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Trump to Moderate Republican Debate

This isn’t a done deal yet, but if it does happen it may be one of the most uncomfortable and unintentionally amusing events ever to take place during a presidential campaign. Donald Trump wants to moderate a GOP presidential candidate debate.

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.

The candidates haven’t agreed to do the debate yet. But a couple of them have said they won’t be there. Jon Huntsman’s spokesman was asked whether he would be there and he literally laughed at the suggestion:

“Lol. We look forward to watching Mitt and Newt suck-up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn,” he said in an email to Business Insider.

Ron Paul also says he won’t be there and offers some serious reasons why.

“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. 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.

“Mr. Trump’s selection is also wildly inappropriate because of his record of toying with the serious decision of whether to compete for our nation’s highest office, a decision he appeared to make frivolously. The short-lived elevation of Mr. Trump’s stature as a candidate put him on the radar of many organizations and we recall that last spring he was invited to keynote the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner, yet at the last minute he left RPI holding the bag by canceling. In turn, RPI canceled its biggest fundraising gala of the year and suffered embarrassment and in addition RPI was required to engage in refunding measures. Our candidate will not even consider participating in the late-December debate until Mr. Trump publicly apologizes to Iowa party leaders and rectifies in full the situation.

“Therefore our candidate Ron Paul, the champion of the Constitution, has advised he will not attend.”

Good for him. If this happens, the descent of American politics into the swamp of “reality” TV will be complete. This is such a perfect microcosm of everything that is wrong with our political system; the only way it could be made worse — and I hesitate to even mention this and risk giving them any ideas — is to have a debate hosted by Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton. A buffoon moderating a “debate” — not really anything remotely approaching that — featuring a bunch of buffoons trying to appeal to the most ignorant voters they can. Ain’t democracy grand?

Comments

  1. Sadie Morrison says

    I’m not sure why Paris Hilton or one of the umpteen Kardashians hosting the debate would be any worse than Trump hosting it.

  2. Aquaria says

    “They may not agree with him on everything, but they don’t see him as owned by the Washington establishment, the media establishment.”

    Rump must need another ratings boost.

  3. Robert B. says

    D’you think the reason Huntsman’s still in the race is so that, as a smart guy with no chance of winning, he can actually say the blunt truth like that, and be heard? Because I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of a presidential candidate laughing at a stupid question.

  4. Hank Fox says

    I’m picturing some cool cultural buzz phrases coming out of a Trump-moderated debate, such as “Zonk!” or “I’d buy that for a dollar!”

    Plus, The Donald could become the grand old man of GOP primary debates, sort of the Dick Clark of national campaigns.

  5. daveau says

    Maybe they’ll make the rounds of all the reality shows. I can’t wait to see Romney eat a bug on Fear Factor.

  6. says

    “Therefore our candidate Ron Paul, the champion of the Constitution, has advised he will not attend.”

    And thus Ron Paul undermines his own mantle of seriousness (again). Can’t have Donald Trump’s empty stupid pretentiousness overriding Ron Paul’s, can we?

    Speaking of unserious bullshit, I thought you might like this indispensible product that will help you weather next year’s apocolypse:

    http://soul2soultreasures.com/mayan_cloak/

    Sorry about the OT diversion, but I couldn’t find an address to email this to you.

  7. says

    Sadie: Paris Hilton already outshone the Republicans in the seriousness department with that ad she did in 2008. “See you at the debates, bitches” is probably NOT a catch-phrase the POG want to see attached to their precious attention-hogging events.

    I also notice that Newt Gingrich has already agreed to do this debate — once again showing how shallow and phony his “ideas man” image is. He’s the front-runner now, and his best idea is to get in a lineup and answer to Donald Trump, just like another episode of “The Apprentice?” Seriously? He’s even dumber than I thought.

  8. RW Ahrens says

    I’d guess that they’ll have to stoop to Trump because no serious journalist (is there such a thing left?) would agree to moderate another Republican debate?

    Maybe if he was still around, we could have gotten Carlin to host one…that would have been a hoot!

  9. says

    I think it’s more Trump’s idea, for Trump’s benefit, than the Republicans’ or their lack of alternatives. Seriously, the mainstream media have been slavishly doing the POG’s bidding since the ’90s, but they can’t find anyone to “moderate” a debate? I find that hard to believe. (Though it’s not totally implausible: I can easily see someone at the New York Times, compensating for his complicity in lies about Iraqi WMDs by avoiding the POG debates.)

    I’m really amazed that ANY Republican candidate would take this idea seriously as anything other than another lame-ass publicity stunt by Trump. Then again, lame-ass publicity stunts are all they have these days — otherwise people will start talking about their actions.

  10. says

    Another thing I note is that Newt was meeting with Trump around the time Trump announced this stunt. Does Trump really intend to be an unbiased moderator? Or is he doing this to help a fellow right-wing bighair?

  11. D. C. Sessions says

    the only way it could be made worse — and I hesitate to even mention this and risk giving them any ideas — is to have a debate hosted by Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton.

    I’m not so sure, Ed. Bear in mind that this season, hair is a prime qualification and all of them totally own The Donald on that key qualifier. Well, that and for all of the airhead schtick it appears that Ms. Hilton can actually articulate a halfway-rational statement on policy issues, which also totally owns The Donald.

  12. yoav says

    @Raging Bee
    Trump has officially endorsed the Newt disgusting idea of cutting costs by replacing janitors in schools by forcing poor kids to do the work.

  13. Didaktylos says

    It would raise the intellectual and ethical tone of the race if both Paris and Kim were to throw their …er hats into the ring as candidates.

  14. CSB says

    Do we get to see Donald Trump asking Ron Paul’s empty podium why it hates the American military? Because if not, the 2007 Values Voters Debate will retain the Most Unintentionally Hilarious Debate Ever crown.

  15. Trebuchet says

    I think it’s more Trump’s idea, for Trump’s benefit, than the Republicans’ or their lack of alternatives.

    “for Trump’s benefit” is the only reason The Donald does anything.

  16. says

    “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.”

    Do they really think the problem is rich guys are “owned” by the Washington establishment? The media controlling the wealthy?
    Maybe legislation is needed to keep government officials from bothering those poor lobbyists.
    I don’t understand how these idiots look at the world and draw conclusions 180 degrees from reality. My mind is thoroughly boggled.

  17. says

    Indeed. What the hell do these idiots think “the establishment” is? It’s guys with lots of money. Trump himself didn’t come out of nowhere, pulling himself up by his supposed bootstraps. He got his start working in his father’s real estate firm, which was hardly a small time operation.

  18. abb3w says

    Oh, and Karl Rove has raised the question:

    What the heck are the Republican candidates doing showing up at a debate with a guy who says I may run for president next year as an independent”

    It’s an ominous sign for the GOP that Rove has become a voice for moderation and sanity without his ever having shifted his position.

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