Donald Trump isn’t running for president, but he’s going to be part of a Republican debate nonetheless.
The real-estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” star will moderate a debate among the Republican presidential candidates on Dec. 27. There’s no word as to whether the candidates will be arranged on one side of a conference table, some sitting and some standing, during the debate.
The debate — which comes one week before the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of primary season — will air on ION Television. Conservative publisher Newsmax is sponsoring the debate. The New York Times reports that Newsmax sent invitations to candidates Friday (Dec. 2) that read, “We are pleased to cordially invite you to ‘The Newsmax Ion Television 2012 Presidential Debate,’ moderated by a truly great American, Mr. Donald J. Trump.”
Trump made a lot of noise earlier this year about running for president (not coincidentally, most of it occurred while “The Celebrity Apprentice” was airing on NBC). After repeatedly sniping at President Obama, Trump announced in May that he wouldn’t run — not at a news conference but at NBC’s upfront event for advertisers.
The immense number of debates among the Republican candidates in the last few months have generated mostly strong ratings for the outlets that aired them. Trump’s involvement all but ensures a bigger-than-usual audience for ION on the 27th.