Ron Paul: Trump Debate “Beneath The Office Of The Presidency”

Ron Paul is joining Jon Huntsman in skipping the December 27th Newsmax Debate moderated by Donald Trump:

At least two Republican presidential hopefuls are declining to participate in a debate moderated by real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will both skip the debate, citing concerns about the seriousness of the event.

In a campaign statement released Saturday, Paul’s campaign called the debate a distraction from the real issues of the campaign.

“The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity,” Jesse Benton, Ron Paul’s national campaign chairman, said in a statement.

He added, “Mr. Trump’s participation as moderator will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues such as the national economy, crushing federal government debt, the role of the federal government, foreign policy, and the like. To be sure, Mr. Trump’s participation will contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere.”

It would be really sweet if all the GOP candidates turned this debate down, but that’s probably too much to ask for, isn’t it?


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, The Presidency, US Politics, , , , , , ,
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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    To be sure, Mr. Trump’s participation will contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere.”

    So, what is wrong with that? It will fit right in with the rest of this GOP primary race.

  2. Sonny says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: key words: “the rest”… all the rest but Ron Paul of course! This story attests to the noble character of Dr. Paul.

  3. David says:

    Ron Paul is right on this one. I generally disagree with Ron Paul on most issues, but, yeah, this “debate” is stupid.

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    It can’t possibly be beneath debating on MSNBC!!!! C’MON!!!!!

  5. Paul and Huntsman should try to set up a competing debate at the same time as the Trump debate with a more serious moderator. Make every candidate choose which side of the line they’re on.

  6. matt b says:

    On a side note, if Romney really wanted to prove that he had a spine (and didn’t just go with the wind) he’d quickly walk away from this one too. If a couple more people cancel and then he walks, it will just further the current narrative of him as a wishy-washy candidate.

  7. @matt b:

    Newt Gingrich said today that he will be there, so that forces Romney’s hand. He will have to go.

  8. SJ Reidhead says:

    You need to add Trump’s smack down of Ron Paul, calling him a clown! I love it. That is exactly what he is – a clown!

    The Pink Flamingo

  9. matt b says:

    @Doug Mataconis
    Actually, if I was his adviser I’d go in the opposite direction and still skip even though Newt is doing it. Here’s the rational: debate fatigue. I think even Republicans are tired of the debates. Given the combination of Newsmax AND Trump, this thing is guaranteed to be a circus that will only appeal to the talk radio base. Those are the people that Romney will NEVER win over (see Eric, G.A., and a number of other commentors here).

    In fact, Romney would get far more media attention if he skipped the debate and issued a well crafted, tight statement essentially saying that this debate is a joke and encouraging exactly the type of rhetoric that risks alienating the Republican party from the rest of the country. The only people that would alienate are, again, folks that he’s never going to win. However, that would go a long way to establishing a greater amount of credibility with Independent voters.

    Or, alternatively, he could score points if he went into the debate guns blazing and went on the offensive against everyone.

    However, chances are he won’t and this debate might be the one that will get heavily recycled by the Obama team during the actual campaign.

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Clash of the titans egos – this should be fun.

  11. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @matt b: You’re right about the position and rationale that he could use to distance himself. Sadly, he has neither the cohones nor the principles to take a stand of any particular kind beyond “Obama is bad.” That being the case, Newt can force his hand and he must appear.

  12. labman57 says:

    First three topics of a Trump-moderated GOP debate:

    – Do you believe that Obama is a socialist bent on destroying society as we know it?  No?  You’re Fired!
    – Do you believe that Obama has satisfactorily proven that he was born in the United States?  Yes?  You’re also Fired!
    – Do you want to see evidence that Obama was legitimately accepted to Harvard and actually did well in Law School?  No?  You’re Fired, too!

  13. Justin Time says:

    Distraction is exactly the tactic used in all these manipulative endeavors.
    Including 911 being a false flag distraction to get public support to invade and occupy a country. Wake up America, they are manipulating your mind and your perspective is controlled by mass media coverage and exclusion of selected material. in other words, they only show you what they want you to see and hear, and subsequently “believe” is the truth. A very wise man once said:
    “The American dream is only good as long as you are asleep” George Carlin