Donald Trump said today he will not seek the Republican nomination for president, after stoking speculation with statements and speeches taking on pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
After months of speculation about his future plans, Trump released a statement today saying, “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,” 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.”
Trump appears ready to endorse the Republican nominee against Obama.
“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,” he said.
Trump withdrew as a potential Republican candidate for president on the same day NBC announced it would renew his television show, “The Apprentice,” for another season. He had been pressured to tell the network whether he would head the program so it can pitch advertisers for the Fall.
Trump’s decision follows one by pro-life former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who said over the weekend he would not seek the Republican presidential nomination. After his decision, Huckabee said he would favor Trump over Obama.
“Donald Trump would be better for America than Barack Obama,” said Huckabee on Fox Sunday night. “Donald Trump has taken a pro-life position. He believes that we are getting shanghaied by China, which I agree with.”
Trump had raised questions about his abortion position and delighted pro-life advocates with several statements saying he had converted to the pro-life position on abortion.
Trump has recently said several times over the last few months he is pro-life on abortion and that he changed his views from supporting abortion to pro-life based on his relationships with close personal friends who had children. Their pregnancy experiences, Trump maintains, allowed him to mature on the abortion issue to the point of now opposing abortion.
In an April interview with the Des Moines Register newspaper, Trump expanded on those comments.
“If you look at it, I said, ‘It really, really troubles me, and it really, really bothers me, the whole concept of abortion.’ This was years ago, and even then it really bothered me, but I went on the other side of the line,” Trump said. “But in thinking about it over the years, I’ve had instances, and one instance in particular, a friend had a child who they were going to abort, and now they have it, and the child is incredible. And the man, he changed his views also because of that.”
“As I’ve grown older, as I’ve seen things happen in life, I’ve changed my views — and others have also,” he said.
Trump said he believes abortion should only be legal in the very rare cases when a woman is pregnant by rape or incest or when the life of the mother is jeopardized by the pregnancy.
“Ronald Reagan had the same basic stances I had, and I absolutely believe in the three instances” of exception, he said. “I hope that I can convince Iowans that I will be the best to save our country, and the fact is, I am pro-life.”
Trump also commented on the issue of embryonic stem cell research — important because President Barack Obama overturned the pro-life protections President George W. Bush put into place that prevented taxpayers from being forced to pay for new research that included the destruction of human life for a process that has yet to help a single patient.
Trump told the Register newspaper he’s undecided on the controversial science and he wants to investigate it further before formulating an official position. He also appeared to recognize the controversial nature of embryonic stem cell research by assuring the newspaper he has not funded it in his business enterprises.
“I would say that I’d like to get back to you because I’m studying it very closely,” Trump said. “It’s an issue, don’t forget, that as a businessman I’ve never been involved in.”
Trump also talked with the Des Moines Register about his past contributions to Democratic candidates, many of whom support abortion.
“I’m a very big businessman. I deal with politicians all over the world. And New York is almost exclusively Democratic. You rarely see anybody that’s Republican even close to winning,” he explained. “And I live here and I do a lot of business here. So I do contribute to Democrats, and I think that’s a positive. … I have a lot of good relationships with Democrats, and it’s time the two parties get together and get this country’s problems solved instead of always fighting and fighting and nothing ever gets done. I am friendly with the other side.”
Recently, Trump faltered when asked a question about Roe v. Wade and appeared to not understand that privacy arguments are related to the case.