"The Donald" to Moderate Debate; Expects to Endorse or Run as Independent

Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and reality television star, told Special Report host Bret Baier on Friday that, after moderating a debate in Iowa, he plans to endorse a presidential candidate in the GOP primary race.

And, Trump added, if he's not satisfied with the party nominee - he'll run as an independent.

"If I endorse somebody, I'm with that person," Trump said by phone in Florida. "But if somebody else gets in who I think is somebody that I don't think is appropriate for the job, I don't think could win, I don't think would well and would maybe not be a good president, and if the economy continues to be bad, I would run as an independent, yes. I don't want to do that, I love what I'm doing, and I'm doing it well, but if -- if -- those circumstances happen to happen, I would do that, yes."

Newsmax, the conservative news outlet, announced Friday that the "Apprentice" host had agreed to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines on Dec. 27, one week before the January 3 caucus.

Baier asked Trump to respond to political observers who say the primary is turning into a reality television show, especially now that a reality show host is moderating a debate days before the Iowa caucus.

"This is just about the most important election we've had in a hundred years, responded Trump. "It is so important because the country is at a point where if it goes in the wrong direction any longer. It's going to be very, very hard for this country to come back. I'm really not viewing it in any other way. I'm honored that they asked me,"

He added, "I probably will get really great ratings. I'm a ratings machine for whatever reason, that's what they say in all of the newspapers anyway."

As to whether his possible third party run would spoil the chances of the Republican nominee, Trump admitted, "I think I'd probably hurt the Republicans more than I'd hurt [President Obama]."

But, he insisted, "I really believe that it's time that a third party candidate could absolutely run and win. I believe that. I think that can happen -- I think it's set -- people are very unhappy and I must say I'm a Republican but very unhappy with the Republicans. And they're very, very unhappy with the Democrats and the president in particular. So, if there were ever a time for a third party run, this would be it."

Asked to comment on the current GOP field, Trump said it seems to have whittled down to just two candidates now that "Herman's taken a tremendous beating" and there are essentially only thirty days left until the caucus: Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, who Trump referred to as "two very talented people."

"Newt is a rocket ship, how he's come from nowhere and he's leading the pack now," Trump said, noting that he is a "little surprised" by Mitt Romney's performance in the polls given that "he's done so well in debates and he's a talented guy -- great look, great everything."

"He just doesn't seem to pick up those poll numbers when somebody leaves. If Herman goes or if Michele goes or if somebody goes, he doesn't seem to pick up those poll numbers."

On Monday, Trump is scheduled to meet with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who he says he's known for a "long time."

"Newt is actually a member of a great club that I own in Washington, right outside of Washington . And he's a tremendous guy and everybody at that place really likes him a lot. That tells you something, by the way, cause I know plenty of people that you and I both know and people that work at different clubs and places I know -- they don't like those people. But he's a very popular guy there."

Watch the entire interview at www.foxnews.com/specialreport