October 3, 2017 at 11:55 PM
In the past, Mark Cuban has indicated an interest in running for president, including at a celebrity game during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in February, when he playfully wore a jersey with the number “46” on it. In a podcast released Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks owner was more direct about his aspirations, saying that he is indeed “considering” a campaign for the White House.
Cuban was appearing on the podcast of Bakari Sellers, an attorney and former member of the South Carolina state legislature, and the two began by discussing topics such as Puerto Rico’s humanitarian crisis, net neutrality, health care and possible conflicts in being president while still holding business interests. That led to Sellers asking his guest, “Are you considering running for president of the United States?”
“Yes,” Cuban quickly replied. “Considering, yes. Ready to commit to it, no.”
“If I can come up with solutions that I think people can get behind, and truly solve problems, then it makes perfect sense for me to run,” said the 59-year-old Cuban. “If it comes down to, do I think I can win because I can convince more people to vote for me? Then no, I won’t run.”
In the past, Cuban has described his political philosophy as leaning toward libertarianism but with a desire for effective social safety nets, and he called himself “independent all the way through” on the podcast. “I’m not traditional in terms of politics at all,” he said. “I think that’s what gets us in trouble.
“I really believe there are right and wrong answers to problems,” continued Cuban, whose role as a co-star on the TV show “Shark Tank” has made him a familiar figure in many households. “My goal is always to find a solution.”
In May 2016, Cuban said he would be open to being the vice presidential nominee for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but he subsequently developed a negative view of Trump, saying in July of last year that the then-GOP nominee had gone “bats— crazy” and “scares me.”
Trump fired back in February, before the All-Star Game, saying on Twitter, “I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn’t interested in taking all of his calls. He’s not smart enough to run for president!”
On the podcast, Cuban also discussed the issue of pregame protests during the national anthem, for which Trump has been highly critical of NFL players. After Sellers noted that the NBA has a rule mandating that its players stand for the anthem, he asked Cuban about his approach to a Maverick possibly wanting to take a knee.
Cuban said he had already suggested to his players that, rather than quietly taking a knee and “letting someone else control the narrative,” they should record a video statement that could be shown on arena monitors and on media platforms. “If the goal is to send a message, let’s send a message the best way possible,” he said, “let’s not just play a game where we’re hoping the narrative is what we want it to be.”
Correction: In a previous version, Bakari Sellers was identified as a former congressman.
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