Trump pulls out of debate
December 13th, 2011
02:19 PM ET
10 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. RB

    Trump pulled out cus of a conflict of interest since he might run? lololol. What a lame excuse, he already said he wouldn't run for president. He was embarrassed cus the other candidates didnt want to show up to a debate hosted by a moron.

    December 13, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. james

    Remember when people thought Trump had class ? Turns out you cant buy that .

    December 13, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. ST

    If it is the time for jokes let us joke, time to be serious put the jokes aside. Does Trump understand that the process of getting the right candidate is a national issue which involves every voter? This man needs to be warned.

    December 13, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @tigerakabj: It is like a reality show isn't it? Complete with the fake lines and fights all geared to bring in the ratings (suck in the voters). Politics.
    @Lynda: I guess it is YOUR turn to crack me up today!!! Raise your hands! Bwahahahaha!!

    December 13, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Dan Halen

    This is just another one of a long, long string of failed enterprises at the hands of the bankruptcy king.

    December 13, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. tstorm

    I was hoping for this debate because the GOP candidates have been the craziest, most promiscous, least principaled of any Republican presidential candidates in US history. Having a huge bafoon like Trump give a debate to just a couple of the right wing dingbats would've been priceless. !

    December 13, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. midwest

    Perhaps the next debate won't be a total farce. The idea that anyone thought Trump as moderator just goes to show you just how dysfunctional the Republican/Tea Bagger Party is! The office of President of the United States used to mean something – it wasn't part of a reality show. We truly have dumbed-down America – sad to say.

    December 13, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. gramma nance

    Honestly, this has been my entertainment for the DAY! Way to go people!!! If anyone needs comedy writers...they are right here!

    December 13, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Trump got dumped by a bunch of chumps!

    December 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. David

    Darn!! Clown scholl is cancelled.

    December 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. RIcky Bobby

    You're Fired! ©

    December 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Patriot

    Poor Donald, always a bridesmaid (with an really bad fake tan).

    December 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Johnathan

    The GOP has Malaria fever right now, no sane-minded republican dare enter in this feeding frenzy of hate and lies until the fever subsides,until this malaria (tea party nuttery is over with). You will then see more rational and less "neanderthal-ish" republican candidates ...but only after Obama's 2nd term.

    Trump? He's a used car salesman. Period.

    December 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. gmh6419

    The ultimate GOP flip-flop....What a bunch of clowns

    December 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Non sequitor

    If Donald falls in the middle of the woods with no one around, does he make a noise?

    December 13, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Bill

    Trump you are pulled out because you only got 2 idiots to show up. You are nothing but hot air or is it 'h'air? 🙂

    December 13, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. noemi

    Trump is like a boil on the a$$ of humanity..... Enough said....

    December 13, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Patriot

    "Trump pulls out" what are things America wishes the donalds father did.

    December 13, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Brian Wicks-Woodland Hills

    Whom are you trying to hood wink ? Please explain why Nevada refused you a gaming license. Isn't it because of your questionable business practices ? God save USA if you become President.

    December 13, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. KAJD

    good riddance~

    December 13, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. Dennis1020

    Now he will have time to assemble and release his personal financial statements he promised after President Obama released his birth certificate.

    December 13, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. hwy911

    What a narcissistic idiot. He pulled out because nobody was coming, not out of any respect for the process. Go ahead, Trumpster, go ahead and run for POTUS. Make my day.

    December 13, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    every single comment posted here is negative toward Trump. And he is still thinking about running? Picture him in a windstorm with his toupee blown backward...revealing a tiny (and shrinking) chrome dome with grey sideburns. Now that image is funny. He already went bankrupt on other people's money, now hes bankrupt on his own. Its a beautiful country. Plenty of material here for Bill Mahre's Real Time, but I think the country has had enough of this guy. Take a look at his accomplishment out on the boardwalk of Jones Beach – it never got started and is now a boarded up mess. He never even returned the site to its former appearance.

    December 13, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. Ross


    You also have the right to go away, which would be the greatest service to America you could give.

    December 13, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. ..a laurel and hardy handshake..

    Stanley, it looks like CAIN and TRUMP have adopted SARAH DARLIN'S "RETREAT, DON'T RELOAD" MOTTO .

    December 13, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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