Trump’s debate: Who’s gonna show?

Mike Krumboltz

Imagine you threw a party and the only guys who RSVP'd 'yes' on your Evite were Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. You'd probably be pretty upset, right? Now you know how Donald Trump feels. The real estate mogul is hosting a debate for the Republican party, but so far just Gingrich and Santorum have agreed to show up.

Gingrich's fellow front-runner Mitt Romney declined the invitation to attend, an act that will surely make the debate appear less legitimate in the eyes of many voters. According to the AP, "several prominent Republicans have urged candidates to skip the Trump debate."

That snub has not gone unnoticed by Trump. He paid a visit to Laura Ingraham's show and blamed Karl Rove ("a political hack" in Trump's words) for making a Republican victory in 2008 an impossible task.

Trump also fired back at Jon Huntsman for his decision to skip Trump's debate. Huntsman, who called the idea of a Trump-moderated debate "a joke," commented that he was "not going to kiss [Trump's] ring, and I'm not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy." Trump called Huntsman's statement "disgusting."

Ron Paul has also declined Trump's offer to attend. Jesse Benton, Paul's national campaign chairman, said, "the selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office's history and dignity."

Other candidates including Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have yet to decide whether they will attend.

Not surprisingly, Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" is quite excited about what he sees as the potential for comedy in the debate. You can check out his segment below.

The debate is scheduled to be held on December 27 in Iowa. It will be broadcast on ION television, and hosted by the conservative magazine and website Newsmax.

Meanwhile, speculation still swirls over whether Trump himself--who had a brief flirtation with a GOP candidacy this spring--will jump in as an independent candidate. He has said that he'd mount an independent run if "the wrong candidate is nominated to run" by the GOP. How a person who is considering a run for president can moderate a debate with impartiality is something we'll have to see for ourselves on December 27. That's assuming, of course, you get ION television.