"This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country," he said. "I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election."
Trump said he spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognized that running for public office cannot be done "half heartedly."
"Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector," he said. "I want to personally thank the millions of Americans who have joined the various Trump grassroots movements and written me letters and e-mails encouraging me to run."