Our long national nightmare is officially over, as Donald Trump has picked a candidate in the 2012 presidential race, thereby ending his long, long flirtation with his own presidential bid (one would assume).
Fix colleagues Rachel Weiner and Philip Rucker report that Trump will back Mitt Romney Thursday in a Las Vegas press conference at 3:30 p.m. eastern time.
But just what kind of endorsement is this?
To answer that question, we turn once against to the vaunted Fix Endorsement Hierarchy.
This story has been updated.
Celebrity mogul Donald Trump endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in Las Vegas today.
“Mitt is tough, he’s sharp, he’s smart,” said Trump from the lobby of his Las Vegas hotel. “He’s not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love.”
Romney took the podium after Trump’s brief endorsement.
“There are some things you just can’t imagine happening in your life. This is one of them,” he joked, adding more substantively that the two agree on China policy. He called Trump’s endorsement “a delight,” adding that he was “so honored and pleased” to have the reality star’s backing. He quickly pivoted into a short stump speech; the whole event lasted only a few minutes.
“I think if he debates the way he’s been debating, I think he’ll beat Obama handily," Trump said of Romney in a brief meeting with reporters in the hotel lobby.
The Dec. 27 forum is being hosted by the conservative Web site Newsmax and broadcast on Ion Television. Republican leaders have been urging candidates to avoid the event, warming that it could easily devolve into a circus-like atmosphere.
Donald Trump has an uncanny knack for inserting himself into the center of the 2012 Republican race.
First it was as a potential candidate and the leading voice of the discredited birther movement. Then it was as a must-stop for Republican presidential candidates, with frontrunner du jour Newt Gingrich being the most recent aspirant to kiss the ring. Trump’s latest iteration is as debate moderator in a Newsmax-sponsored forum in Iowa on Dec. 27.
Four years ago, nobody cared what Donald Trump thought about the Republican presidential candidates.
This year, nearly every major candidate has made a pilgrimage to New York City to meet with The Donald. And some of the candidates have even committed to attend a Dec. 27 Iowa debate he is moderating.
Why is Donald Trump — a Democrat for most of the last decade — now a Republican king-maker (of sorts)?
Well, because in politics the best offense is sometimes a good defense. And being on Trump’s good side is just much easier and (politically) safer than being on his bad side.
Media mogul Donald Trump will moderate a Republican presidential debate sponsored by the conservative website Newsmax in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 27, Newsmax confirmed today.
“We approached Donald Trump,” Newsmax.com executive director Steve Coz told The Fix. “He is a well-known and vocal conservative, and we thought it was a great partnership.” Trump adviser Michael Cohen confirmed his participation.
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is visiting Donald Trump in New York City on Monday. He is just the latest 2012 Republican presidential contender to meet with the mogul.
Trump famously took former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to Famiglia’s in Times Square this summer. But what seemed at the time a publicity stunt for two reality TV stars was actually the start of a trend. Texas Gov. Rick Perry , Rep. Michele Bachmann , and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have all met with Trump.