After every Republican presidential candidate except Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum dropped out of his debate, chronic mango-lacquered television ailment Donald Trump has decided to drop the whole thing. But "near-total lack of interest from the invitees," you won't be surprised to learn, is not the reason he gives. He is suddenly concerned about conflicts of interest, such as him running for president later on. Very reasonable. Hmm.

Let's just cut right to his comical dodge of a statement. Did you know that he has another season of The Apprentice starting in the new year? He reminds us in the first sentence:

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very concerned that sometime after the final episode of The Apprentice, on May 20th, when the equal time provisions are no longer applicable to me, I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent and that, unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent,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!

He's right about one thing: It would have been the most watched debate. Damnit.

[via Slate; image of Trump being attacked by a sweater via Getty]