Ending weeks of speculation business mogul Donald Trump announced that he will not be running for president in the 2012 US elections.
"After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency," Trump said in a statement on Monday.
"I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election," he said, adding ultimately business was his greatest passion and he was not ready to leave the private sector.
The 64-year-old developer had made a healthy showing on some public opinion polls despite scepticism and outright mockery among the US political establishment.
But while President Barack Obama's approval ratings jumped to 60 per cent after the killing of Osama bin Laden, Trump has been crashing at the polls lately.
The business tycoon came under a great deal of criticism in recent weeks, especially from the left leaning media, after he raised the question of Obama's birthplace forcing the White House to release his birth certificate that confirms he was born in Hawaii.
Taking credit of the episode, Trump said "I am very proud of myself because I have accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish."
Speaking to FOX News recently, Trump said that India should deal with Pakistan and not the US. The Apprentice host had said that if he was in Obama's shoes, he would cut of the annual $3.2 billion aid to Pakistan until the country gave up its nuclear programme.
"India is next to Pakistan. May be India should work out the problem, not the United States," he had said.
Trump's decision not to run for president was also connected with his television contract for the Apprentice show. The American media reported that NBC was pushing him to decide whether he would renew the contract for another season of the Celebrity Apprentice.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee had also announced on Saturday that he did not plan to run.