Newsmax Media and ION Television are moving forward with The Newsmax ION Television 2012 Presidential Debate moderated by Donald Trump, a great American success story.
The debate will be at 8 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 27 at the Hoyt Sherman Theatre in Des Moines, Iowa, and will be broadcast to 100 million homes in America via the ION Television network.
The TV audience is estimated to be as high as 10 million viewers.
The GOP front-runner, Newt Gingrich, will join Trump and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum for a conversation about how they plan to defeat President Barack Obama and make America great again.
"Newt Gingrich, who leads in all polls by a wide margin, and Sen. Santorum, who is rising in the Iowa polls, are joining Mr. Trump for the most important event of the primary season," said Steve Coz, vice president and editorial director of Newmax. “Interestingly, both climbed in the polls after accepting the invitation to face off with Mr. Trump, and the other candidates began slipping.
“Whether candidates like it or not, Donald Trump has proven himself to be a frank, straight shooter, and very smart and tough with his views, and has huge political influence. He gets what is happening to America — and millions of American voters agree with him and follow his lead.”
Trump consistently led in presidential polls when he was considering his own bid for the White House, and he left the race as a leading candidate when he decided to continue his top rated TV show, "The Apprentice."
Since then, almost every major GOP candidate has sought his endorsement over the past several weeks, hoping to repeat the surprise victory of Bob Turner, who won a Democratic-held New York congressional seat after Trump threw his support behind him.
The debate has gained huge support from the country’s largest and most powerful conservative groups and voices, but several candidates have declined to join the debate, including Mitt Romney, whose poll numbers have been sliding since his refusal of Trump’s invitation. Former House Speaker Gingrich chastised candidates who declined the debate, saying that they are “afraid” of Trump.
The three most influential conservative groups in the country and a growing number of high-powered conservative voices have endorsed the Newsmax ION debate and have urged GOP candidates to attend.
These include the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC; Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform; Ralph Reed and the Faith and Freedom Coalition; Sarah Palin; Dick Morris; Sean Hannity; and Iowa’s own Republican U.S. representative, Steve King.
King said the debate is important to Iowans, as Trump will make sure the debate has a "focus on America.”
Although some political analysts have said that the missing candidates worry that the dynamic Trump will be too tough on the candidates, national radio show host Don Imus weighed in with this assessment: “It would be the most-watched debate of any of them.”
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