As recently as a month ago, Donald Trump sat atop the polls as a possible GOP candidate for president. This past week he abruptly announced he wasn’t running. What happened?
Real estate billionaire Donald Trump, via his often bombastic style and dedication to the birth certificate controversy surrounding President Barack Obama, became a GOP presidential candidate frontrunner seemingly overnight, with an April 15th Public Policy Poll showing him holding the outright lead of potential Republican candidates.
That was then.
Just a month later, Donald Trump released a brief statement indicating he would not be running for President of the United States in 2012. An excerpt of that statement is as follows:
“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 in the statement. “I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly.”
Reports have since circulated that Trump was merely using the platform of presidential campaign politics as leverage for his then-ongoing negotiations with NBC. The network was desperate to get Mr. Trump to remain on with the successful and lucrative television show. Rumors are now circulating the Trump was offered some $60 million to renew his NBC contract. Was money then the sole motivation for Donald Trump backing away from a run for president?
Not so says a longtime political D.C. Insider. When questioned why Donald Trump hastily withdrew from seeking the GOP nomination, the following message was received:
Donald Trump was very-very serious about making a legitimate run for president. Every indication I had received prior to his announcement he would not run pointed to that fact. He had initiated some exploratory work in key primary states, he had met with a number of party donors to assure them of his conservative standing…anyone who tries to spin this as anything less than a man looking seriously at running for president does not know the facts on the ground. This guy was, until very recently, giving strong hints that he wanted to run.
I would also add that Donald Trump scared the hell out of the Obama Democrats. I know this for a fact. That was the primary motivation for the significant onslaught leveled against Mr. Trump by both the media and the Obama administration, including President Obama himself. I do not believe those attacks to have been the primary motivation for Mr. Trump’s removing himself from consideration for the GOP nomination though. I was told he fully expected those attacks, though he was likely surprised by just how ferocious they actually became.