Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” “investor” Mark Cuban doesn’t have much hope that any of the now 23 people contending for the Democratic presidential nomination have a real shot at taking down Donald Trump in 2020. The billionaire also doesn’t have a very high opinion of most of their proposals, which he slammed as nothing but “headline porn.”
In an interview with CNBC Tuesday, Cuban, who presents himself as a kind of entrepreneurial foil to Trump, was asked if he would consider jumping into the 2020 race; the businessman offered a made-for-TV response.
“We’ll see what happens. It would take the perfect storm for me to do it,” Cuban told CNBC’s “Halftime Report,” then added teasingly: “There’s some things that could open the door, but I’m not projecting or predicting it right now.”
If he were to run, he’d run as an Independent not a Democrat, as Starbucks’ Howard Schultz has considered. The country is primed for a moderate candidate, said Cuban, saying he believes “there’s a real opportunity for somebody who is in the middle but has some charisma, has the ability to relate to both sides but is not a politician.”
It is “first and foremost” because he is not a politician that Trump won in 2016, Cuban suggested. And it’s Americans distrust of politicians — “the least trusted of every profession” — that’s the problem for the current crop of Democratic candidates.
Asked which Democratic candidate he believes could actually defeat Trump in 20202, Cuban answered “nobody right now” — even frontrunner former Vice President Joe Biden, whom Cuban said he likes and thinks is “smart” and could do a “decent job” as president.
The billionaire also took aim at most of the proposals of the current Democratic field, dismissing them as “headline porn” presented without any real belief that they’re actually “passable.” Their “trickle-down taxation” is “just as big a failure” as trickle-down economics, he said.
As for the other billionaire moderate who’s teasing an independent run: After making a lot of noise — and suffering a lot of blowback from the Left — Schultz has largely disappeared in recent weeks. One of the last big stories related to Schultz’s potential campaign came back in early April, when Fox Business reported that Starbucks executives have been “monitoring various activist groups tied to the Democratic Party,” fearing “protests and boycotts” if Schultz should run.
“Democratic activist groups have already put Starbucks on notice that if Schultz, a long-time liberal Democrat, does indeed run as an independent in 2020, the company could pay a stiff price with many consumers who believe his candidacy will siphon away voters from the Democratic nominee and help Trump win a second term,” Fox Business reported on April 12.
Earlier this year, Schultz came out guns blazing against the “far-left” turn of the Democratic Party, “who basically wants the government to take over health care which we cannot afford, the government to give free college to everybody, and the government to give everyone a job, which basically is 40 trillion dollars on the balance sheet of 21 and a half trillion dollars.” But after experiencing strong blowback from Democrats and leftist activists, Schultz has largely stepped out of the limelight.
Partial transcript via CNBC.