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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