Trump: I might call off the debate

posted at 11:50 am on December 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

If Michele Bachmann thought that The Donald would take her refusal to attend his Newmax debate on December 27th quietly, Trump made it clear this morning on Fox Business’s Don Imus show that he’s going to hold a grudge. In talking with Imus, Trump said that Bachmann discussed making him her VP pick if she won the nomination, and that he sees Bachmann’s snub as a sign of disloyalty:


Did Bachmann really discuss making Trump her running mate? I’d assume that any such discussions would have been purely speculative and non-committal, but even so, a Bachmann/Trump ticket would be a little mind-bending. Right now, Bachmann’s emphasizing her social conservative credentials in Iowa in an attempt to run to the right of both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, and it’s a little difficult to see how that works into considering Trump as the running mate. (It’s even more difficult to see Trump actually taking a second-banana position and not embarrassing the ticket later on down the road, too, with his self-promoting antics.)

That would make another good reason for the other candidates to skip a Trump-moderated debate, but it’s now looking as though there won’t be one anyway. Even the two people left on the dais for this want Trump to repudiate his assertion that he might run as an independent in the general election, which Trump tells Imus he won’t do. That will probably mean that the two committed participants might find other things to do.

Trump marvels that the Republican candidates are somehow too chicken to debate him. The point isn’t “being afraid” to debate Trump — and why would a “moderator” debate the candidates anyway? Candidates are supposed to debate each other. It’s a question of giving him legitimacy for an entry later in the race against the GOP for no real return at all. At least the media networks deliver viewers and coverage, and the moderators aren’t going to jump into the race as their opponents. On top of that, Trump is still spouting off about birth certificates, an association that won’t do anything to convince independents in the general election that the Republican nominee is a serious candidate. Thankfully, this debacle looks like it will fall apart on its own shortly.

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excuse me folks I’m still trying to learn how to cut and paste so if something looks really weird just bare with me

LaurRose on December 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Or even more simply put, they’re all scared sh*tless of the Liberal MSM’s spiked cudgel. They’re cowards kowtowing to the establishment.

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Take a look at this headline on the internet: Sarah Palin Tries To Shame Republicans Into Joining Trump Debate.

I know who has been brutalized by the liberal media, and isn’t a coward. How is supporting Donald Trump’s debate, turn into shaming republicans? If the liberal media doesn’t want them to attend Donald Trump’s debate, that’s a good enough reason to do it. This is why Newt Gingrich is out in front of the rest.

Dr Evil on December 9, 2011 at 1:29 PM

All this is doing is pushing Trump to run as an Independent.
alecj on December 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

True. The candidates could have engaged Trump and in the process neutered him. But they’ve only goaded him. These are the wages of fear and self-loathing.

rrpjr on December 9, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Dr Evil on December 9, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Oh, I hear you loud and clear, sister.

RepubChica on December 9, 2011 at 1:38 PM

excuse me folks I’m still trying to learn how to cut and paste so if something looks really weird just bare with me

LaurRose on December 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM

HAH I’m learning the ropes too!!

gordo924 on December 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Did Imus call Michelle nappy-headed?

Galtian on December 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

“I do get ratings.” Does anyone listen to this guy? He is an egotistical blowhard. And what’s with this “loyalty” thing? A presidential hopeful is supposed to be loyal to him? Pfffft! I’m sick of Imus, too. Who actually listens to this guy?

robertlbryant on December 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

HAH I’m learning the ropes too!!

gordo924 on December 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM

We will be good very soon. My next task is linking.

LaurRose on December 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I have to admit the Donald did take the birth certificate discussion up a notch and for that he gets kudos from me. Whether the debate is a good idea or not, something tells me Michelle could have handled her refusal to participate just a tad bit better–especially since she’s apparently been in communication with “The Donald.”

cpasherry on December 9, 2011 at 1:54 PM

No one says no to the Trumpster and get by with it. If he is so smart why was he such a big Obama supporter in 08? 50% of us saw through this clown,why not Trump?

formerwm on December 9, 2011 at 1:58 PM

When did Trump become the “King Maker” of the Republican party? Just go away PLEASE.

