Donald Trump has said he decided not to run for president in 2012, but the billionaire businessman could still be playing a key behind-the-scenes role in the Republican White House race.
Word is that Trump has spoken on the phone several times with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the new front-runner for the GOP nomination. Sources say Perry called the billionaire and offered high praise for Trump’s business acumen.
We hear that Trump likes Perry and the two will likely meet face to face sometime in September.
Trump has become his own "Iowa" -- a must-do stopping point for all GOP candidates.
He met with former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who has yet to announce if she will seek the presidency next year. The two had a 15-minute get-together at Trump’s Manhattan penthouse on May 31.
Afterward Palin told reporters she and Trump share “our love for this country, a desire to see our economy put back on the right track,” and Trump said “I’d love her to run” for president.
Trump met earlier with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee before Huckabee decided not to run for president, and the two had a “very honest and open conversation about the process of running,” Huckabee said.
Then on July 28, Huckabee said in an email he thought the time may be ripe for Trump to re-enter the presidential race.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is also in the mix, said to be meeting with Trump in early September.
And Trump recently praised another GOP presidential candidate, Ron Paul, saying in a tweet: “Ron Paul is right that we are wasting trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Trump has said he would not run for president as a third-party candidate. But Patrick Caddell, a respected political pollster and strategist, co-wrote an op-ed piece in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal predicting that a third-party candidate will enter the presidential race.
The article cited a poll showing that 57 percent of voters now say there is a need for a third party, and stated that voters are seeking a leader offering “a new direction and a proven record of getting things done.”
Our sources say Caddell and Trump have been huddling at posh Trump Tower offices in New York.