Adam B. Vary
December 13, 2011 AT 09:52 PM EST

Well, it was good while it lasted. After enticing political junkies and late night comics with the prospect of hosting his very own Republican presidential debate, professional media luminary Donald Trump announced today that he has pulled out of moderating the debate planned by right wing publication Newsmax in Iowa on Dec. 27.

Of course, because this is Donald Trump we’re taking about, he did so while also managing to float once again the prospect of him running for president as an independent candidate by citing said possibility as the reason he was withdrawing from the Iowa debate. And, for good measure, he managed to plug The Apprentice in the very first sentence of his announcement. Which you can read in full below. Behold: 

The Republican Party candidates are very concerned that sometime after the final episode of The Apprentice, on May 20th, when the equal time provisions are no longer applicable to me, I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent and that, unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent, they will not agree to attend or be a part of the Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27, 2011. It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate. Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate. The American people are embarrassed by the gridlock currently taking place in Washington. I must leave all of my options open because, above all else, we must make America great again!

I would like to thank Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for having the courage, conviction, and confidence to immediately accept being a part of the Newsmax debate. I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!

One could speculate that Trump is no longer moderating the Newsmax debate because only Gingrich and Santorum have agreed to attend, and several high profile candidates — like Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman — explicitly declined to be a part of The Celebrity Apprentice: Iowa Edition. And one could also note that former Celebrity Apprentice cast member Gary Busey has already endorsed Newt Gingrich, placing Trump in an ethical minefield, especially if Meat Loaf gets word of it. But one would be obviously wrong in doing so. Because one has obviously forgotten how serious and important and HUGE a political figure Donald Trump has become in the past year, when he was for a brief, shining moment the GOP frontrunner, and he singlehandedly got President Barack Obama to finally — FINALLY!!! — release his birth certificate. So clearly, Romney, Paul, and Huntsman are terrified of his prospective candidacy, and therefore will miss out on what would have been “not only … the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!” It is their loss, and it is ours.

Do you agree? Or do you think just maybe democracy is better served when its reality TV sideshow barkers stay out of politics?

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Read more:

Donald Trump to moderate Republican debate. Could they not get Ivanka? (POLL)

Gary Busey endorses Newt Gingrich: Which politically minded stars would you actually listen to?

In your (golden) face, Trump! Colbert announces his own Serious, Classy Republican debate

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