Southern Magnolia on December 9, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Would Republicans accept a debate moderated by somebody who A. still says he might run B. has been made VP offers by other debaters C. is about as Big media as one can get-his show is on NBC right? Never mind ION and Newsmax(which lost much credibility when they went full birther with Trump).

I’m no Paulist/Paulbot but you have to hand it to him that he read this situation and made the right choice from day one without having to consult the polls. Heck even Sarah Palin says listen to Paul. She’s right in that respect.

I hate to say it but Paul’s chances of pulling off a surprise victory in Iowa just increased.

And you can thank Donald Trump.

Huzzah!

Mr.Mark on December 9, 2011 at 2:10 PM

There’s nothing worse than throwing a party and not having many (if any) attend.

I’m new here, too, and it’s going to take a little time to get used to this. It will be fun though.

helenvt on December 9, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Newsmax should announce the cancellation of this charade. What were they thinking asking Trump in the first place?

mauitax on December 9, 2011 at 2:17 PM

The debate does appear as if it’s going to be called off, however the criticism of Newt’s acceptance is a bit curious I have to say. I think Andrew Breitbart raised a good question when he asked why almost nobody seems to have a problem with MSNBC running a debate, but they freak out when it’s Trump.

My first post BTW! Woo hoo!

Reggie1971 on December 9, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I never understood why he candidates didn’t belittle the debate by using Eason Jordan as the fodder; he would seem the better target -politically- than Trump. Much easier to save face that way.
BKeyser on December 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Me too…

Remember Eason Jordan? Every conservative political blogger worth his/her salt knows and remembers who he is.

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/12/05/trump-ed-up-you-wont-believe-what-eason-jordans-up-to-now/

Green eyed Lady on December 9, 2011 at 2:23 PM

If Trump wants to endorse a candidate after the debate, I see why he was rejected by most candidate. I am a Perry supporter and was pleased to hear he would not participate. He has many events planned from 14 to 31st. and I don’t see how he could’ve made it for the debate.

nancysabet on December 9, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I wanna see the Trump debate because I think he really cares about the nation. I don’t think he’s doing this for publicity, and, so, I think he would raise important topics (China, OPEC) that the other debates are not. Obviously, there are some issue I do not agree with Trump on, but there are some issues I do like marriage should be between one man and one woman and when he calls our leaders stupid. They are stupid people.

apacalyps on December 9, 2011 at 2:26 PM

I hope Trumps continues the debate, as long as he has at least one guest. At that point he can make a speech explaining, and he and his guest can converse with a national audience.

I want to hear the debate.

I know what MSNBC or FOX would do if it was their gig. Trump is something new and worth watching.

If Trump makes a third party run, this debate will be important to the public. Besides, none of these debates are debates. They are floor shows presenting questions tailored to create certain responses. I prefer to hear someone sharp asking the questions, rigged or not.

What are they going to do, ask the one intelligent/clever question the night before the polls open?

Trump has something to say. I hope someone takes on Trumps’s questions, now, not later. The fact McCain and Rove disapproves makes me want even more to hear this event

I hope the public wakes up to the fact they are being herded to the polls like cattle.

entagor on December 9, 2011 at 2:44 PM

This guy supported Obama, gives money to democrats, and pays for breast implants for his beauty pageant contestants. All Republicans should have stayed away from this circus from the get-go.

monalisa on December 9, 2011 at 2:48 PM

excuse me folks I’m still trying to learn how to cut and paste so if something looks really weird just bare with me

LaurRose on December 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM

I feel your pain, love, I screwed up my first one, and I’ll probably louse this one up, too.

I’ve always been a little leery of The Donald. Seemed to me like this debate was a platform by which he could attack the candidates, possibly for his own benefit?

sage0925 on December 9, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Worst debate since CNN’s ‘Pepsi or Coke’ debate.

Truth Not Politics on December 9, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Bachmann gets it right. Trump is a clown and is only interested in self-promotion. It would be demeaning for any serious presidential candidate to accept this spectacle as a format for serious debate.

