(CNN) - With Donald Trump out as moderator, the conservative publication Newsmax announced Friday it was postponing their Republican primary debate to an undetermined date.
In a statement, the newsmagazine's Editorial Director Steve Coz said the candidates were wary of participating with Trump asking the questions.
"We spoke directly with all the major candidates and/or their campaigns over the past few weeks," Coz said in a statement. "They were extremely excited about connecting with Newsmax's huge conservative audience, but the candidates were concerned with Trump's involvement due to his stating that he was a potential third party candidate."
Trump announced Tuesday he was withdrawing as moderator of the debate, which was slated for Dec. 27. Only two candidates – former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – agreed to participate.
Other candidates said they couldn't participate for a variety of reasons. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both said their schedules wouldn't allow for another debate, citing the number of other events to which they had already committed.
Other candidates were more frank, questioning the seriousness of the event. Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign said the event would be "beneath the office of the Presidency."
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said the selection of Trump as moderator was "exactly what is wrong with politics. It's show business over substance."
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who had visited Trump four times over the course of her campaign, told conservative radio host Sean Hannity "it wasn't going to be a real debate. There was no point in it."
Trump said he withdrew from the event because he wasn't willing to forgo the chance to run for president himself.
"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 Tuesday.