Donald Trump To Moderate Republican Debate

To the extent that the 2012 Presidential campaign wasn’t already a farce, it will become one on December 27th:

It’s officially a reality television Republican primary now.

Donald Trump is pairing up with Newsmax, the conservative magazine and news Web site, to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines on Dec. 27.

“Our readers and the grass roots really love Trump,” said Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media. “They may not agree with
him on everything, but they don’t see him as owned by the Washington establishment, the media establishment.”

Mr. Trump’s role in the debate, which will be broadcast on the cable network Ion Television, is sure to be one of the more memorable moments in a primary season that has already delivered its fair share of circus-like spectacle.

(…)

Though presidential candidates may initially balk at the idea of appearing in a debate where Mr. Trump – with his bombast and The Hair – is the one posing the questions, they may ultimately see it as an invitation they can’t refuse. In fact many of the candidates have already met with him, some more publicly than others. Representative Michele Bachmann has sat down with Mr. Trump several times this year. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas had dinner with him at Jean Georges, the posh Manhattan restaurant. And Mitt Romney paid a visit but carefully avoided being photographed.

And Newsmax is a powerful player itself. It has a broad reach into the conservative base, with monthly Web traffic second only to Fox News among sites with conservative-leaning audiences.

I can think of a very good reason why a serious Presidential candidate would not show up for this debacle-in-waiting. The center of attention will, as it always be with events in which he is involved, Donald Trump, not the candidates on the stage. It should make for good television, but only because it will be so laughingly absurd.

Update: Jon Huntsman has already announced he will be skipping the Trump debate:

The conservative news magazine Newsmax announced Friday that it would co-sponsor a Republican presidential debate moderated by media personality and real estate tycoon Donald Trump on Dec. 27th in Des Moines, Ia., but they may have trouble convincing candidates to show up.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is the first to send his regrets.

“We look forward to watching Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich suck up to Trump with a big bowl of popcorn,” Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller told Yahoo News.

As will we all, as will we all

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    I’m sorry, I’m simply done being tolerantly polite. From now on, whenever someone around me calls themselves a “Republican” I’m just going to point and laugh. It’s all they deserve.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    JUST WHEN YOU THINK THE GOP CAN’T BE ANY MORE PATHETIC.

  3. Vast Variety says:

    Is it just me or has the Republican primary turned into a real life version of the movie Swing Vote.

  4. Norm,

    You’ll get no argument from me.

  5. @legion:

    Jon Huntsman has been one of the few candidate who has refused to pander to Trump. He’s even gotten into a bit of a Twitter war with him. I hope he resists the temptation to appear at this debacle.

  6. mantis says:

    How many of the candidates will Trump fire?

  7. legion says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Agreed – of all of the current runners, Huntsman has always struck me as the most sane – I’d actually like to see him get more press, but this is definitely not a good venue for anyone to appear sane at.

  8. Franklin says:

    Possible questions from Trump to the Republican candidates:
    1) Do you believe Obama was born in Hawaii?
    2) Who among us has NOT cheated on his wife?
    3) Where did you get such fabulous hair?

  9. Your “how can they be so unserious!?” angle is somewhat underminded when your complaint resorts to such childish antics as using a deliberately bad photo of someone.

    This isn’t to say that this debate should be taken seriously, only that of all the writers on this site, Doug is probably not the one who should be making that argument.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin:

    2) Who among us has NOT cheated on his wife?

    Michelle Bachmann raises her hand, “But in my defense I would like to point out that I don’t have a wife.”

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Your “how can they be so unserious!?” angle is somewhat underminded when your complaint resorts to such childish antics as using a deliberately bad photo of someone.

    I disagree Stormy, after all, childish antics is all most of them are capable of. Besides, the photo is funny.

  12. @OzarkHillbilly:

    It was slightly funny the first time I saw it. After seeing it dozens of times due to Doug’s need to include it everytime he mentions Trump, it’s not really funny anymore. The problem with Trump being so involved in Republican politics is not his bad combover.

  13. @OzarkHillbilly:

    But in my defense I would like to point out that I don’t have a wife.

    That kinda depends on whether or not you believe the rumors about Marcus Bachmann.

  14. Rick Almeida says:

    Donald Trump To Moderate Republican Debate

    Could it be much clearer that G*d wants the Democrats to win?

    It’s like finding a unicorn.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Marcus Bachmann.

    Hmmmmmmmmm………

  16. I just noted in an update that Huntsman has already announced he will not be attending the Trump debate. Good on him.

  17. Hey Norm says:

    Doug has updated that Huntsman…the adult in the room…has declined.
    Which leaves me wondering…what if they all decline?
    I hope they don’t.
    I wouldn’t miss this debacle for the world.

  18. @Hey Norm:

    The rest of them won’t be able to resist the publicity

  19. Gustopher says:

    I’d like to see Sarah Palin moderate a debate — she’s certainly more serious than Donald Trump, and has a greater voice in the GOP.

  20. MM says:

    @Gustopher: I’d like to see people try to answer a questionish word group that came from Palin’s standard syntax.

  21. EddieInCA (now in GA) says:

    @legion:

    I’m sorry, I’m simply done being tolerantly polite. From now on, whenever someone around me calls themselves a “Republican” I’m just going to point and laugh. It’s all they deserve.

    I do the same with “Libertarians”.

  22. Scott says:

    “…second as farce”