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Published on Dec 12, 2011
Republican primary candidates refuse Donald Trump's invitation to join his GOP primary debate on January 27th, just one week before the Iowa caucuses. Trump, a well-known estate tycoon and reality TV star, still thinks he's a political mover and shaker, even he was dropped out as a contender in the Republican presidential primary.
But what if The Donald gave a debate and nobody came? Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann have all decided to tactfully decline. Bachmann's snub is especially hurtful for Trump as she had previously sought his endorsement of her candidacy. Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman were blunter in their refusal, with Paul describing the Trump debate as "beneath the office of the presidency." Trump shot back by describing Paul and Huntsman as joke candidates.
The current Republican not-Mitt of the moment, Newt Gingrich, however, will be attending the debate, along with Rick Santorum, a candidate who's polling in the low single digits. Gingrich said those who are passing on the debate are afraid of debating Trump. But another possibility is that Donald Trump never ruled out running as a third-party candidate himself in 2012.