Donald Trump, on MSNBC today, reacting to Mitt Romney's rejection of Trump's debate.
"I'm surprised that Mitt Romney said 'no'. He was very nice. He called me yesterday, and he said he's very busy, he's so busy, and I was a little bit surprised at that.
.... I think he's a very nice guy, actually, I've known him for awhile, and I've gotten to know him pretty well, lately.
Frankly, I'm surprised because he really wants my endorsement. I mean, he wants it very badly."
Then, maybe sensing that he shouldn't have suggested there might be a link between participating in the debate and his endorsement, Trump quickly walked back.
"That doesn't necessarily affect it [endorsement] one way or the other, but he really wants my endorsement.
.... I would say that if you're down in the polls -- which, respectfully, he is down in the polls fairly substantially in a lot of ways -- I would think that you'd want to be on a debate like this because it would be very well-covered."
Yesterday, Romney told Fox News he was passing on the debate, because he'd be too busy.