After a roller-coaster flirtation with a presidential bid, Donald Trump bowed out of the 2012 contest in true Trump fashion on Monday, saying that while he would not be a candidate this year, if he had run, he would have been able to win the primary and the general election too.
“I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election,” Trump said in a statement on Monday. “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.”
Trump, who had contemplated running for president in years past, seemed poised take the plunge this time around. He even had a tentative date set for a campaign announcement: May 25 in the atrium of Trump Tower in New York City.
According to Trump aides, the real estate and reality television mogul had even settled on campaign consultants to help steer his potential White House bid. Trump had already made two visits to New Hampshire within the last month and had a series of events planned in that state and in Iowa over the next few weeks.
“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,” Trump said in the statement. “I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly.”