Trump pulls out of debate
December 13th, 2011
02:19 PM ET
11 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. Buster Bloodvessel

    I guess it's up to Charlie Sheen now to moderate the next debate, which will be held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas. Each candidate has to do a shot before answering. Rick Perry will go home early.

    December 13, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Dave

    The word for the day is megalomanic.

    Megalomania is a psycho-pathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, or omnipotence.

    Yep, that is The Donald

    December 13, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Donald in CA

    The clown finally realized he was a clown. Mr. I, I, I is part of whats wrong with america. Maybe he can be newts vp. Then we can really have a circus atmosphere at the white house.

    December 13, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. jim

    Lame excuse is lame.

    December 13, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Bigwilliestyles

    Palin, Perry, Cain, Trump; and the winner is: Newt Gingrich? Tell me repubs, how on earth do you plan on getting the vote of the women to put a serial adulterer and his latest squeeze in the white house? This I gotta see. This and more on The Republican Clown Car Show; stick around!

    December 13, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |

    ".......but Trump said other candidates declined because of his potential run."
    The other candidates did not decline because of your potential run, they declined simply because you are a clown Mr. Comb-Over Trump. What it did show is how shallow the two candidates who accepted your invitation really are. Your debate would have been like watching a three ring circus. I must admit I was looking forward to watching, so it may indeed have received high TV ratings, everybody loves a circus!

    December 13, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. NoneOfTheAbove

    The Republican nomination process resembles shampoo instructions in New York: Lather, Reince, Fuggitabouddit!

    December 13, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    "He was not going to be debating them, he was going to moderate the debate. Raise your hand if you comprehend the difference."
    Anyone else out there who seriously believes that Donald Trump would sit still, all nice and quiet, during an entire 2-hour live broadcast on national television?

    December 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. terry

    Is there anyone on Earth more full of himself than this quitter, bankruptcy (x3) windbag??????

    December 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Surf_Dog

    Other than Newt and Santorum, no one else is coming to his party.

    IOW, Mr. Trump is saying that the party has been cancelled. The thing is, he doesn't want it said that way.

    Truth is, this man has no credibility after the birth certificate bluff went so terribly wrong for him. He has now been reduced to an utter complete fool!

    Note to Mr. Trump....lay low, lay very low and keep a low profile for at least a year. And, say nothing – silence is golden!

    "Better to be looked on as a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt!", I do believe that is from Abraham Lincoln.

    December 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. phillyboy

    I read these comments and it is no wonder this country is in decline. It battles with itself. Share ideas and opinions without belittling others. We are all Americans, freedom of ideas is what made us great. If another American has a different opinion, don't insult them. Way to much anger between each other without intelligent debate.

    December 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. ComSenseWiz

    The human fart with a vocal cord is discovering how irrelevant he is. A run for the Presidency will draw enough stupid voters to assure Obummer's re-election. No Dem or sane independent would ever vote for the Mouth of Manhattan.

    December 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. greenaxe

    Too bad, we really needed to have a political reality show.

    December 13, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. terry

    And..... don't we all wish that his father had pulled out???


    December 13, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Latenite

    Trump won't run.

    Just making noise (again) for self-promotion.

    December 13, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. Yuri

    Shocking! Absoluely shocking! We have bought plenty of ear plugs. Bu tthe comedian-in-chief had it coming. Our sincere sympathies to him and his stooges. Form one idiotmobile to another, hoorah!

    December 13, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Observer

    Trump looks as ignorant as he did as a "birther". Even Trump can't spin this embarassment.

    December 13, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Bill

    So Trumpy Poo pulls out of a GOP function because he's planning to run as an Independent, thereby helping ensure the reelection of Obama if he has any effect. When are Republicans going to wise up about this legend in his own mind clown? They can start by shunning any candidates who have been kissing the Trump ring or other body parts, like Perry & Bachmann, and Newt & Mitt too.

    December 13, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Ted

    And having to host a "debate" with two candidates has nothing to do with it?
    Your fired.

    December 13, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Ron

    Oh please run as an independent, Donald. I'd love to see who the other person who is stupid enough to vote for you is.

    December 13, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Elmer Fudd

    I wish his Dad would have pulled out!

    December 13, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. sam

    Now if he'd only pull out of the public eye.

    December 13, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. manniman


    What the GOP candidates should do now is to accept the invitation for the debate now that it won't be hosted by a clown...

    Paul >>>>>>>>>> Trump

    Like a boss

    December 13, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Chris

    All Talk and NO show. trump You Fired!, get out out.

    December 13, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14