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Gingrich: I 'automatically said yes' to Trump debate

"Donald Trump is a great showman. He's also a great businessman. If we're trying to figure out how to create jobs, I think one of the differences between my party and the other party is we actually go to people who know how to create jobs to figure out how to create jobs," said Gingrich at a press conference with Trump Monday. "So, when I was asked if I would participate in that kind of debate I automatically said yes."

Last week it was announced that Trump would moderate a Republican debate on Dec. 27, hosted by the conservative news organization Newsmax.

"We have to be open to new ways of doing things and new ways of approaching things. We live in an age of remarkable media availability … so I thought it was great when he [Trump] agreed to do it. I think it's great that Newsmax is helping launch it," said the former Speaker of the House.

Some of the other candidates weren't as enthusiastic about Trump, who weighed launching a bid of his own, hosting a presidential debate.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman declined to participate after Trump was announced as the debate's moderator.

“The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity,” said Jesse Benton, Ron Paul 2012 national campaign chairman.

Trump dismissed Paul and Huntsman as “joke candidates” on Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" Monday, and said he doesn't believe either has a chance of winning the Republican nomination.

Trump has been a prominent force in the GOP primary process, meeting privately with many of the candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

The reality TV host considered entering the primary field himself earlier this year, but ruled out a bid in May, citing a passion for business over politics.

Veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove also weighed in on the debate Monday, saying that the head of the Republican National Committee should step in to "discourage" presidential candidates from attending the upcoming debate moderated by Trump.

"Here's a guy who is saying, 'I'm going to endorse one of you,' " Rove said, criticizing the choice on "Fox & Friends."