(CNN) - Real estate mogul and television celebrity Donald Trump, who generated a media publicity blitz by saying he might run for president in 2012, announced Monday that he will instead remain a businessman.
"After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the presidency," Trump said in a statement.
With his typical bravado, Trump maintained that he would have won the Republican primary and the general election, but recognized 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 said in the statement.
Trump's flirtation with running for the Republican nomination included his demand that President Barack Obama make public his full birth certificate from Hawaii.
Obama previously had provided a shorter version that serves as the public record in Hawaii, but amid the media glare on the issue raised in part by Trump's repeated questioning of whether the so-called long version of the document existed, the president released it last month.
At an NBC presentation of the network's fall line-up, Trump, star of "Celebrity Apprentice," said "NBC has been amazing. This will be our 12th season and I have to say I love 'Celebrity Apprentice.'"
"I will not be running for president as much as I'd like to," Trump added.
"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
So he wasn't serious about running, what a shock. To CNN, FOX News etc., you just got USED BIG TIME!
Cue the bass...
BADA BOOMMP BOOOMP OOMMP, Another One Bites the Dust, oowwh
BOOMMP BOOMMP OOMMP, Another ONe Bites the Dust
And Another One Gone and Another ONe GOne
Another One Bites the Dust!
What sheer genius! Tens of millions of dollars worth of free publicity!
(Oh, come on... you folks didn't actually take that whole "I'm thinking about running for president" thing seriously, did you?)
What a relic. Ha Ha. This guy and the sheep who follow him are such a joke. The rich representing the rich. Hey Donald, if you want to run the country, the secret is not to run for president, simply buy yourself a a couple congressmen and and other government representatives like all the other rich people do. Didn't you get the rich aristocrat memo?
I'm glad he finally announced he isn't running. It's not like anyone actually took him seriously in the first place. He's wasting the American people's time with his ridiculous, narcissistic, games. I have to wonder what delusional fantasy he is hanging onto by saying that he is confident that he could still win the general election. The American people need an intelligent, level headed, experienced leader, non of which are Donald Trump. If only the Republicans could get it together and find a strong candidate instead of people like Newt and Ron Paul, they might stand a chance at beating President Obama, but that's not looking like a possibility at this point.
I won't believe he has withdrawn from the race until he makes a LONG-FORM announcement!
Hey Donald – You're Fired, YOU'RE FIRED...You're SO FIRED, I am going to hire you again just so that I could fire you....You're so fired, don't show up to your next two jobs; that's how fired you are....LMAO....
Obama handed your behind to you within 72 hours! Not surprised you chickened out Donald...Makes perfect sense to me! Any idiot that would have voted for this nutjob should have their voting rights revoked.
Trump has been running for President for the past 25 years so it is hardly a surprise that he never had any intentions of running for real. He has a long track record of pretending to run and that is about all he has got. He just jumped on the Republican Side Show of Circus characters that pretend they are going to run so they can sell their souls by hawking books and reality TV shows at the expense of slamming the sitting President on anything and everything.Trump now needs to do some serious damage control for his comapny which he took down to the gutter with his foolishness of pretending that he would run for office. He is the most irresponsible business owner in the country and will always be a big mouthed birther and nothing more
He didn't run because he'd have to disclose his financial data. He's not worth nearly as much as the public perceives
First smart thing the jack wipe has ever done in his life by not running!!!
Trump was our last hope for the USA.
If Trump was worth what the billions he claims he's worth...he would have run for President! It's clear to the world now that he is full of hot air and is no position to leave his day job!! Obama 2012!!
He could have run with Palin to seal the deal for Obama's re-election. Seriously, he's an idiot.
WHat a joke this man is.
He'd bankrupt the country inside of a year – just like he did with several businesses in the '80's
Did anyone really believe he would run?
I knew trump was full of crap. He know were near obama level. He just waste my time and tv time. Knowing he was not going to run the whole time. Obama would have won any way
All I can say is if the American people are dumb enough to vote for someone like him I'm moving out of the US!!!
well this gentleman certainly has qualities we don't know about... what a shame we don't recognize his genius...
Fired himself in advance, I guess.
Oh Mighty MOUTH the arrogant is the only one that thought he could win. Maybe he'll shut up for
in other news, I too am not running for president. no no, not because I don't want to and don't think I would win, but, uh, because I am, uh, taking time to enjoy my family. Yes, that's it.
Nothing but a showboating carpetbagger. I hope those who were willing to support him will think twice in the future before being fooled again but a phony who's just saying whatever you want to hear in order to get your vote.
As if any rational person actually thought he would run. As has been noted by MANY, he is a world class self-promoter and it was all just a publicity stump to keep him in the spotlight and improve his marketability. This was completely predicted by everyone with a clue.
well this gentleman certainly has qualities we don't know about... what a shame we don't recognize his genius..