Conservative Organizations and Personalities Bet on the Trump Debate and Lose
When Newsmax announced a GOP debate to be moderated by Donald Trump on December 27th it took little time for Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to say yes, and Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul to say no.
Left with three possible attendees who made no immediate decisions, Newsmax enlisted the support of numerous ultra-conservatives and conservative organizations to bolster the value of the event:
“The American Conservative Union is proud to sponsor the upcoming Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said Tuesday. The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate is scheduled for December 27 in Des Moines, Iowa.”
“Debates have already played a key role in this nominating process and present our best opportunity for comparing and contrasting candidates on core conservative issues,” Cardenas said. “As the critical Iowa Caucuses quickly approach, we must continue vetting the field to ensure conservatives put forward a tested, competent leader to challenge President Obama next fall.”
“We strongly encourage all Republican presidential candidates to participate.”
Grover Norquist, one of America’s most influential conservatives, has issued a statement supporting the Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate to be hosted by Donald Trump.
Norquist, who chairs the powerful Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), is urging all GOP candidates to participate at the debate scheduled for Dec. 27 in Des Moines, Iowa. ATR will be listed as a sponsoring organization for the debate.
“Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate,” Norquist says.
“Newsmax is an outstanding news organization and I’m confident its GOP presidential candidate debate in Iowa broadcast on ION will be fair, balanced, professionally conducted and informative. I encourage members of Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa to attend. When it comes to opportunities for voters to hear directly from the candidates, I believe more is better. I’ll be watching on December 27.”
“All these presidential candidates, or most of them at least, have knocked on Donald Trump’s door to talk with him in private,” the Iowa Republican said. “Why wouldn’t they want to talk to him out in public in a debate that I think will have the focus of America on it, and [will be] the last shot at this before we go into the Iowa caucuses?”
“I hope I can be there. I think it’s going to be very entertaining.” King said. “I think Donald Trump will ask questions that no other moderator has asked, and I think he will press in a way that no one has pressed before.”
“Yes, yes, yes, The Donald has morphed into a so-called ‘reality TV’ star,” writes Lord, who was Reagan’s associate political director. “But no one in their right mind thinks of Donald Trump as other than what he, in fact, is: a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur. Which is to say, precisely the kind of people we need more of in this country — as opposed to the jobless Obamaville occupiers.”
“Originally I guess they were — they saw this as kind of limited TV exposure — but Newsmax, the group that’s sponsoring it, has a wide reach and I suspect by the time the debate happens, it will be on a great many TV screens throughout the country,” Morris said.
“And I think it would be terrific to have Donald Trump ask these guys what they are going to do about the economy and then critique their answers and engage in a give and take,” Morris added. “And I think Romney should jump at that opportunity. This is his issue. And frankly when you are 15 points behind you go to debates.”
“I think candidates should not be afraid in front of the nation no matter who the host of the debate is,” Palin said. “What is a bit appealing about this idea of Trump hosting a debate is, consider the diverse audience that perhaps he can attract. It’s important that independents and those who are not obsessed with inside-baseball partisan politics, which is most of us, we’d like to hear more of the message of each one of these candidates and perhaps Donald Trump will be able to attract a diverse demographic that maybe has not been as interested in this horse race thus far.”
The Tea Party Express, the dominant Tea Party political action committee, endorses The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate to be hosted by Donald Trump.
Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express, said, “I hope all of the candidates will participate in this debate on the eve of the Iowa caucuses. Newsmax has been an indispensable part of the conservative media that keeps voters informed of the critical issues facing America. As the co-sponsor of the CNN/Tea Party Express Presidential Debate on September 12th in Tampa, Florida, we know the hard work that goes into a successful debate. We applaud Newsmax and Donald Trump for taking on this project for the sake of our country.”
What was the net effect of these high-powered endorsements and pleas for participation in the debate?
Absolutely nothing! Governors Romney and Perry announced they would not attend and, as of this writing, Rep. Bachmann has made no decision but has expressed reservations about the debate.
What does it all mean? Probably very little, but it may be more than it seems on the surface. It is possible that some of the GOP primary candidates have determined that the fanaticism of the far-right and ultra-conservative ideologies are not the path to the White House. If that is true then I think things are definitely looking up for the GOP and say congratulations to those candidates who have come around.