Posted at 04:22 PM ET, 12/09/2011

Donald Trump might dump debate

Donald Trump might be losing his touch. The self-proclaimed GOP kingmaker is now thinking of putting the kibosh on his planned debate because only two GOP presidential candidates have accepted his invite.


Donald Trump might cancel his Iowa debate after major candidates decline his invite. (© Alberto Lowe / Reuters - REUTERS)

“I have to look into it,” Trump told Fox Business Network when asked if he would go forward with a Dec. 27 debate that would only feature former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.) and Newt Gingrich.

“We’re not seeing a lot of courage are we…not lots of courage -- these Republicans are supposed to be brave.”

One by one, the major GOP candidates declined the invitation, citing scheduling conflicts in advance of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. Santorum has called out his rivals, saying they were perfectly fine with trekking to New York to rendezvous with the real-estate mogul and reality TV host, but have now turned their backs on Trump.

“Many of my opponents jockeyed to be the first to fly up to New York and use Donald Trump for a photo-op and no doubt try and secure an endorsement. But when Donald wants to moderate a debate – they refuse to attend,” Santorum said in a statement. “That’s what’s so wrong with politics today – hypocrisy.”

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. and Ron Paul, blasted the debate as being a circus-like and beneath the dignity of a presidential run.

And other top Republicans, among them Karl Rove and Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, questioned whether it was in the best interest of the GOP contenders to attend a debate moderate by Trump, who has said he is still considering an independent run.

Trump had particularly harsh words for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

“She came up to see me four times. She would call me and ask me for advice,” Trump said on Fox Business Network. “She said if she wins, she would like to think about me for the vice presidency. Most importantly, I did a two-hour phone call for her with her people. ... And after all that, she announced she was not going to do the debate. It’s called loyalty. How do you do that? It’s amazing to me.”

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