2012 Presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul has declined an invitation to appear in the Donald Trump-moderated Republican primary debate scheduled for December 27, according to Chris Moody’s The Ticket blog. Jesse Benton, a spokesman for the Congressman Paul said that the debate, sponsored by the conservative website Newsmax, is “beneath the office of the Presidency.”
Benton lambasted Trump, calling his selection as a moderator “wildly inappropriate,” presumably in light of the carnivalesque atmosphere surrounding Mr. Trump’s aborted foray into the Republican field earlier this year.
The ever-risible Trump hit back within hours of the Paul campaign’s statement. Politico‘s Burns and Haberman On 2012 blog reports that the mogul and reality TV star responded by saying that Rep. Paul “has a zero chance of winning either the nomination or the presidency.”
He went on, “”Few people take Ron Paul seriously and many of his views and presentation make him a clown-like candidate. I am glad he and Jon Huntsman, who has inconsequential poll numbers or a chance of winning, will not be attending the debate and wasting the time of the viewers who are trying very hard to make a very important decision.”
Jon Huntsman will not be taking part in the debate, either. Moody’s The Ticket quotes him as saying that he will be spending that evening “watching Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich suck up to Trump with a big bowl of popcorn.”
Newt Gingrich confirmed early on Saturday afternoon that he will be participating in the debate. The announcement was made via the Gingrich campaign’s Twitter feed.
(photo by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr)