My fellow Americans,
I entered this race to make America great. And make no mistake, this campaign has been a tremendous step in rebuilding American greatness. We have brought people into the political process who were sitting it out before. We've gotten attention for issues and problems, such as immigration security, that the elite establishment truly did not want to be addressed. We've shown that business as usual won't fly anymore and that the people are fed up with living in a country that's a laughing stock.
The media often tried to make all this about me, but it was never about me--it was about the United States of America. And that's why I'm going to put America first with the decision I'm announcing today. I am withdrawing from the race, because a fair competition is no longer possible. Unethical media are working with our political opponents to make this election about ill-considered things I said long ago and other distractions that have no relevance. I am not going to let that happen.
As a candidate, I've already made one presidential-level decision, which was the selection of my running mate. I stand by that decision and now support Mike Pence as the Republican nominee. I will return to being a private citizen and building a fantastic business, and will weigh in on politics when I see things that need to be said so together we--all of us--can fix real problems in America. Now, join me in supporting my choice as next president of the United States, Mike Pence.
Thank you very much, and let's make America great again.
UPDATE 10/9, 3:30PM: Of course, it was a fanciful idea, requiring Trump to have some semblance of honor. Or as David Frum puts it:
Leave Trump alone with a bottle of whisky, revolver, and advice to do “the honorable thing” - & he’ll shoot you in the face when you return— David Frum (@davidfrum) October 9, 2016
UPDATE 10/15: A few days ago I signed Scholars and Writers Against Trump.