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Bachmann voices concerns, still undecided on attending Trump-moderated debate

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said her campaign is "still in the process of looking at" an upcoming debate moderated by businessman Donald Trump.

Bachmann said on CBS's “The Early Show” that it is a "concern" that Trump plans to endorse a GOP contender, and because "he's said he's already leaning toward a candidate." She rushed to say she has "great respect for Donald Trump," however.

The selection of Trump to moderate the upcoming GOP debate sponsored by Newsmax has split the GOP field.

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Newt Gingrich was the first to agree to the debate, which takes place Dec. 27 in Iowa. It will air on ION television. 

"When I was asked if I would participate in that kind of debate I automatically said yes," Gingrich said Monday following a meeting with Trump in Manhattan. "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." Gingrich also called Trump "an American icon."

Rick Santorum also agreed to participate in the debate, but fellow candidates Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have declined to participate, both naming Trump as a reason. Paul's spokesman said Trump's presence would eventuate in a "circus-like atmosphere" at the debate.

Most of the GOP candidates, with the notable exceptions of Huntsman and Paul, have met with Trump in New York City. Trump, who has not ruled out making a presidential bid himself, has said the candidates seek his advice.

Bachmann noted she has two more debates in Iowa and is focused on the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3. Bachmann's strategy depends on winning big in the Hawkeye State. "We're running to be first in Iowa," she said on the show. 

Bachmann currently polls with 8 percent support from likely caucus-goers in the latest Des Moines Register poll.

Bachmann on the show defended her chances in the GOP race, saying, "[T]wo weeks ago we thought Herman Cain was going to be the nominee. So this is like a political Wall Street, where candidates are going up and going down."