*After months of flirting with a White House run while promoting his NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice,” Donald Trump announced today he will not make a play for president in 2012.
“After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency,” he said in a statement.
“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,” he added. “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.”
Perhaps the first clue of Trump’s decision came early this morning with NBC’s announcement that it had renewed “Celebrity Apprentice” for another season, although execs said they would replace Trump with another host should he decide to run for president.