Donald Trump has made it official, via statement issued today, that he will not be running for President. While maintaining his “strong conviction” that he could win office, he said in that statement, “business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.” Translation: I got a ton of publicity, NBC picked up my show for another year, so I’m done with my political show and we can now return to our regularly scheduled episode of The Apprentice. Peace out.
But before that statement he issued another video statement in support of Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run, which had the Meet the Press roundtable panel in hysterics. (You can watch that above.) Huckabee announced Saturday night at the end of his show (and just in time for the Sunday morning political programs) that he wouldn’t be running.
“Mike, enjoy the show. Your ratings are terrific, you’re making a lot of money, you’re building a beautiful house in Florida. Good luck,” said Trump. Wha?
On the opposite end, you’ve got those who have announced they’ll run, like Newt Gingrich, who also appeared on Meet the Press yesterday after spending a week announcing and re-announcing that he’s running for President.
Then there’s Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) who announced he’d run in a pretty normal fashion and quickly found himself in a vat of controversy by saying that the Osama bin Laden raid in Pakistan should’ve been done differently, among other things. And, perhaps not instilling that much confidence in voters, he also said over the weekend that he feels he’s “pretty well equipped” to be President.
So despite the fact that a number of people have announced their decisions, the field is as wide open as it was before these announcements were made.
“The whole Republican presidential contest is about promoting books, promoting products, promoting TV shows, and promoting Fox News,” E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist and Meet the Press panelist said yesterday morning.