Is Donald Trump Back?

Is Donald Trump back in the race? Not yet, but he hasn't ruled it out.

ABC reports that Donald Trump hasn’t ruled out getting back into the 2012 race.

The billionaire business mogul phoned into Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” this morning to lament the state of the Republican field. He took issue with Mike Huckabee exiting the race, saying he’s sure Huckabee could win and he’s still sure he could have won.

Trump refused to rule out a late entry into the Republican presidential field.

“Who knows if I did the right thing,” he said. “I am not seeing a lot out of the Republican candidates.”

Asked if there’s any chance he’ll jump in later in the race, Trump replied, “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.”

I’m not sure what’s worse – the idea that this will keep Trump in the news or the sobering fact that he’s actually still a viable candidate for the GOP nomination.

For his part, Dave Weigel has declared a No Trump pledge. After this post, unless Trump officially runs, I think I’ll be doing the same.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Entertainment, Politicians, US Politics
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Ken says:

    Trump may be back, but I hear the merkin on his head got raptured.

  2. cB says:

    oh thank god. i wasnt sure what i was going to do without him.

  3. James Joyner says:

    I don’t know that he was ever a viable candidate for the Republican nomination. He surely isn’t at this stage.

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    James,

    With his poll numbers and certain ability to both raise money and hire professional staffers, I think he was viable.

  5. James Joyner says:

    Alex,

    Money and name recognition are both hugely helpful. But Trump’s not only an utter buffoon but he’s a New Yorker with very liberal social views. That’s not likely to go over well on Super Tuesday.

  6. Alex Knapp says:

    James,

    I think with the current field, the GOP switch to proportional representation is a game-changer with respect to traditional thinking about who’s a viable GOP candidate.

  7. Alex,

    My understanding is that the proportional allocation of delegates only applies to any primaries scheduled before April 1 (part of the RNC’s effort to prevent the frontloading we saw in 2008).

    As for Trump I remain convinced his poll numbers were largely a reflection of celebrity.

  8. Alex Knapp says:

    Doug,

    After April 1, states have the option to go WTA or proportional. But the last time I checked the tentative primary schedule, it looks like the frontloading is happening anyway.

    So in a proportional system, name recognition helps a lot.

  9. wr says:

    Shorter Trump: “Pay attention to me! Pay attention to meeeeeee!”

  10. Franklin says:

    Ross Perot had a chance, even after quitting and coming back. Trump? Never a chance, even before quitting.

    How about a apecial Trump/Palin quitters ticket? Now that would be awesome. For addicts.

  11. anjin-san says:

    Just curious James. Who does the GOP have that is viable?

  12. jukeboxgrad says:

    As for Trump I remain convinced his poll numbers were largely a reflection of celebrity.

    The celebrity is important, but I think what’s probably more important is his willingness to be aggressive and confrontational with Obama, even though the attacks are wacky. A big chunk of the base is angry, resentful and wacky, and this is what they crave.

    So look for Trump’s number to rise again as he resumes his angry wackiness. And watch for the grownup candidates (Romney, Pawlenty) to succumb to the pressure to adopt some of that pose themselves.

    And in the end, the winner will be Palin, because only Palin can trump Trump for angry wackiness.

    And let’s not be fooled by the coyness. This ritual about formally declaring is pure theatre. Trump and Palin are both in the race.