December 3, 2011 by staff
In what already is being called ” ‘The Apprentice’ Debate,” Donald Trump will pair up with Newsmax, a conservative magazine and news website, to moderate a presidential forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 27, one week before the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
Trump’s role, first reported by The New York Times, is certain to be one of the more memorable moments in a presidential primary season that has delivered its share of circuslike spectacle.
Yet, while Trump is derided by liberals — President Obama likened the real-estate mogul to a “carnival barker” during his brief flirtation with a presidential run for repeated assertions the president was foreign-born — he carries weight with an element of the Republicans’ conservative base. That sway seems particularly strong with the party’s tea-party wing, which will be a decisive factor in early caucuses and primaries.
“I was asked to do it by a number of people, including some of my friends that are Republicans, strong Republicans,” Trump said in an MSNBC interview Friday. “I thought it would certainly be a little change of pace for Donald Trump, so I’ll do something I haven’t done before.”
Having finished referring to himself in the third person, Trump moved on to plugging his NBC reality show when asked if he was “worried this debate could look like an episode of ‘The Apprentice.’ ”
“Well, I hope it does as well as ‘The Apprentice,’ ” he responded. ” ‘The Apprentice’ has been an amazing thing.”
Unlike previous debates, this one will not be limited to a specific topic such as national security or the economy. Cable network Ion Television (Comcast, Ch. 3, in Seattle) will broadcast the event.
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