When Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, decided to team up with Donald Trump by asking him to moderate Newsmax’s upcoming Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, December 27, he explained: “Our readers and the grass roots really love Trump. They may not agree with him on everything, but they don’t see him as owned by the Washington establishment [or] the media establishment.”
The timing for the debate appeared to be perfect, coming just a week before the Iowa caucuses. Ruddy no doubt was counting on the debate to increase Newsmax’s influence among its conservative supporters, hoping to build on its already-significant Web traffic. Invitations went out to the Republican presidential candidates on Friday afternoon.
It didn’t take Ron Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, long to respond. On Saturday morning, he issued the following statement:
The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee rejects the selection of Donald Trump as moderator for the Republican presidential debate to be held on December 27th in Iowa.
We have conferred with our Iowa campaign chairman Drew Ivers and vice-chairmen David Fischer and A.J. Spiker who are all RPI State Central Committee Members, and they concur with this decision......
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Photo of Ron Paul: AP Images