Romney latest candidate to say no to Trump
December 6th, 2011
04:46 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney latest candidate to say no to Trump

(CNN) - Donald Trump's Republican presidential debate took another hit Wednesday when White House hopeful Mitt Romney said he wouldn't participate in the event.

Romney is now the third candidate to decline Trump's invitation to participate in the event. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Rep. Ron Paul both said earlier this week they were skipping the debate, questioning Trump's seriousness as a political moderator.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have all said they'll be on the stage at the debate, which is slated for Dec. 27. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has yet to say whether or not she'll participate.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday in Arizona, Romney said the upcoming debate schedule was so crowded he had to say no to Trump.

"We've had requests for quite a few debates, we decided on two in December. The 10th and 15th and we're not adding any others in December," Romney said. "We'll look at January's request. I think we have ten requests for January debates. We'll probably do two or maybe three in January."

The former Massachusetts governor said he had spoken with the reality show host and businessman Wednesday morning to submit his regrets.

"We've already set our calendar in December and I communicated to Mr. Trump that that schedule is completed," Romney said.

In a statement to CNN, Trump cited Romney's declining poll numbers, but said he understood the candidate's predicament.

"It would seem logical to me that if I was substantially behind in the polls, especially in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, I would be participating in the debate," Trump said. "But, I can also understand why Governor Romney decided not to do it."

Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • Mitt Romney
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Too many debates... Cancell ALL of the remaining ones. They are a waste of time and a distraction.

    December 6, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Well, there goes T-Rump's endorsement.

    December 6, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Brian

    LOL Mitt is such a wimp, but good for him.. Ron Paul will be proven right not to have gone...

    December 6, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    After all, folks, Trump DID say that Romney had closed " a few small deals". At least Romney ahs the guts to hit Trump where it hurts, in the ego. Now if only the rest of the panderers will tell him to take a hike....

    December 6, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Stacey

    Good for Romney, Huntsman and Paul. Guess Trump the Carnival Barker will have to put on his circus with just three clowns!

    December 6, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Way to go Mr. Weathervane! Once again waiting to see which way the wind was blowing instead of tacking an actual stand.

    December 6, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. SPLAT!~

    Looks like it will be Satan and the God-Whisperers!~

    December 6, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Robert

    Ron Paul gets the last laugh in this...

    December 6, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. woodpile

    I heard Trump was planning "The Wife Swap" with Newt for the episode after "The Debate". Apparently the setting would be at some back country Bed and Breakfast in New Hampshire. Can anyone verify?

    December 6, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Expat American

    Trump is a real estate millionaire – yet with all of his wealth, he cannot afford a decent haircut. This should be a tell tale sign as to how he would govern as President of the United States.
    It doesn’t look like anyone wants to come to trumps birthday party – even with a big fancy cake and a bouncy castle. Looks like the Donald will need to keep throwing his toys out of his pram to anyone who will listen – well at least Bachmann will show up.

    December 6, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Straight Shooter

    It probably won't matter how many show up, as Trump likes to hear himself talk so much that none of the candidates will ever get to talk anyway.

    December 6, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Jake

    a seemingly "Presidential" maneuver. Good move, Romney! you just made the rest of the GOP field look really stupid! and for that I applaud you!

    December 6, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. Mr D

    These guys and girl need to wake up, or do they just want to hand Obama another term. To many debates and on top of that with Trump are they serious.

    December 6, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Name

    I wonder why presidential hopefuls wouldnt want to help promote the new season of Donalds reality show...the fact the he is moderating is a complete joke when another one of his companies just filed for bankruptcy again

    December 6, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Gino Martell

    Well good to those who have stated that they will not participate in Trump's Circus...

    December 6, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Smart move by Romney. Trump is crony capitalism personified.

    December 6, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Stephen in VA

    A debate with Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, and Perry with Trump moderating would be better than an episode of Family Guy. C'mon, don't tell me you wouldn't find it entertaining.

    December 6, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Indy

    All the candidates that go on a reality TV debate hosted by one of the most hated celebrities in the country deserve to lose millions of votes for degrading the Presidential process. Trump has been degrading the country far too long and this is just another one of his scams and the candidates will find out it could be one of the worst mistakes they make. It would not take much of a focus group to figure out this will be a joke that will cost the candidates dearly.Trump is known around the world as a big mouth blowhard and it is a disgrace for a Presidential candidate to bow down to this blowhard.

    December 6, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. woodpile

    How about a face off between Romney, Paul and Huntsman moderated by Jim Lehrer the day before Trumps Reality Debate?
    They could set a messy table for "the Donald" and really deflate his ego.

    December 6, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. James

    The Ringmaster and his parade of clowns. I will not vote for ANYONE that desperate to get that cheap attention. How sad this has become.

    December 6, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Shannon

    The carnival has come to town, it's called the Republican Party. The have turned the Presidential nominating process into a reality show. Is there any Republican out there with any ethics or integrity.

    December 6, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. made up my mind

    Good choice Mitt !!!! How can Trump talk about being behind in the polls when he is the biggest loser!

    December 6, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. WhereIsPalin

    Don't worry. Bachmann will be there. She can debate herself.

    December 6, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Dixie AZ

    Steven in VA Yes! I agree - highly entertaining.

    December 6, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Sirned

    Good for you Mitt.

    December 6, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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