Oracleforhire on December 9, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I hope the public wakes up to the fact they are being herded to the polls like cattle.

entagor on December 9, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Have you read some of the comments in the recent threads just on this blog? It’s better to appear smug and superior, and agree with the liberal media than to figure out the media is playing on people’s vanity. Well the they do have marketers working on the best way to manipulate the viewing public.

The media conditions the viewer to join them in their response to their coverage so the viewer can share in the smug feeling of superiority. Look at Chris Matthews does he have any accomplishments that could stack up to Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry or any government figure for that matter CEO Herman Cain has more accomplishments than Chris Matthews……but when he delivers his smug assessment because of a gaffe, he’s showing how superior he is to the candidates, but the problem is he has no accomplishments that equal the person he’s disparaging. Pavlov’s dog was conditioned to expect a reward. The reward for buying into media spin/manipulation is a false sense of superiority.

Donald Trump was able to force Obama to produce his long form birth certificate – he’s got the bragging rights. The liberal media is not happy with Donald Trump they do not want to see him benefit in anyway to the positions he’s taken. Of course the liberal media is spinning Trump’s debate as a negative thing. Newt Gingrich and apparently Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Don Imus, Laura Ingrham have figured out whats up with the liberal media trashing of the Donald’s debate. The RNC is simply trying to act as a gate keeper.

Dr Evil on December 9, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Looks like everything turned out well, and yet I feel underwhelmed by the candidates responses since they did attend the debates by MSNBC and the like who obviously had such an animus against the Republican party.

eva3071 on December 9, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I trust Michele Bachmann as far as I can throw Chris Christie.

KMav on December 9, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Man, that was Don Imus in the picture there?

For a minute I thought Helen Hayes was still alive…

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on December 9, 2011 at 3:50 PM

“Even the two people left on the dais for this want Trump to repudiate his assertion that he might run as an independent in the general election, which Trump tells Imus he won’t do.”

So Gingrich, the smartest guy in the room, didn’t figure this out earlier? He was in such a rush to show off his rhetoric that he didn’t understand the downside, one which pretty much everyone else noticed?

See, this is the risk of Newt. His overconfidence in his debating skills blinded his judgement. And that’s an issue with Gingrich… his judgement: full of ideas, even bad ones. As to Santorum he’s just desperate for a venue. It’s a bit more understandable but still an error. Could he get considerable coverage with less competition? Sure, but Trump would suck all the oxygen out of the room because this is, ultimately, all about Trump.

AnonymousDrivel on December 9, 2011 at 3:52 PM

I trust Michele Bachmann as far as I can throw Chris Christie.

KMav on December 9, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Michele Bachmann can bench press Chris Christie. I wouldn’t mess with her if I were you.

Finbar on December 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Sure, but Trump would suck all the oxygen out of the room because this is, ultimately, all about Trump.

AnonymousDrivel on December 9, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Uh huh, Compared to when Oprah launched Barack Obama on her talk show, she over shadowed Obama, and hurt his campaign/

Dr Evil on December 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Michele Bachmann can bench press Chris Christie. I wouldn’t mess with her if I were you.

Finbar on December 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Well she could out run him anyway GRIN.

Dr Evil on December 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Dr Evil:

“Uh huh, Compared to when Oprah launched Barack Obama on her talk show, she over shadowed Obama, and hurt his campaign/”

You’re equilibrating Santorum with Obama? Santorum has negligible support. Obama had considerable support. Obama’s candidacy had already been launched, Oprah providing a seal of approval where competition was limited to pretty much Clinton alone. And Oprah hasn’t nearly the ego of Trump.

Add to the central issue that Trump has said he’s still considering running as independent and it’s pretty self-evident that this is all about Brand Trump, something Oprah never threatened. Trump is using this as an opportunity for self-promotion. Were he not, he’d have gladly declared he wouldn’t run for office and admit that the voters had already determined him not-Presidental material (practically, not technically) a few months ago when he was, once again, teasing the public.

