WASHINGTON – Billionaire entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he is thinking about running for president in 2020 because he cares about the country and feels an obligation to contribute to its future.
In an interview today with PJM, Cuban also suggested that President Trump leaked his 2005 tax return and predicted that Trump would not release any more years of returns.
Cuban described himself as a “libertarian at heart” and said he supports some aspects of Trump’s agenda.
“I like some of his tax code. I like the fact that he’s trying to reduce bureaucracy. I like the fact that at least he put in an executive order that he wants to minimize lobbyists – there are a lot of positives in that,” Cuban said during an event hosted by the new media company Axios. “But on the flip side, he’s got to produce.”
Cuban, who endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, kept the door open to running for president in 2020.
“I don’t have an aspiration to be a politician. I don’t have the government service gene,” he said. “It would have to be something where I thought I could fix something in a manner that nobody else could if it’s broken. If it’s not broken and things are going well, like I said, I’m not a politician and have no aspirations to be a politician so I’ll be like, you know what? I’ll just get out of the way, and not run for president just to make a point.”
“You’re clearly thinking about it?” asked the event moderator.
“Yeah, because I’m an American citizen and I care about this country,” Cuban replied. “I want to do right by it. Look, no one has been more blessed by the opportunities this country creates than me and so I feel an obligation that if I can contribute I will.”
Cuban said his decision to run depends, in part, on President Trump’s job performance. He told the audience “there’s no rush” for him to decide and that he wants Trump to succeed in office.
“Again, it’s only 60 days in and there’s still the opportunity that he’ll [Trump] do a great job. Again, sometimes being oblivious – sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t do and being oblivious allows other people to do their jobs, and maybe it will turn out great. I want him to succeed,” he said. “I want to be very clear on that. I want him to succeed. If he succeeds, if his programs succeed, we all succeed and do I agree with a lot of them? Fiscally – a bunch I do. Socially – no, not even close.”
Cuban said most of Trump’s supporters are going to think he’s doing a good job in office regardless of how much his critics pick on him.
“If he does a great job, no bombs are dropped, nothing is destroyed and the economy gets better, you know, I’ll bow to him and say congratulations and it would be great for the country. I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen, but it could,” Cuban said.
“If that happens he comes back, unless there’s a health issue, right? I don’t care, if you are 70 years old and you are eating Kentucky Fried Chicken and medium steaks well-done with lots of ketchup and McDonald’s all day, every day and you sleep 3 hours – I swear, he takes naps all day,” he added.
Cuban, one of the stars of ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank, said someone should post a picture of Trump every day to see how he progresses in office.
“He’s got to be just gaining an ungodly amount of weight and he would hate that more than anything,” he said.
Cuban was asked if what we have seen from Trump so far was predictable.
“Oh, very predictable. He’s Zoolander. You can see him in the meetings,” he replied, before doing an impression of Trump. “I’m serious, he’s oblivious to everything. He reminds me of a college athlete we have to deal with where the athlete just worked their way up without really having to go to school, they’re one and done, they kind of fake it until they make it through and they just ask a lot of questions, but they don’t have any answers to anything – that’s our president.”
PJM asked Cuban for his reaction to Trump’s 2005 tax return that leaked on Tuesday evening.
“Good for him. Like I said up there, if you made $150 million in a year that’s good no matter what. You know, now how much of it is cash we don’t know but the interesting thing to me was, and I looked at them this morning, he had $22 million that he paid in as – you have to anticipate what your next year’s taxes are going to be, so you have to pay in and he paid $22 million in in 2004 against his potential 2005, which means he made some decent money in 2004 too,” he said.
“But that’s also the year he declared bankruptcy for the casino, so he kind of swindled his shareholders. So I don’t know if all this in 2004 and 2005 was a result of debt being forgiven or stock shares that he sold, so it’s hard to know for sure,” he added.
Cuban was also asked if Trump should release additional years of his tax returns.
“Do I think so? Yeah, of course. Will he? Of course not. For all we know, he’s the one who leaked it because it was a good year for him. You never know, right?” he said. “Look, all that stuff is just interesting but it does not change who he is one way or the other.”