Trump Not Running for President: 'Decision Does Not Come Easily Or Without Regret'

ABC News' Michael Falcone, Jen Wlach, & Sara Just report:

After a roller-coaster flirtation with a presidential bid, Donald Trump bowed out of the 2012 contest in true Trump fashion, sayng 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.

"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. "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 year. 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 mogual and reality telvision mogul had even settled on campaign consultants to help streer his potential presidential 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.

Here is Donald Trump full statement on his 2012 decision:

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

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