So, yes, Trump won’t be launching anybody save for himself. Maybe by default Gingrich would be the beneficiary just because he was willing to play Trump’s game (you know, “loyalty” reward), but Gingrich is already the leader and has extensive name recognition. He doesn’t need Trump.

AnonymousDrivel on December 9, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Gingrich agreeing to this debate is just another indication that he is going to self immolate within 2 weeks.

csdeven on December 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Obama had considerable support. Obama’s candidacy had already been launched, Oprah providing a seal of approval where competition was limited to pretty much Clinton alone. And Oprah hasn’t nearly the ego of Trump. AnonymousDrivel on December 9, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Oprah didn’t launch Obama, and she doesn’t have nearly the ego of Trump? What’s the street name of what you’re smoking?

Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama was one of the most widely covered and studied developments of the 2008 presidential campaign. Winfrey has been described as the most influential woman in the world for her impact on the culture and her proven record as a taste-maker and trend-setter, and there was much interest in whether that influence could translate politically since she had never before endorsed a candidate. Winfrey first endorsed Obama in September 2006 before he had even declared himself a candidate. In May 2007 Winfrey made her first endorsement of candidate Obama, and in December 2007, she made her first campaign appearances for him. Two economists estimate that Winfrey’s endorsement was worth over a million votes in the Democratic primary race and that without it, Obama would have lost the nomination.

I didn’t mention Santorum by name, but obviously he was smart to accept, and get face time close to the Iowa Caucus that starts on January 3rd. He’s running for President of the United States it only makes sense to take advantage of media opportunities on a major network, it doesn’t cost his campaign to show up and debate on December 17th.

Dr Evil on December 9, 2011 at 6:21 PM

RE: Dr Evil (December 9, 2011 at 6:21 PM)

That’s correct. Trump’s ego trumps Oprah’s. How often is Oprah blowing her own horn and reading her résumé compared to Trump? Her body of work speaks for itself (and I’m no fan). Trump is always speaking for himself. Did you know he gets ratings? Just listen to him. He’ll tell you. Did you know he makes money? He’ll tell you that, too. And business deals, and smarts, and did I mention the ratings? He’ll suck just as much air out of the room as needed to look better than anyone else.

And, yes, Obama was already an ascendant candidate via the New Party with ACORN and SEIU, two incredibly effective ground-game vote gatherers, before Oprah. He had been fast-tracked, his aim to grab the Lefter-leaning Democrats. So of the hardcore Left, Obama was the chosen one before Oprah said “boo.” Oprah just legitimized him for the non-Clinton constituency which was significant and actually looking for competition against the Democrat Leadership Council, the Clinton’s product. Did she help? Sure, but she wasn’t in it for Oprah (per se) as much as she was in it for the history. Trump has no such comparable aims as evidenced by his threat to run third-party.

Also, “ego” does not mean “influence.” Both have influence but Trump has the ego. Oprah used her forum to help Obama but did not launch him. As I noted, he was already launched. Trump is using his to promote himself, two significantly different goals, which is to say Trump aims to “launch” himself… either into a presidential campaign or a self-promotion gambit.

Continuing with Santorum, as I said, I understand his decision to go to Trumpapalooza more than Gingrich’s; but to predict that Trump would pick Santorum over Gingrich? No freakin’ way. Santorum is arguably the most conservative “Bible-clinger” in the race. Does that at all mesh with The Donald? Now that would be a leap of faith. Even more likely is that Trump would endorse Gingrich over anyone because a) all but Santorum have bailed and Trump’s skin can be pretty thin guaranteeing Gingrich as “the best”, and b) Trump wants to be associated with a winner which, at this point, is working against Santorum. Brand Trump doesn’t want to lose, and, face it, Santorum is a “loser” right now. Trump will not be climbing out on a limb for Santorum. How will this be productive for Santorum even if he gets to talk again to the same people who would’ve already been following him? The audience for Celebrity Apprentice != the audience for Celebrity President.

AnonymousDrivel on December 9, 2011 at 8:04 PM

They’d be debating on woopie cushions.

The Nerve on December 10, 2011 at 12:15 AM

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