Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has withdrawn from Thursday's presidential debate with party rivals out of anger at host Fox News, leaving the last encounter before Iowa's pivotal nominating contest without the front-runner. Nathan Frandino reports.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he will not be on stage Thursday for the GOP debate in Iowa. His campaign says Trump decided Tuesday night to pull out of the debate, which will be hosted by Fox News. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "The point is that with me they're dealing with somebody that's a little bit different. They can't toy with me, like they toy with everybody else, so let them have their debate and let's see how they do with their ratings." The feud stems from the debate last August when Trump accused Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly of treating him unfairly. But Fox News appears unfazed by Trump's comments. The network released a tongue-in-cheek statement, saying, "We learnt from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president." On Tuesday, Trump called Kelly a lightweight. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "This is not a reporter. This is just a lightweight. Megyn Kelly shouldn't be in the debate. I don't care about Megyn. When Megyn Kelly didn't ask me a question, she made a statement last time, I thought it was inappropriate." The debate is the last one before Iowa opens up the primaries with its caucus on Monday.