Trump Endorsement a Blessing or Curse?

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Of the GOP presidential candidates planning to attend the Iowa caucuses in January, Newt Gingrich leads rivals Mitt Romney and Texas Sen. Ron Paul 33 to 18, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
  
Gingrich made a pilgrimage to New York Monday in search of an endorsement from real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump, the man some say would like to be the GOP kingmaker in the 2012 race.
    
In an interview with CBN News Sr. Political Correspondent David Brody, Trump said he approaches endorsements like a business.

"I'm very proud of the company I've built," Trump explained. "I've taken care of a lot of people from the standpoint of education and health care and families that make a lot of money. I have many people who work for me, and I've built a great company." 

"And I said, 'You know what? That's what this country needs,'" he continued. "We need somebody who has deep thinking where they can build because that's ultimately… a big version of what I do."

"And I've gotten to know the candidates, and I just want to make sure we get the right candidate. So at some point, I'll be endorsing somebody and hopefully that person will win," Trump concluded.

Trump has also met with Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

The business mogul will be moderating a debate in Iowa near the end of the month, and so far only three candidates have agreed to take part.

Dr. Charles Dunn, a professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., warns there can be a downside to playing politics with Trump.

"Trying to play the role of political pontiff and have all of these leading candidates come and kiss his ring, it is really something that I would say Republican candidates not line up and do this," Dunn cautioned.

"People don't take it seriously, so why do you want somebody hosting this debate that rank-and-file people don't take seriously?" Dunn asked.

Endorsements aside, Gingrich and the other candidates have a real challenge: With the Iowa caucuses taking place just two days after New Year's, the GOP contenders are faced with trying to get voters' attention during a very busy holiday season. 

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John Waage

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.