UPDATED!! Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann declared Thursday that they would join Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman in steering clear of the Dec. 27 debate moderated by Donald Trump.
The only two candidates attending will be Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Given how far ahead Gingrich is in the polls, it's now a no-brainer that Trump will endorse Gingrich. Which is likely bad news for Gingrich.
A recent Fox News poll indicates Trump's endorsement would actually hurt the recipient of that endorsement.
Trump, surprisingly, dismissed the Fox News poll as inaccurate.
The Gingrich-Santorum debate won't be that odd. Gingrich and Herman Cain had their own two-man debate on entitlement reform early last month. We'll see if Santorum gets more out of it than Cain did.
I applaud the five candidates who elected not to participate.
Trump, an unofficial candidate for the GOP nomination last spring as the last edition of “Celebrity Apprentice” was airing, described Paul and Huntsman as “joke candidates” after they refused to attend the Newsmax debate.
Neither did Trump seem too excited about the Romney snub. "It would seem logical to me that if I was substantially behind in the polls especially in Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, I would be participating in the debate, but I can also understand why Gov. Romney decided not to do it," Trump said.
Find Reuters’ story on the matter here.