Following a recent vocal critique by Mark Cuban of the state of the 2016 presidential election, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks said that Anti-Trump Republicans courted him to run for president in a third-party bid, according to a WaPo report. Cuban, who rejected the advances, nonetheless expressed confidence about his ability to take on the presumptive GOP nominee in an election.
“He could come after me all he wanted, and he knows I would put him in his place,” Cuban told the Post. “All that said, again, I don’t see it happening. There isn’t enough time.” Which is unfortunate if only for ad sales: the TV ratings on debates featuring Trump, Hillary and Cuban would have surely broken all records.
“It would have been fun to run against Donald,” Cuban said, in the past tense, in an email to CNNMoney.
Cuban declined to name the republicans who were involved but said they told him that his “bluster and volume, combined with substance and the ability to connect with voters on a more personal basis,” would make him a viable candidate.
“My conversations with them were minimal,” he said. “They reached out to my right-hand man who is my D.C. guy.”
According to CNN, Cuban shares some qualities with Trump – both are brash billionaires with reality TV experience and social media expertise. Cuban-for-president murmurs pop up from time to time, partly spurred by Cuban’s own comments.
Last fall he said he would “crush” both Trump and Hillary Clinton if he ran, but said “I have no interest in running.”
The “Never Trump” forces might have been interested in Cuban because he could “out-trump Trump,” the Post said Saturday.
As CNN adds, Cuban has a Trump-like hold on the media megaphone, but he seems to recognize that a third-party bid for president is fantastical, especially with less than six months to go until Election Day.
In a world where future presidents increasignly have to be billionaires, fellow billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg contemplated a third party bid earlier this year but concluded he could not win. Likewise with Cuban, who told CNNMoney that the discussions with the anti-Trump leaders were short-lived. And “as a third party it’s too late,” he said.
But he also identified a few reasons why the idea intrigued him, no matter how far-fetched it might be.
“I think the time is right for a technology literate entrepreneur to run for president,” he said. “Someone who has had to grind to achieve success and can relate as well to those that follow Bernie as those that think the system is broken and follow Trump. The issue for any such candidate is that the process is broken. It’s a circus rather than a learning process for all involved.”