Trump proposes $5 million ransom for showing up at CNN debate

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Trump Threatens To Skip CNN Debate Unless They Pay $5 Million

MACON, Georgia -- Donald Trump says he isn't joking anymore.

The front-running GOP presidential candidate, who often has crowds laughing during his rallies, threatened to change his jokey style because it results in him being misrepresented -- both in the press and in attack ads from his opponents.

"They take two second snippets," he exclaimed before settling back into his usual style, comedy included.

But that's not the only threat Trump levied. In a chilly arena that was transformed from an ice rink into an event space by laying down plastic tiles to cover the rink floor, the businessman put a price on his participation at the coming CNN Republican debate: $5 million.

"How about I tell CNN, who doesn't treat me properly ... I'm not gonna do the next debate, okay?" The demand garnered tepid applause from the crowd.

Trump zeroed in more on his idea: "I won't do the debate unless they pay me $5 million, all of which goes to Wounded Warriors or goes to vets."

That was something the crowd could get behind, and an idea Trump has floated once before.

"The problem is they'll say 'Trump is chicken,'" he said. "One thing I'm not is chicken, okay?"

See photos of Trump's latest appearance meeting with African-American pastors on Monday:

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Trump proposes $5 million ransom for showing up at CNN debate
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, talks with reporters while surrounded by a group of African-American religious leaders in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump met with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, foreground right center, says goodbye to Dr. Darrell Scott, foreground left center, the senior pastor of New Spirit Revival Ministries in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in the middle of a media crush in the Trump Tower lobby in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump met with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Republican Candidate Donald Trump(L) arrives to talk to the press with Rev. Darrell Scott(C), senior pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights (C)after meetings with prominent African American clerics at Trump Tower in New York November 30 ,2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Rev. Darrell Scott, senior pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights (3rd-L) and Republican Candidate Donald Trump speak to the press after meetings with prominent African American clerics at Trump Tower in New York November 30 ,2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, foreground right center, shakes hands with Pastor Mark Burns, right, top center, co-Founder & CEO of Christian Television Network, and has his hand on the shoulder of Dr. Darrell Scott, foreground left center, the senior pastor of New Spirit Revival Ministries in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in the middle of a media crush in the Trump Tower lobby in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump met with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump listens at left as Pastor Darrell Scott talks to reporters in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump met with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, talks to Pastor Darrell Scott while surrounded by reporters in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump met with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Pastor Darrell Scott of the New Spirit Revival Center in Ohio speaks to reporters outside of Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump is scheduled to meet with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting Monday at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, joins a group of African-American religious leaders to speak to reporters in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, following a meeting with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Pastor Mark Burns, co-founder & CEO of Christian Television Network, from Easley, S.C., right, speaks to the members of the media outside Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump is scheduled to meet with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Dr. Steve Parson of the Richmond Christian Center, points to Donald Trump's book "Why We Want You to be Rich," as he talks to the members of the media outside Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Trump is scheduled to meet with a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders in a private meeting at Trump Tower. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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In keeping with his say-anything style, Trump then managed to hit eight of his GOP opponents in the span of about five minutes. Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Chris Christie, all earned a jab from Trump -- who even included Sen. Ted Cruz in his diatribe, though with more of a warning than an attack.

"There's only one way to get to the top and it's all through Trump, let's face it."

And when the moment comes that Cruz does attack him, the GOP frontrunner said it would be a "sad day but we will hit back, I promise."

A frequent target at these rallies: Hillary Clinton, who Trump said "should've been indicted" over her email scandal. He also added in a throwback to the tumultuous years of the Clinton White House, mentioning the Whitewater controversy and reminding the crowd that "we can't get involved in that anymore."

He also attacked Barack Obama, saying that history would remember him as a "horrible president" who "didn't know what the hell he was doing."

The barbs were typical Trump, but for some his usual candor wasn't as compelling as it has been in the past. About half an hour into Trump's nearly hour-long remarks members of the crowd, which law enforcement officials estimated to be just shy of 6,000, began to file towards the back of the arena. Some told NBC News they were moving to the upper rafters, presumably for a quicker exit once the rally ended. Another young man draped in an American flag was prioritizing his own needs, saying "I just have to pee." One woman though, before being pulled away by her boyfriend, expressed dismay over the speech's content.

