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. Juan

    This guy is a joke. Double joke. What an idiot.
    Money can buy you stuff, but can't buy you a new brain if you ain't got the neurons.

    December 13, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Russell

    Trump is a joke.

    December 13, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. trixielou

    Of course he pulled out of the debate. Haven't ya'll learned that he only does things like say he's going to run for pres or moderate a debate to get free publicity. It's all about the money.

    December 13, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Mikey

    So he's pulling out of his own event?????? Oh, that's right, after claiming it was his event, he distanced himself.... so he could slink away like the coward he is and then somehow declare victory. He's the biggest blowhard/buffoon in history.

    Donald Trump is a totally worthless joke!!!!!!!!!! Run for President? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    December 13, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    This was STUPIT from the jump street. trump don't enough to ask question about anything

    December 13, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Scott in Atlanta

    Darn it. I was looking forward to the Comedy Central and "SNL" recap. Oh well.

    December 13, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Tes Stone

    Bravo to the candidates who did not join in this idiocy. Here's a thought: Stop encouraging this creature. If you can't stand him, do not watch or otherwise support anything he's involved in. If we stop paying him attention, he will go away.

    December 13, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. JC

    What a convenient excuse. Everyone knows he has no intention of running.

    December 13, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |

    The Donald is getting more and more orange colored. Like that foul drink product that used to be sold in shopping malls by a company called, "Orange Julius."

    Mr. Trump behaves like an emperor, like Julius Caesar. So perhaps we should call him "ORANGE JULIUS."

    December 13, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. detada

    Goes to show that even successful businessmen can achieve a high level of stupidity.

    December 13, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. mitz

    This man is an damn clown. Maybe heĀ“ll get cancer of the hair, and be gone.

    December 13, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. Bo

    Please go away, most people are just so tired of you!

    December 13, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Jim

    I've heard that drinking too much of one's own bathwater causes serious hair loss, that is immediately after what was originally under the hair turns mushy.

    December 13, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. vin

    The GOP's gift that keeps on giving! So Numnutnewt or ridicurichromney get the neanderthal nod; donald-the-narcissist steals away votes as an indie, and barry not only re-ups but takes > 25 house seats as well! Cool.

    December 13, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. vet in texas

    "ha ha" – Nelson from the Simpsons.

    December 13, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. gregory

    Trump still doesn't get it. For a sure win for President Obama . Make sure Donald Trump runs as an independent candidate.

    December 13, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. W8a2nd

    Good thing, if he waited any longer he would have been talking to himself.

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Chuckie

    If there ever was a better example of "The Ugly American" I can't think of who it would be. This man brings nothing to the table but greed and arrogance.

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Craig from Pa.

    This clown is an idiot anyway...why doesn't someone fire him??

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    He just doesn't get it – does he? No one cares what he thinks or who he endorses. He's an 80's has been who can't seem to understand how irrelevant he really is.

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Silent Majority

    Media, it's time for an intervention: This relationship you have with Trump is really unhealthy. He's going to keep making promises, and he's going to keep breaking them. I know the glitz and glamor is appealing, but at the end of the day, he's just a game show host. Sure, in the current GOP political arena, he seems like a good match, but how many times is he going to break your heart before you realize that he's not thinking about anything but himself? He's an addict that way. And you do nothing but enable him. It's a circle of codependency that really needs to stop, for your sake and for his.

    We love you, media. You're one of the most important arms of democracy. But seeing you spend your time with someone like this is really scary. It makes me wonder where your head is these days. Or more importantly, where is your soul? Where's the media that took down Richard Nixon? Where's the media that helped end the Vietnam War? I miss that media.

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Eric in Manhattan

    Talk about spin! Does he really think people are buying his BS?

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. JoeP

    Donald, I know you can't believe this, but NO ONE CARES what you do, or don't do.

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. JohnRJ08


    He's pulling out because he is humiliated that 6 of the candidates chose not to have his bloated ego inflicted on them.

    December 13, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. ckelley116

    2 candidates were coming and it was sponsored by Newsmax, of all things. How substansive did he think it was actually going to be??

    December 13, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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