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Donald Trump Backs Out Of His Own GOP Debate After Candidates Bail

Donald Trump has backed out of moderating a Republican debate after all but two candidates refused to attend.

But Trump claims he's pulling out of the debate not because he still considering running for president as an independent candidate and didn't want to create a "conflict of interest."

He also manages to plug 'The Apprentice' in the process.

"The Republican Party candidates are very concerned that sometime after the final episode of The Apprentice, on May 20th, when the equal time provisions are no longer applicable to me,"

"I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent and that, unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent, they will not agree to attend or be a part of the Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27, 2011."

"It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate," he continues in a statement.

"Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate. The American people are embarrassed by the gridlock currently taking place in Washington. I must leave all of my options open because, above all else, we must make America great again!"

"I would like to thank Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for having the courage, conviction, and confidence to immediately accept being a part of the Newsmax debate. I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!"

Ron Paul was the first candidate who refused to participate in the debate because he believed it would have a circus-like atmosphere. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann soon followed.

Watch below if you want to listen to The Donald explain his reasoning on how "unfair" it is that he can't run because he has a "big show" called 'The Apprentice'. Yes, the same show NBC had given up on and cancelled until a celebrity edition revived the franchise:

December 14, 2011 |

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