She told NBC News that Trump was "just talking more about Obama" instead of discussing how he himself would unify the country. Her boyfriend tugged her arm and, unprompted, clarified her words, saying that they were leaving early to go pick something up at her place of work.

Still, the ones that stayed with him to the end were confident as ever in their support of the man who has led the Republican field in polls for months. "We need more of him!" a man said as he exited. Another woman said "Mr Trump really has his finger on the pulse of America right now." Ryan Farmer, 23, said that in his eyes Trump was the somebody America needs to "step up and truly lead. He's the true definition a leader in every sense."

There to bolster his leadership credentials, an outsider of an election past: Herman Cain. The Georgia native, who was leading the race at this point in the 2011 cycle, told the crowd he was there simply because "Donald Trump asked me to." Cain even included his catch phrase -- "aw shucky ducky!" -- before turning over the floor to The Donald, coming short of endorsing him, though this is the second time the two have appeared together in The Peach State.

RELATED: Click through to see the many expressions of the real estate mogul

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The many faces of Donald Trump
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Trump proposes $5 million ransom for showing up at CNN debate
FORT WORTH, TX - FEBRUARY 26: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 26, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump is campaigning in Texas, days ahead of the Super Tuesday primary. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a campaign rally Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Florence, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a child he pulled from the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
TOPSHOT - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, February 19, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump gestures during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Plymouth State University Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Plymouth, N.H. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Pastor Joshua Nink, right, prays for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as wife, Melania, left, watches after a Sunday service at First Christian Church Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, February 19, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump blows a kiss after speaking at his caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Snyder)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop before next months earliest in the nation presidential primary, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Windham,NH (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
RENO, NV - JANUARY 10: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at the Reno Event Center on January 10, 2016 in Reno, Nevada. Donald Trump continued to raise doubts Sunday about rival Ted Cruzs eligibility for the presidency, saying Republicans will risk losing a lawsuitand potentially the nations highest officeif they nominate Cruz as their candidate. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pops through a doorway as he arrives to address a gathering during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
MESA, AZ - DECEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered during a campaign event at the International Air Response facility on December 16, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona. Trump is in Arizona the day after the Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNN in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Republican Candidate Donald Trump arrives to speaks to the press with Rev. Darrell Scott(R), senior pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights after meetings with prominent African American clerics at Trump Tower in New York November 30 ,2015. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 23: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on November 23, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Trump spoke about immigration and Obamacare, among other topics, to around 14,000 supporters at the event. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - OCTOBER 23: Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump attends a campaigns rally In Florida at the Trump National Doral on October 23, 2015 in Doral, Florida. Trump leads most polls in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Johnny Louis/FilmMagic)
COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 23: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves a campaign event September 23, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Earlier today, Trump tweeted 'FoxNews has been treating me very unfairly & I have therefore decided that I won't be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.' (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump reacts during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Donald Trump greets supporters, tourists and the curious after taping an interview with Anderson Cooper at a Trump owned building in mid-town Manhattan on July 22, 2015 in New York City. Trump, who is running for president on a Republican ticket, has come under intensifying criticism for his behavior on the campaign trail. The billionaire's most recent comments on Senator John McCain's war record in Vietnam have resulted in almost universal criticism from fellow candidates. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves for lunch after being summoned for jury duty in New York, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. Trump was due to report for jury duty Monday in Manhattan. The front-runner said last week before a rally in New Hampshire that he would willingly take a break from the campaign trail to answer the summons. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, left, looks on as Sam Clovis, newly appointed national co-chairman of Trumps campaign, speaks during a news conference ahead of a rally at Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. President Barack Obama's top business ambassador dismissed Trump's call for a wall along the Mexico border, saying the U.S. is focused instead on expanding business with one of its biggest trade partners. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BILOXI, MS - JANUARY 02: Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump pauses with supporters after speaking at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum on January 2, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Trump, who has strong support from Southern voters, spoke to thousands in the small Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico. Trump continues to split the GOP establishment with his populist and controversial views on immigration, muslims and some of his recent comments on women. