Donald Trump, who announced only a week ago that he had decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president, now hints that he just might toss his hat into the ring after all.
"Stranger things have happened,” the real estate mogul/reality TV star told Fox News Monday.
"I would not rule it out, no,” Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” “I can't rule out anything. It's vital that we choose the right person, and at this moment, I don't see that person."
Trump announced his decision not to run after NBC officials pressed him to pick between being a candidate or re-up for another season on “Apprentice.” The network offered him $120 million for two seasons.
Interestingly enough, Trump continued to get calls encouraging him to run even after he pulled out of the race, as Newsmax’s Ronald Kessler
reported last week.
Trump’s office received thousands of letters and emails, including pleas from high-profile business leaders, encouraging him to reconsider and go for the GOP nod.
Some political experts acknowledge that Trump easily could return to the contest.
“Trump’s high name ID would allow him to return to the fray just as Ross Perot did in 1992,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, tells Newsmax. “Trump would be well served to find a signature economic issue — lower income taxes, deregulation, a balanced budget issue—to deflect the establishment press’ focus on his personal fame.”
In addition, a non-scientific Newsmax.com online poll attracted more than 1 million votes, with Trump taking 57 percent of the votes cast for potential GOP candidates. His closest competitor was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with 9 percent of the vote.
In that poll, Trump not only would have beaten possible GOP candidates but also would have trounced President Barack Obama, 68 percent to 13 percent.
Among the GOP field in the poll were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has since announced he won’t run; Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who pulled out during the weekend; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, announcing formally today; former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, unannounced but still interested; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
On “Fox and Friends” Monday morning, The Donald said he doesn’t think any of the candidates on the GOP slate can defeat Obama. "The ones that have announced, I just don't see it," he said. "At this point in time, they're not going to be beating Obama."
Trump dismissed any suggestion that the criticism he drew for controversial remarks during the run-up to his decision not to run inflicted long-term damage.
"I don't think so. I've been attacked all my life," he said. "But you give up so much when you do this, and it was just a decision I made."
If Trump does decide to re-enter the race, perhaps he could toss in the black cowboy hat that “Celebrity Apprentice” John Rich presented him before Trump announced Rich as the winner Sunday night.
Trump son Donald Jr. praised Rich’s panache in getting his dad to don a cowboy hat on national TV, saying he never thought he’d see that day.
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