It seems Donald Trump found the excuse he was looking for: after over a week of shaming and name-calling, Trump announced today that he would bow out as moderator of Donald Trump's Very Classy GOP Presidential Primary Debate. "So that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate...I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate," Trump hilariously wrote in a statement. At least he was able to get a plug in for The Apprentice!

Critics said Trump's participation in the GOP presidential debate in Des Moines on Dec. 27th, organized by conservative magazine and website Newsmax, conjured up an "unwanted circus-like atmosphere"—and most of the Republican candidates agreed. Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann all dropped out, leaving only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to face-off in what promised to be a classic Lincoln/Douglas-style arm wrestle.

To save face, a disappointed Trump then accused those other GOP candidates with a shred of dignity of being cowards—because they were scared to face Trump as an independent, of course:

The Republican Party candidates are very concerned that sometime after the final episode of The Apprentice, on May 20th, when the equal time provisions are no longer applicable to me, I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent and that, unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent, they will not agree to attend or be a part of the Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27, 2011. It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate.

At least now Trump can get back to doing what he does best: being the most sensitive guy in the world.

Update: Donald Trump owes it to his fans, his family, and his massive, ever-expanding ego to keep open the possibility of running as an independent in next year's election, as he reveals in the video rant below. If by running for president he means, "crafting a publicity stunt to increase my exposure and bring more attention onto my hit show, The Apprentice—Sundays on NBC, don't miss it!", then yes, we think we've seen this film before.