Perry to Skip Trump Debate

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the latest candidate to decline an invitation to participate in Donald Trump's Newsmax debate in Iowa.

A spokesman said Perry spoke to Trump recently and that while the he respects Trump very much, Perry has other campaign priorities.

"Traditional retail campaigning in the days and weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus is the Perry campaign's top priority," Ray Sullivan, Perry's communications director said in a statement. "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."

The Dec. 27 debate comes just one week before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

Only two candidates have agreed to appear at Trump's debate: Iowa frontrunner Newt Gingrigh and Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney, Ron PaulJon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann have all declined.