Home > posts > Trump Bows Out of Newsmax Debate
December 13th, 2011 5:21 pm
Trump Bows Out of Newsmax Debate
Posted by Print

Last week, Ashton, Quin, and I spent a fair amount of time discussing Rick Santorum’s presidential prospects. And while our interpretations of Santorum’s travails varied, we all agreed on one thing: that Santorum had a golden opportunity to gain some visibility by being one of only two candidates on stage for the December 27 Republican presidential debate hosted by Newsmax and moderated by Donald Trump.

With today’s announcement that Trump is bowing out, however, that opportunity is almost certainly lost. We should expect all of the other candidates who turned down the offer when Trump was involved to now reconsider, rendering this a conventional forum and forcing Santorum to rely solely on his ground game in Iowa in the last few weeks of the campaign.

Two thoughts about Trump’s announcement:

  • The change in moderator may be bad for Santorum, but it’s very good for the Republican Party. Having a Trump-moderated debate risked making the entire batch of candidates look unserious and the party look unhinged.
  • There’s a good chance that this was one big publicity stunt from the start. Neither Newsmax or Ion (the cable network that’s broadcasting the debate) were particularly high-profile before this controversy; now they’re hosting the most highly-publicized debate of the year. As for Trump, is it so shocking to imagine him trawling for publicity with a new book out and a new season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” right around the corner? Count me suspicious that The Donald never intended to host the debate, but that both sides were playing the public in an attempt to gin up ratings.
Comments are closed.