Republican presidential candidates can now breathe a sigh of relief. Former South Carolina Senate candidate Alvin Greene is no longer running for president.
Following his headline-grabbing campaign for office in 2010 as the Democratic nominee for Senate, Greene told reporters he would seek the Republican nomination for president.
“I’m running for president of the United States.” Greene said that November. “I’m the greatest person ever. I was born to be president. I’m the man.”
“We will have a Greene/Obama showdown in 2012,” he promised The Daily Caller. “It will be a political heavyweight boxing match.” He cited the economic recession as one of the primary issues he would address, saying, “This past election they re-elected the people that started the recession.”
Contacted by TheDC on Friday, however, Greene said that he would not be running in the upcoming election. “No,” he firmly said.
It is likely too late for Greene to change his mind, as the South Carolina filing deadline — November 1 — has already passed. To have appeared on the state’s ballot, he would have needed to pay a $35,000 filing fee.
Greene told TheDC, “I am neutral on the other candidates,” indicating that he would not be offering his endorsement.
Asked about sexual harassment allegations made against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, Greene declined to offer his advice for the GOP front-runner. Greene himself faced similar charges, stemming from an alleged encounter where he displayed Internet pornography to an unwitting young woman on the campus of the University of South Carolina.
Greene’s unusual political career began with a stunning victory in the South Carolina Democratic Senate primary in 2010. His victory was greeted with dismay by Democrats, who believed that Greene — an unemployed man with a pending criminal case — had been planted in the race by Republicans.
South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn refused to support Greene in the Senate race, calling him “someone’s plant.” Clyburn and others hinted that Republicans looking to doom Democrats’ prospects put up the $10,400 filing fee for Greene to enter the race.
Watch: Alvin Greene is on the scene