Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), said Thursday that he’s opposed to candidates participating in a debate moderated by real estate mogul Donald Trump because Trump is still considering running for president independent of the two parties.
“We appreciate what Mr. Trump has done, but if you’re still talking about potentially running as an independent candidate, I think that’s a problem,” he said during an appearance on Fox News. “I think that would be malpractice for me as an RNC chairman to not believe that that is an issue.”
He previously suggested that Republican candidates can “do whatever they want to do,” with regards to the Trump debate.
“[The] issue here is whether the moderator should still be a person who’s still batting around the idea of running as an independent,” Priebus explained Thursday. “I think that should give some of these candidates some concern.”
So far, Rep. Ron Paul, former Utah Governor John Huntsman and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney have said they will not attend the debate. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum have said they will, while Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Texas Governor Rick Perry remain undecided.
The debate, hosted by conservative magazine Newsmax, is scheduled for Dec. 27.