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Donald Trump folds -- will not to run for president

May 16, 2011 | 12:32 pm

Trump

Donald Trump marched in like a lion and on Monday backed out like a lamb, announcing that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president. Indeed, the man who called himself the Democrats' worst nightmare has gone quietly into the night.

"After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency," the boisterous billionaire said in a statement Monday morning.

"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, adding that he believed that if he were to have thrown his hat in the ring, he would probably have been the next president of the United States.

"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," the real-estate tycoon said.

The announcement (full text below) comes a little more than a month after Trump tied Mike Huckabee in the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey. Although each man garnered 19% of the nods in that poll, neither chose to jump into the race. Huckabee announced Saturday that he'd rather not try to take on the GOP hopefuls and the increasingly popular President Obama.

Trump's flirtation with the top spot was always interesting to watch. When he wasn't obsessing over the president's long-form birth certificate or taking credit for its eventual release, he was releasing his own certificate of live birth and, later, his long-form birth certificate.

When he was ruffling the feathers of the women on "The View," Trump insulted anyone who dared question his chances to run or his birther blather.

When Bill Cosby said Trump should "run or shut up," Trump said Cosby was "not as dumb as I thought."

Perhaps the nail in Trump's coffin came a couple of days after speaking to a women's group in Las Vegas. During a profanity-laced speech, Trump said flatly, "Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people."

Two days later, in what Homeland Security advisor John Brennan called one of the gutsiest decisions he'd seen the top leader make, President Obama ordered SEAL Team 6 to raid a three-story compound in Pakistan that housed Osama bin Laden.

ALSO:

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Donald Trump still wants Iraq's oil, calls Fox analyst a 'sad fool' for disagreeing with him

-- Tony Pierce
twitter.com/busblog

Full text of Donald Trump statement, as provided by the legal counsel of the Trump Organization

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!    ####

Photo: Chairman and President of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump, speaks to several GOP women's groups at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, April 28, 2011 in Las Vegas. Credit: David Becker / Getty Images

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