New York billionaire Donald Trump said in 2012 that former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann showed “great disloyalty” for not participating in a Newsmax-sponsored debate moderated by Trump.
Trump’s comments have resurfaced as he has dropped out of Thursday’s Fox News debate, the last debate before the Iowa caucuses Feb. 1. He made the remarks on Twitter after Bachmann, a former Republican congresswoman, dropped out of the GOP presidential primary in 2012.
Michele Bachmann just dropped out of prez race— when she didn’t do the Newsmax debate it showed great disloyalty and people rejected her.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2012
After Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and Ron Paul declined to attend the debate, Trump himself dropped out, and the debate was canceled.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum had accepted the invitation, however.
“Many of my opponents jockeyed to be the first to fly up to New York and use Donald Trump for a photo op and no doubt try and secure an endorsement. But when Donald wants to moderate a debate — they refuse to attend,” said Gingrich at the time.
“That’s what’s so wrong with politics today — hypocrisy. At this critical time in our nation’s history, just weeks before Iowans cast this important vote — many of the other candidates want to hide behind TV ads and mail pieces. We plan to be there front and center in person to debate Newt directly, and if it’s just the two of us, we’re fine with it.”
He later told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren,”I think if you’re afraid to debate with Donald Trump, people are going to say, ‘so you want me to believe you can debate Barack Obama but you’re afraid to show up with Donald Trump?'”