Donald Trump has fired himself.
Mr. Trump, the real estate mogul and reality television host, is not going to run for president, he said Monday, ending months of over-the-top speculation that he might seek the 2012 Republican nomination.
“After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the presidency,” he said in a statement.
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“I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election,” Mr. Trumps said, adding, “Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion, and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”
In addition to his statement, Mr. Trump announced his decision in person at Monday’s event for the broadcast networks to preview their fall lineups.
“I will not be running for president,” he said, according to Brian Stelter of The New York Times, who is reporting live from the event. Advertisers cheered at the news.
Mr. Trump burst onto the political scene this spring by dangling the possibility that he might use his fortune and his celebrity to mount a campaign against President Obama.
He seized the attention of the news media by making bold and outlandish statements, in particular by asserting doubts that Mr. Obama had been born in the United States.
Mr. Trump’s use of the so-called birther issue culminated in a bizarre split-screen moment last month when he held an impromptu news conference in New Hampshire as Mr. Obama released his long-form birth certificate at the White House.
At the time, Mr. Trump refused to say whether he was running, focusing on the fact that his NBC show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” was still on the air.
“When the show is over — and the finale is on May 22nd — when the show is over, I will then be free to announce. I think you will be surprised at a number of things, but I think you will be surprised at what my announcement is,” he said at the time.
The attention, and the speculation about his intentions, rocketed Mr. Trump toward the top of the early polls, though he recently had faded again toward the bottom of the pack of Republican hopefuls.
Mr. Trump’s statement on Monday was devoid of any of the theatrics that he offered over the last several months. But he continued to credit himself for pushing the political conversation toward the economy.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The decision means that Mr. Trump will go back to his NBC show, which has been one of the network’s highest performers.