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. donnie

    What a crock this Trump character is! The whole idea of this guy moderating a legit debate had to be a huge embarrasment to the GOP'S.Now he trys to turn this mess upside down by claiming he will run if he does'nt approve of the GOP candidate.Geez it's THE DONALD ALL THE TIME THE DONALD.They ought to lock this guy up-he's not well.

    December 13, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Rusty

    Oh NOOooOOooooOOOOooo. I was so looking forward to that train- wait. Did he say "conflict of interest"?? OMG He's going to come back into the race!!!!! Oh I can't wait for his own debates as an Independent. Just him. At a podium. With his blistering fake noo yark aksent telling us to get our heads out of our ****** and vote for him. I'm assuming he'll be the nominee of the "Damn Right Rent is High!" Party.

    December 13, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Lee

    Trump would not make a good president. He does not seem to be able to handle rejection well. He is more of a a Bossy McBosster than a Donald Diplomat. That said, I would LOVE to see him appointed as a Trade Czar in the next administration. He would probably be an unrivaled negociator for trade deals. But I doubt he would work for anyone other than himself. He surely wont work for the people.

    December 13, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. rich4159

    Mr. Trump, get real will you. You inherited your millions, closed down many companies, lost money in several companies, fired or cost many peoples jobs. What makes you think you are remotely qualified to run any country, especially America? Ego do not fix things – Obama found this out the hard way and at our expense.

    December 13, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. OhBeloved DrumpDump

    Hahahahahhahahahahahahhaahahahahahha... ad finitum
    How can you have a conflict of interest if you're alone and nobody is attending your "event"? Unless Donald has split personality issues. Just the kind of guy to manage the red button and the nukes.


    December 13, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. p1tey1

    Donald Trump has turned himself into a JOKE!!!

    December 13, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. TechTalkGuy

    Once again, Trump got the headlines for doing absolutely nothing.

    December 13, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. noemi

    Trump is like a festering boil on the butt of humanity....... Enough said!!!!

    December 13, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Dee

    ""It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LMFAO! Joke of the year! #Obama2012! NO OTHER CHOICE!

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

    STOP!!!! covering this guy he is wrong for the whole process I thought he was yesterday's news with that birther crap he can't even be mentioned in the same breath as President Obama nor the GOP candidates go away already donald rump...

    December 13, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Rick

    Trump, what a wimp. All the Republicans are the worst and they want to be President, None of them are Presidential material. they are the just trash talkers and none have a political agenda, except to destroy this nation. And The Repeblicans are falling for this. They are the lambest excuse having any brain. BBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOO GOP

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

    You kind of have that backwards, everyone backed out on Trump, not the other way around.

    December 13, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. mr mark

    Being a loser is having tried to run. He quit, thats worse than a loser in so many ways.

    He is a quitter. Didn't want, and NEVER will, let the public look into his finances.

    December 13, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. closetiguana

    The real question is what does it say about those that didn't drop out of the debate?

    December 13, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Basha

    Is anyone really surprised at Donald Trump's retreat from the debate? I certainly am not as he is a big mouth, trouble maker, loose cannon & can't make this type of decision for himself. Tally Ho, Good Bye, Later Dude, Adios, See you etc...

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

    Trump running as an Independent?Of course not, he is the ultimate coward. What a reality show the Republican candidates are providing, so sad. And nobody seems to recognize the only real candidate: Huntsman. The most scary part of the Republicans is that they are supported bu millions of like minded, dumb people.

    December 13, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. james - St. Paul, MN

    Finally, even those with limited intelligence and honor (i.e., the GOP candidates) are saying what has been obvious for quite a long time. Mr. Trump is all hair and no substance.

    December 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Publius Novus

    Since when is a twice-bankrupt businessman "successful?" Would you be successful if your daddy had given you $25mm and you went under twice?

    December 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Kenton

    That's the ticket. hahahahaha

    December 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. jim

    Well, the bafoon bit the bullet. Now if he'd only keep his mouth shut, others around here may get something done.

    December 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Joe Shmoe

    Ron Paul was right again.

    December 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. RositaCA

    HILLARIOUS!!! hey dude, NOBODY wants to talk to you! maybe Newt and you should get together and COMPARE your numerous wives LOL!!! that is a topic for you two!!

    December 13, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Tom

    The Donald running for president will only help Obama and he knows it. IF he doesn't know it his GOP/Teabagger friends will tell him. If he draws any vote from the clown the do choose to put up they can then blame him for the inevitable loss that Repuklacins are going to face.
    I haven't heard anything that resembles are real debate for these d-bags all season.

    December 13, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. will never vote for DONALD T

    HE has an ego bigger than his Trofy wife's head.

    December 13, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. bdgfn

    When the going gets tough, the weak quit.

    December 13, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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