Why Trump bowed out of debate

Donald Trump (file)
Donald Trump (file)
Seth Wenig/AP Photo

It seems even Donald Trump doesn’t want to attend the Donald Trump debate. After downgrading the Newsmax-Ion TV event to a “chat,” today he finally bowed out.

Trump released a YouTube video to explain his cancellation and reiterated his threat to run as an Independent next year. In the video, he gave Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum “a lot of credit because they have the guts to come.” Though, he didn’t want to “waste” their time, should he decide to run himself next year.

Trump first announced his gig as moderator 11 days ago. After six days, the guest list remained very skimpy; all but two candidate — Gingrich and Santorum — announced they were skipping out of the Iowa event. Research suggests GOP candidates might be better off ditching.

A recent NBC News poll found Trump’s endorsement of Republican candidates may be poisonous with primary voters. In Iowa, 32 percent of likely caucus-goers say Trump’s stamp of approval makes them less likely to vote for a politician. In New Hampshire, 37 percent said the reality TV star’s stamp of approval would do more harm than good for the candidate.