Business mogul and reality TV host Donald Trump has not strayed far from the GOP 2012 race, even before many Republican candidates had officially entered. Trump first flirted with running for president last spring while publicly goading President Obama to release the long-form version of his birth certificate.
Trump never officially entered the Republican race, but suggested he would consider a third-party candidacy if not satisfied by the GOP nominee. He staged a number of public meetings with candidates including Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In December, he offered to moderate a Republican debate sponsored by conservative website Newsmax. Many of the candidates declined the invitation and after widespread mockery, the event was called off. Now, as the thinned-down 2012 pack heads to Nevada for its primary Saturday, Trump is rumored to make his endorsement. Though some early reports suggested he would endorse Gingrich, sources tell the Associated Press he will get behind former Gov. Mitt Romney.
But how much does Trump's endorsement matter? Many deride his foray into politics as a publicity stunt to promote his reality show The Apprentice--the latest season, Celebrity Apprentice, premieres in a little over two weeks. Furthermore, some Republicans worry that Trump's participation is only adding the circus-like atmosphere many believe the current primary to exude.
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