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With each passing day the initially-hilarious notion of The Donald Trump Debate gets less humorous, today even more so after Rick Perry wisely declined the mogul's supposed invitation that couldn't be refused. Oh well. Perry's politely declining statement was still reverent to Donald Trump, saying:

Governor Perry has talked to Donald Trump in recent days and respects him and the folks at NewsMax very much. There two debates in the next 7 days.

Traditional retail campaigning in the days and weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus is the Perry campaign's top priority. In the coming weeks, Gov. Perry will be in Iowa almost continually, meeting with real voters, doing town hall meetings and events and talking American jobs, faith and overhauling Washington, DC to Iowa voters.

So we have respectfully declined the invitation for the December 27th debate.

No one would recommend Perry compete in three debates in just one week. Anyone could have a hard time remembering things with Donald bellowing at them.

So where does that leave Trump with GOP candidates that he can interrogate and write off on his way towards declaring his own independent candidacy on December 27th (and sell a few more books along the way)? The field is looking pretty thin. On The Atlantic Wire's rolling tally of potential Trump debate attendees it's now just Newt "I never will decline a debate" Gingrich and nothing-to-lose Rick Santorum. And, no offense to Michele Bachmann, even if she did say "yes" it probably wouldn't save what could've been for the Trump debate.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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