Donald Trump will not seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2012, USA Today reports. The real estate mogul and reality TV star says, "I am not ready to leave the private sector."
He said he was confident that he could beat the Republican field and, eventually, President Obama. He also vowed to continue to speak out on key issues such as the nation's debt and its ability to compete with China in the global marketplace.
"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," he said.
This announcement, combined with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's decision to pass on a run for the White House, leaves the Republican race essentially wide open. Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is considered the front-runner.
The months of Trump suggesting that he might run, obsessing over President Obama's birth certificate like a crazed conspiracy theorist, and threatening to lend his business expertise to issues more important to the country weren't in vain: This year's White House Correspondents' Dinner wouldn't have been half as funny without his antics as the butt of jokes. But he has promised to continue to "voice [his] opinions loudly," so it's entirely possible that the arrogant, race-baiting, made-for-reality-TV sideshow will continue until 2012 despite today's announcement.
Read more at USA Today.
In other news: Kenyan Olympic Gold Medalist Dies at 24.