Business mogul Donald Trump blasted Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann Friday on Fox Business Network, saying he was "very disappointed" in her decision not to participate in his Dec. 27 debate in Des Moines, Iowa.
Trump was asked about Rep. Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who accepted his invitation to attend the debate he will host on NewsMax.
"[Gingrich] had the courage to immediately say yes. You know who I am very disappointed in? Michele Bachmann," he said. "She came up to see me four times. She would call me and ask me for advice. She said if she wins, she would like to think about me for the vice-presidency."
"Most importantly, I did a two hour phone call for her with her people," he continued. "And people said 'are you endorsing her?' The answer was no. And after all that she announced she was not going to do the debate. It's called loyalty. How do you do that? It's amazing to me."
Bachmann's spokeswoman told ABC News on Thursday that the candidate will not participate in the debate. Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have also declined to attend.
They have some support in that decision from top Republicans. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus said on Thursday he was concerned about Republican candidates participating in the debate because Trump is still considering running as an independent. Former Bush White House senior adviser Karl Rove said the debate would be a "giant ego trip" for Trump.
Trump said Thursday that Romney lacked the "courage" to participate in the debate. "I'm disappointed that he didn't seem to -- I don't want to use the word courage -- but didn't seem to have the courage to do the debate," he said on CNN.
Only Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum have accepted so far. When asked whether he would hold the debate if only two candidates participated, Trump said, "I have to look into it. They really want me to drop my status as a potential person to run as an independent and I am not going to do that."
Trump said that the Republican party was "very concerned" about his potential run as an independent. "I may run as an independent and they don't want me to run as an independent. The Republican party is very concerned I have that possibility," he said. "As long as 'The Apprentice' runs, I am not allowed to run. It's a very unfair rule because Obama can go on Jay Leno he can go on every show there is and there is no problem but I can’t have a show. So it's a very unfair rule."
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