Prominent conspiracy theorist, reality TV show host and “financially embattled thousandaire” Donald Trump will attempt to moderate a Republican presidential debate in Iowa later this month, The New York Times reports.
No Republican presidential candidates have yet said whether they will actually attend the debate, co-sponsored by Newsmax and something called “Ion Television.” But given its location (Des Moines) and its date (December 27th, just days before the Iowa caucuses), Republican primary voters may very well have a chance to see the GOP field receive a grilling from the one-time Reform Party candidate.
“Our readers and the grass roots really love Trump,” Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy told the Times. “They may not agree with him on everything, but they don’t see him as owned by the Washington establishment, the media establishment.”
Trump, who has hinted since last spring that he might run for president himself, has been named as a possible vice presidential candidate by at least one long-shot Republican hopeful.
When asked by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Friday if she had anyone in mind for the VP slot, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann name checked Trump as one person who would “fit the bill.”
Trump, Bachmann said, is someone she thinks “a lot of people would be intrigued with.”
UPDATE: A spokesman for Jon Huntsman tells Business Insider that the former Utah Governor will not be attending the Trump/Newsmax/Ion debate, but is looking forward to “watching Mitt and Newt suck-up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn.”
UPDATE 2: Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul tells The Daily Caller that they’ve “received the invitation” and are “taking a look at it.”