Trump Joins Huckabee on 2012 Sidelines

Monday, 16 May 2011 02:47 PM

By James Hirsen

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Mike Huckabee recently made the announcement that he will not run for president in 2012.

Apparently his heart told him “No,” and so did his FNC weekend cable show, “Huckabee.” The former Arkansas governor would have had to give up his coveted TV spot in order to make a go for the top political gig.

Now Donald Trump has followed suit. He has announced that he too will no longer seek the GOP presidential nomination.

“I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election,” the Donald said in a statement. “Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”

So why would Trump end his budding White House pursuit?

NBC’s newly released fall schedule for the 2011-12 season may provide a hint. The listing of a particular reality TV series could have been the significant factor. Trump’s hit show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” has officially been renewed and is all set to air in the fall.

Was the continuation of Trump’s TV gig the thing that motivated him to follow in Huckabee’s footsteps and favor his showbiz career over a potential run for prez?

Prior to Trump’s announcement, NBC President Robert Greenblatt had told The Associated Press, “We're putting a pin in that for the next 24 hours or so. Things will become clearer soon.”

Well, they certainly have.

Greenblatt had also revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that a Trump-less “Celebrity Apprentice” could continue on.

“It's such a strong franchise, not to minimize his [Trump’s] presence in it because we love him,” Greenblatt explained. “But I really do think it's all about the casting of that show and the challenges and if he's not available to us, we're going to have someone really interesting sitting at the head of that boardroom.”

It looks like NBC played hardball with the Donald. The mogul must have been acutely aware of the Ashton Kutcher hire by CBS to neatly slip into the Charlie Sheen role in the “Two and a Half Men” sitcom.

Could it be that becoming the new Sheen would have been too much for the Donald to bear?







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