The betting is done, the deed is revealed, respective camps have drawn back their horns, and we have the winner!Â Yep, it's The Donald who won the 'war of worship' thrust upon him by the ALL the candidates except Ron Paul.Â When will we learn the real payoff for the endorsement?
Trump in Las Vegas (AP/Julie Jacobson)
Inserting himself back into the presidential race, Donald Trump managed on Wednesday night and Thursday morning to get the nation's major news organizations in a tangle about whether he will be endorsing Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich during a Thursday afternoon appearance in Las Vegas.
Just before 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, Trump confirmed that the endorsement will in fact go to Romney in a mini-news conference two hours before he is set to formally appear with the candidate.
As reporters knocked over chairs to get to the real estate magnate/reality star, Trump said he'd decided to back Romney because he liked his positions on China and OPEC. Reminded that he had not always said nice things about the ex-governor, Trump replied, "I didn't know him then."
Asked if this means his own White House aspirations are now over, Trump said unequivocally that he will not run as an independent or third party candidate in the fall if Romney is the nominee.
"Absolutely not," he vowed. He then turned and walked away. "See you in a few hours," he said.
The Donald caused quite a bit of confusion yesterday when he issued a statement saying he would be making a "major announcement" about the race. The Associated Press and The New York Times reported late Wednesday night that Trump would be endorsing Newt Gingrich, citing sources close to the former Speaker's campaign. Dozens of news outlets picked up on the story.
But Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report contradicted the Newt news today, blasting on his website that Trump's endorsement will actually go for Romney. CNN political director Mark PrestonÂ also reported that news this morning, citing unnamed sources. The Times and the AP have since published new stories saying the nod will go to Romney.
Gingrich told reporters on Wednesday that he had "no idea what the Donald is going to do." The conflicting reports make us wonder: Did Trump tell both camps he would be backing them?