Donald Trump just fired himself from the 2012 Presidential election.
After weeks of very-public discussion regarding a potential bid as the Republican candidate to run against President Barack Obama, the mogul and reality TV star, 64, announced his decision in a statement released on Monday:
"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," Trump said.
Added the political newcomer: "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."
A more experienced Republican leader recently announced his interest in running: Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House.
Obama mocked Trump's "credentials and breadth of experience" during a speech at the White House Correspondents' Bash earlier this month.
"In an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team cooking did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership," Obama joked.
"You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled, sir. Well handled!"
Added Trump in his Monday statement: "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."
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