Donald Trump to Host GOP Debate
Conservative Newsmax picks him for Iowa event in late December
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2011 3:39 PM CST
In this photo taken April 25, 2011, Donald Trump is interviewed in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – The "you're fired" jokes already are flying fast and furious: Donald Trump has been picked to host a Republican debate in Iowa on Dec. 27, reports the New York Times. The forum is sponsored by the conservative media group Newsmax, and invitations went out to the candidates today. It takes place just a week before the Iowa caucuses.

Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy explains the choice: “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, the media establishment." Politico notes that given Trump's clout on the right—as evidenced by many of the candidates' visits to see him—it would be a tough invitation for any of the GOP hopefuls to decline.