Donald Trump says he will probably run for president as an independent in 2012 if he fails to secure the Republican Party’s nomination.
Trump had previously told Newsmax that he was intent on running as a Republican if he decides to seek the White House. But he announced his possible change of strategy in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
“I think the Republicans are very concerned that I [may] run as an independent,” Trump said.“The concern is if I don’t win [the Republican primary] I will run as an independent, and I think the answer is probably yes.”
He added that he thought he “could possibly win as an independent.”
The real estate mogul and host of the NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice” won’t make a decision about running until June, when the current season of his TV show is over.
Trump’s candidacy “would complicate matters for the GOP as it looks to front someone who can unite the fractious party and mount a serious challenge to President Obama’s re-election bid,” The Journal observed.
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found Trump tied for second place with Mike Huckabee among potential GOP cnadidates, behind only Mitt Romney.
But an ongoing Newsmax poll
shows Trump overwhelming all other potential GOP candidates in the primary. Trump received 57 percent of the vote, with Romney in second at 9 percent, Huckabee at 8 percent, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich at 6 percent, and the others at 4 percent or less.
The poll also found that if the election were held today, 68 percent of respondents would vote for Trump, 13 percent would choose Obama, and 17 percent would opt for another candidate.
In his Journal interview, Trump insisted that his talk of running for president is not a publicity stunt for his television show. “I don’t need to do this for ratings on ‘The Apprentice,’” he said.
“This is too important. Our country is in trouble. Our country is not being properly led. It needs help.”
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