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pulls his hair back to show that it is not a toupee while speaking during a rally at the TD Convention Center, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Greenville, S.C. Trump says his trademark hairdo is for real. He told 1,800 people in South Carolina Thursday: "It's my hair ... I swear." (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Supporters reach to great Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as he leaves a brief stop to speak to supporters and the media in Laredo, Texas, Thursday, July 23, 2015. Trump predicted Hispanics would love him, because as president he said he'd grab jobs back from overseas and give more opportunity to those who live in the U.S. legally. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump remarks about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's glasses at his South Carolina campaign rally in Bluffton, S.C., Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
LAREDO, TEXAS - JULY 23: Republican Presidential candidate and business mogul Donald Trump talks to the media at a press conference during his trip to the border on July 23, 2015 in Laredo, Texas. Trump's recent comments, calling some immigrants from Mexico as drug traffickers and rapists, have stirred up reactions on both sides of the aisle. Although fellow Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has denounced Trump's comments and his campaign in general, U.S. Senator from Texas Ted-Cruz has so far refused to bash his fellow Republican nominee. (Photo by Matthew Busch/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responds to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's closing remarks during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 15: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump eats a pork chop on a stick and gives a thumbs up sign to fairgoers at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage and touring the fairgrounds. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker participate in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
OSKALOOSA, IA - JULY 25: Republican presidential hopeful businessman Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for a rally on July 25, 2015 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. During his last visit to the state Trump sparked controversy when he said Senator John McCain (R-AZ), a former POW, was not a war hero. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, in Washington. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
TURNBURRY, SCOTLAND - JUNE 08: Donald Trump Visits Turnberry Golf Club, after its $10 Million refurbishment, on June 8, 2015 in Turnberry, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
DERRY, NH - AUGUST 19: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hugs an American flag as he takes the stage for a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, August 19, 2015. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IOWA - AUGUST 15: Donald Trump at the Iowa State Fair on August 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Iowa State Fair is one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the United States. The annual fair, the largest event in Iowa, attracts over a million visitors each year. The fair runs through August 23. After a brief walk around its time for Mr Trump to board his club cart again and leave the fair. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
AYR, SCOTLAND - JULY 30: Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump visits his Scottish golf course Turnberry on July 30, 2015 in Ayr, Scotland. Donald Trump answered questions from the media at a press conference. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
TURNBURRY, SCOTLAND - JUNE 08: Donald Trump visits Turnberry Golf Club, after its $10 Million refurbishment on June 8, 2015 in Turnberry, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate, gestures while speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015. The sponsor, The FAMiLY LEADER, is a 'pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-life organization which champions the principle that God is the ultimate leader of the family.' Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 16: Donald Trump arrives at NBCUniversal's 2015 Winter TCA Tour - Day 2 at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on January 16, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, president and chief executive officer of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, pauses while speaking during a news conference at Trump Towers in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. 'I have signed the pledge,' he said, referring to a document stating that he would not run as an independent candidate in the event that he does not win the Republican nomination. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US tycoon Donald Trump arrives to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington, on February 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
EDISON, NJ - AUGUST 30: A golf fan takes a 'selfie' with presidential candidate Donald Trump during the final round of The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club on August 30, 2015 in Edison, New Jersey. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JULY 10: Donald Trump plays a round of golf after the opening of The Trump International Golf Links Course on July 10, 2012 in Balmedie, Scotland. The controversial £100m course opens to the public on Sunday July 15. Further plans to build hotels and homes on the site have been put on hold until a decision has been made on the building of an offshore windfarm nearby. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
BIRCH RUN, MI - AUGUST 11: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a press conference before delivering the keynote address at the Genesee and Saginaw Republican Party Lincoln Day Event August 11, 2015 in Birch Run, Michigan. This is Trump's first campaign event since his Republican debate last week. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, FL - APRIL 16: Billionaire Donald Trump speaks to a crowd at the 2011 Palm Beach County Tax Day Tea Party April 16, 2011 at Sanborn Square in Boca Raton, Florida. Trump is considering a bid for the 2012 precidency and is expected to announce his running in the coming weeks. (Photo by John W. Adkisson/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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