Rick Perry Turns Down Invitation To Trump Debate

Rick Perry became the fourth Presidential candidate to turn down an invitation to the Trump/Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27th. Via Politico, here’s the Perry campaign’s statement:

Governor Perry has talked to Donald Trump in recent days and respects him and the folks at NewsMax very much. There two debates in the next 7 days.

Traditional retail campaigning in the days and weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus is the Perry campaign’s top priority. In the coming weeks, Gov. Perry will be in Iowa almost continually, meeting with real voters, doing town hall meetings and events and talking American jobs, faith and overhauling Washington, DC to Iowa voters.
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So we have respectfully declined the invitation for the December 27th debate.

This just leaves Michele Bachmann to be heard from (apparently Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer were never included in the invitation), but Perry backing away from this would seem to make it less likely that she’ll say yes. At this point, I will be surprised if this debate goes forward.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    Aw, nuts. I was actually looking forward to a colossal train wreck. Now the best we can hope for is a 2-hour long Trump-Bachmann festival. Or maybe Trump busting a blood vessel when he realizes he’s just been punked by the entire Republican party. That would be a net plus for the country, I think.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    Now Donald and Newt can have a contest to see which one can out talk the other.

  3. Didn’t Rick Santorum say yes?

  4. @Jeremy Kolassa:

    Santorum and Gingrich said yes. If they end up being the only two that show up, I’m betting Newsmax cancels

  5. legion says:

    Oh, I didn’t see that Gingrich had agreed… That has the feel of a ‘rookie mistake’ from someone with so much political experience. With something like this – an event with a big risk of negative PR – you never want to be the first ‘big name’ to jump in. Either he’s waaaay to bloodthirsty to claim the role of ‘lead dog’ to himself or he really didn’t realize how bad an idea a Trump-led debate is. Either way, he looks like a fool now that everyone else of consequence has flipped it off – big unforced error there, Newt. I expect to see either this debate being called off in the next couple of days or his acceptance getting walked back.