Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the surge in Iraq and now leader of an effort to turn the Afghanistan conflict around, said Sunday he will not run for president of the United States.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory presented Petraeus with a quote from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, commander of Union forces in the Civil War and later the 18th president: "I am not a politician, never was, I hope never to be."

"Well, I am not a politician and I will never be," Petraeus said, laughing. "I say that with absolute conviction."

When Gregory asked Petraeus if he was "totally clear" on never running for the White House, Petraeus said, "Yeah, I really am. And, you know I’ve said that I’ll adopt what Sherman said and go back and look at what has come to be known as a ‘Shermanesque’ answer of that particular question."

And that, Petraeus said, is "no way, no how."