The Washington Times - December 5, 2011, 11:57AM

Former George W. Bush aide Karl Rove appeared on Fox and Friends on Monday after Donald Trump talked to the Fox News hosts earlier in the morning. Rove tore into Mr. Trump over the December 27th Newsmax sponsored GOP presidential debate the New York City real estate mogul is slated to moderate.


“Well they’re all going to get stuck going to this debate. Here’s a guy whose saying, ‘I’m going to endorse…one of ya’, so that sort of gives him some sort of leverage over them…but should the guy who is going to endorse be the official impartial moderator of the debate?”

Republican presidential candidates Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman have already declined invitations to participate. Other candidates, however the number is still unknown, have already agreed to be part of it. Mr. Trump has said he would decide who he would endorse after the debate. If no candidate impressed him enough or if his endorsed candidate did not win the primary, Trump said he would consider running for president as an independent.

Mr. Rove took issue with the possibility that Trump may jump back into the race while moderating a GOP debate.

“More importantly, what the heck are the Republican candidates doing showing up at a debate with a guy who says, ‘I may run for president next year as an independent.’ The Republican National Committee Chairman should step in and say, ‘We strongly discourage every candidate from appearing in a debate moderated by somebody who is going to run for president,’” Mr. Rove told the Fox and Friends hosts. 

Rove also took at swipe at Trump’s ability to be a moderator, saying: “It’s going to be on the 27th of December. People are still going to be digesting their turkey and playing with their presents.” He added, “It’s on a cable network that’s not well viewed and it’s going to be a giant ego trip and anyone who thinks Donald Trump is going to be the equivalent of Brett Baier or any one of the other moderators we’ve had is kidding themselves.”

Finally, Trump told “Fox and Friends” earlier that he disclosed his financial statements in his new book, a requirement for all presidential candidates. Rove laughed that off later saying, “I loved it. He said on your program earlier today that he had revealed his financial statement in his book. I noticed he didn’t fill out ,when he was thinking of running for president, a document that every other presidential candidate filled out called the form 278.”

The form 278  requires, under pain of perjury that an individual must  list all one’s assets and liabilities. “Let’s see if [Trump] is willing to fill out the 278’s and sign it,” said Rove.