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. Lerxt

    Thank goodness – the man is a cartoon character and having him moderate a serious debate would be like having Bozo the Clown referee a UFC championship fight.

    December 13, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. mary stephenson

    The debate cancelled before it ever was one. The debate was all hot air just like Donald.

    December 13, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. tonyl

    Trump is actually just trying to blow his own trumpet. This man is mentally sick. He needs to constant attention and has a inferiority complex, why he is always trying to explain how smart, rich and successful he is. The man is full of hot air.

    December 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. firebird9999

    You'd have to have an IQ of 10 to believe his reason for pulling out of the debate. The real reason, which should be obvious to all, is that it's an embarrassment to have the majority of candidates not wanting to participate. The idea of this joker moderating a debate is beyond laughable, and the idea that there are any people out there who would vote for "Candidate Trump" is just very, very sad.

    December 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    I hope he does run, so people could see once and for all that a builder of casinos, hotels, luxury apartments and golf courses is NOT qualified to run the country. Where people ever got the notion that this grossly inflated jackwagon is worthy of the highest office in the land is beyond me. He produces nothing of value.

    December 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. drod3

    Donald to Donald – YOUR FIRED!

    Gotta Love it

    December 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. bogusbunghole

    Get back in your clown car and drive away.

    December 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Rick

    When is the media going to learn that The Donald is a total flim-flam man and stop giving him any attention? As others said, he pulled out because he didn't want to be embarrassed when no one except the Newster showed up. The Donald is making too much money to want to run for president. He wants to stand on the sidelines and make ridiculous comments (like the birther crap).

    December 13, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Kebble

    Trump.. Mr trump to be on point. Is the best thing we have apart from technology
    & yall need to relies that.. And stop talkin about his hairdo, is if ya'll are 100% perfect,if ya-ll are stand the hell up and be counted...

    December 13, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. tonyl

    How foolish all the tea baggers feel? Their idol is looking like a nut case.

    December 13, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. drod3

    There was no room for the Donald and Gingrinch egos

    December 13, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Sue

    What does it take for this moron to realize he's nothing but a joke and a buffoon?! He may be great material for the late-night talk show hosts and comedians, but that's where his "claim to fame" ends! Truth be told, he needs a good shrink!

    December 13, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Politiccal Peg

    Egotistical windbag could not turn this to his advantage. So many jokes about it his ego could not take any of that. So he fired himself........No one can take him serious we all just want to see a bird fly out of that hair of his.

    December 13, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. m

    Anyone surprised at this? His potential independent run has Obama terrified. What a joke!

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Reasonably

    Fail. Next?

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. katy heys

    The Donald wasn't about to put himself in a situation where he would end up with only two debaters and egg on his face. He was dissed and he deserved it. Pompous jerk.

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. silvertop

    Dominican Mama 4 Obama's devotion to Obama is admirable, but you need to be more knowledgeable and informed before you go attacking others, including Trump's hair style.
    --
    "said he will not moderate the event to avoid a conflict of interest stemming from a potential independent presidential bid.
    --------
    That's a load of bull.
    The party got cancelled because NO ONE was coming."

    For your information, the candidates do not want to come for the exact reason he stated, no bull. Trump did say that he retains his right to run as an independent if the winner of the primary is not the one he wants.
    He's not my candidate, just like people to stick with facts. Defend Obama all you want, just stick with facts.

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. Lazenby

    Oh Goodie. Hope he actually does run as an Independent. Wonder what he'll call his independent party. "Hot Hair Blown"?

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Curt

    Looks good on Trump. Too bad he just won't admit the truth and admit that the others finally realized what a joke he was. Please CNN, no more Donald Trump coverage. By the way, is he ever going to show his tax records like he said he would if Obama's birth certificate was produced. Now that he's bragging in his new book about how rich he is, maybe he could pay back all the people that lost money when he's gone bankrupt before.

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Rmax

    HE IS SETTING UP A THIRD PARTY -– THE DUCK PARTY! He will go head to head with the Donkeys(DNC) and the Elephant(RNC).

    December 13, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I thought T-Rump told Bill O the clown on foreign owned media, that it was just going to be a ". . .chat . . ." with Newt, and forget Santorum.

    December 13, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    It's just as well. If you just look at the debates, not figuratively, but look at the stage, the podiums, the glitter; they seem more like a game show than any sort of serious discussion. Might as well have Pat Sajak host. What's Chuck Woolery doing these days? The show could be called "If you think what I did was bad, look at what they did!" More finger pointing than conclusive discussions.

    December 13, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Silly Baggers!

    "failed and very destructive Obama Administration"

    For once I would like one of these clowns or the clowns that post on here to gives us a list in great detail supporting this claim. And no just listing "Obamacare" does not prove anything especially when the law will not be fully active until 2014. I would really like them to tell us what specifically has failed or been destructive and why and I am confident they can't.

    December 13, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. GaLiberal

    Hope he does run. Trump has a sound plan to restore America to greatness. I would vote for a Trump/Gringrich ticket.

    December 13, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. tonyl

    You all have made him upset now. So he is going to get in front of the mirror and comb his hair. He thinks that he and his hair is gods gift to the world.

    December 13, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14