“I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly,” he said. “Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”
Read the full statement:
After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency. This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.
I want to personally thank the millions of Americans who have joined the various Trump grassroots movements and written me letters and e-mails encouraging me to run. My gratitude for your faith and trust in me could never be expressed properly in words. So, I make you this promise: that I will continue to voice my opinions loudly and help to shape our politician’s thoughts. My ability to bring important economic and foreign policy issues to the forefront of the national dialogue is perhaps my greatest asset and one of the most valuable services I can provide to this country. I will continue to push our President and the country’s policy makers to address the dire challenges arising from our unsustainable debt structure and increasing lack of global competitiveness. Issues, including getting tough on China and other countries that are methodically and systematically taking advantage of the United States, were seldom mentioned before I brought them to the forefront of the country’s conversation. They are now being debated vigorously. I will also continue to push for job creation, an initiative that should be this country’s top priority and something that I know a lot about. I will not shy away from expressing the opinions that so many of you share yet don’t have a medium through which to articulate.
I look forward to supporting the candidate who is the most qualified to help us tackle our country’s most important issues and am hopeful that, when this person emerges, he or she will have the courage to take on the challenges of the Office and be the agent of change that this country so desperately needs.
Thank you and God Bless America!
Donald J. Trump
In 2000, Trump thought seriously about running as the Reform Party candidate but dropped out when it became clear he wouldn’t be able to beat both Al Gore and George W. Bush. In both 2004 and 2008, he lightly flirted with jumping into the ring as well. In the last election, he endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary but John McCain in the general election.
Throughout his non-campaign, Trump zeroed in on the issue of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, which many believed would reveal he was a secret Muslim Socialist from KenyaIndonesiastan. Propped up by support from the popular “Birther” movement, Trump’s poll numbers soared within the Republican Party and at one point they hinted he was a possible frontrunner-in-the-making.
But then Obama released his long form birth document, which affirmed what the State of Hawaii has stated for years: that he was born in the United States. Obama used Trump as the butt of many jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner last month and since then his candidacy has lost much of its early lustre.
The decision ends speculation on whether Trump will be returning to his ‘Apprentice’ franchise on NBC. The network announced at their Upfront presentation on Monday that ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ would be coming back in midseason. Bob Greenblatt, the head of NBC entertainment, said the only mystery would be whether Trump was host. But then Trump took the stage and said two things: 1. He’s not running for President. 2. He wants to keep doing ‘The Apprentice.’
He is the second Republican to drop out of consideration in two days. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, announced on his FOX News talk show on Saturday night that would not seek the nomination.