Tennessee

    Have a party and no one shows up.... It's kind of embarrassing.... lmao!!!!

    December 13, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. gus

    This joker is all about self-promotion. Run as independent my ass – he knows he doesn't want to spend any of his money. He just wants media mileage and attention. What a bozo.

    December 13, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. David in Houston

    " 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."

    Yes, Donald...it had nothing to do with the fact that almost everyone declined your invitation...

    December 13, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. mfx3

    What a clown. He got his free air time, now he's running back to his reality show. Too bad Newt was so quick to accept, he's left standing there looking like the fool who didn't get the memo.

    December 13, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. lefty avenger

    You can't moderate an important fake debate like this when you are someone like Trump who eats pizza with a fork.

    December 13, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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