By Matthew Hoh |
In a season laden with Republican primary debates, businessman and The Apprentice host Donald Trump has invited the GOP 2012 presidential candidates to participate in a debate sponsored by the conservative website Newsmax. Trump will moderate the December 27 debate in Iowa, only a week before the state's caucuses kick off the Republican primary elections. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania have confirmed their attendance (Gingrich appeared alongside Trump in a press conference after the two met behind closed doors Monday). However, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Rep. Ron Paul all declined the offer, with Huntsman calling the debate a "joke" and the Paul campaign saying that a Trump-hosted debate is "beneath the office of the presidency and flies in the face of that office's history and dignity." While many prominent conservatives like Karl Rove and George Will have warned candidates not to participate, Gingrich has defended his decision: "I think if you're afraid to debate with Donald Trump, people are going to say, 'so you want me to believe you can debate Barack Obama but you're afraid to show up with Donald Trump?'" Here is the Debate Club's take on whether Republican candidates should participate in Donald Trump's debate.
Stephanie Slade Project Director at The Winston Group
Fergus Cullen Former Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party
Sally Kohn Political Commentator
Grover Norquist President of Americans for Tax Reform