The Washington Times-Herald

Our Perspective

December 13, 2011

Enough is enough

Joplin — To those Republican presidential candidates who declined the invitation to participate in Donald Trump’s debate: You made the right move.

Apparently under the impression that there haven’t been enough Republican presidential debates, the reality TV star, real estate mogul and former presidential candidate has announced that he’ll moderate a debate on Dec. 27.

The prize for “winning” this debate is a potential endorsement from the Donald.

So far, only two of the candidates have accepted the invitation: Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann have all declined.

Even if we take Trump at his word and assume that this debate is really for the purpose of helping Republicans choose a candidate, we believe Trump will use the debate to further his own agenda as well as the ratings of his reality show.

Trump has stated that he still might run as an independent. That means questions could be framed from the bias of an upcoming campaign. Debates are supposed to be fair, right?

The debate is being labeled as an ego trip by former Bush adviser Karl Rove, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus advised against candidates participating in the debate.

Those who have declined have gotten a tongue-lashing from the Donald. Especially Bachmann, who, according to Trump, had visited him four times asking for support and even considered him as a running mate for vice president if she won the nomination. Apparently he was counting on her participation.

We’re reminded of an old-fashioned, common-sense saying: Never wrestle with a pig because you both get dirty, but the pig likes it. Trump smells in this case of unprofessionalism and sensationalism — values that should not be attached to the Republican candidate.

Let Trump call you losers. The only way to win that debate is to not participate.

The Joplin Globe

Joplin, Mo.

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