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Update 1:23 p.m. Well, Donald Trump now says he's considering nixing the whole debate. Bachmann, unlike Perry and Romney, did not manage to bow out of this month's debate without the would-be moderator's ire. This morning on Imus in the Morning, Trump said he's particularly mad at Bachmann, whom he says -- wait for it -- once said she'd consider making him her vice presidential candidate. Quoth Trump:

You know who I am very disappointed in? Michele Bachmann. She came up to see me four times. She would call me and ask me for advice ... She said if she wins, she would like to think about me for the vice presidency. Most importantly, I did a two-hour phone call for her with her people.

And now we ask you to put aside the questions you might have about a debate moderator taking VP-pick offers, close your eyes, and just picture a Republican National Convention stage with Michelle and Marcus Bachmann standing beside Donald and Melania Trump. You're welcome.

Original Post: It's going to be a two-man show in Des Moines on Dec. 27 as Michele Bachmann has decided to skip the Donald Trump-hosted Republican debate, leaving just Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich slated for the stage. Actually, it's going to be a three-man show, as Trump will certainly draw much of the spotlight himself. In fact, it was Trump's own refusal to move completely to the sidelines of the race that prompted Bachmann (who The Note's Michael Falcone reminds us "has been especially aggressive in her courting of the real estate and reality television mogul") to withdraw. Both she and Rick Perry, who ducked out a few hours earlier on Thursday, did so after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Thursday that "he didn't think it was appropriate to take part in a debate moderated by someone who says he's not ruling out a third-party run," Politico reports. Trump said earlier this week he would consider running as an independent "if they pick somebody who I think can't win and if they pick somebody who is, in my opinion, the wrong person," USA Today reports.









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