Karl Rove blasted Donald Trump this weekend, saying his upcoming Newsmax debate host gig is a big “ego trip” for the real-estate mogul and reality-show host, and that the Republican National Committee should discourage the 2012 GOP candidates from attending.

Asked on “Fox and Friends” about the Trump-moderated debate set for Dec. 27 in Iowa, Rove said that all of the candidates will get “stuck” going to his debate but “it’s really odd.”

Donald Trump, Chairman and President of the Trump Organization, speaks to several GOP women's group at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino April 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (David Becker/GETTY IMAGES)

“What the heck are the Republican candidates doing showing up at a debate with a guy who says I may run for president next year as an independent,” he said. “I think the Republican national chairman ought to step in and say we strongly discourage every candidate from appearing in a debate moderated by somebody who is going to run for president.”

RNC Chair Reince Priebus said Sunday that it’s up to the individual candidates to decide whether they will participate.

Ron Paul and Jon M. Huntsman Jr. have said they won’t be at the debate, while current frontrunner Newt Gingrich has said he will attend “for the entertainment value.”

And Huntsman had this to say about the Trump debate.

“I’m not going to kiss his ring and I’m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy. This is exactly what is wrong with politics. It is show business over substance. If he had any courage at all he would be running for President of the United States of America as opposed to manipulating the process from the outside,” Huntsman said on Fox’s “American’s Newsroom.” “This is about real issues; it’s not about show business. The Presidency of the United States of America is more important than the silly game shows and reality shows.”

Rove echoed Huntsman.

“It doesn’t help the country. I mean, if you’re going to be a candidate, be a candidate. Don’t make it contingent upon whether or not your show is renewed or not?,” Trump said. “How trivial is that. How does that trivialize the most important decision that we Americans have, which is who we’re going to elect as our president.”