Mavericks owner Mark Cuban considering 3rd-party presidential run for 2020

Mark Cuban says that "if circumstances were right," he would make a bid for the White House in 2020. (Getty)
Mark Cuban says that "if circumstances were right," he would make a bid for the White House in 2020. (Getty)

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the New York Daily News Monday that he has not ruled out a 2020 presidential run and that if he follows through, he will do so without political affiliation.

If he does, he would become the second prominent billionaire to consider a third-party run for the White House in an election that is expected to be a referendum on the Donald Trump presidency.

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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has talked repeatedly about his intent to run as a third-party candidate, ignoring critics who have castigated his decision for having the potential to split Democratic-leaning votes while accomplishing little else.

A Cuban run would likely draw the same kind of blowback.

Cuban: ‘We’ll see what happens’

“I haven’t decided anything yet,” Cuban told the Daily News. “We’ll see what happens. It all comes down to how things play out. It’s not something I feel like I have to do. ... But it’s something that if circumstances were right I would do.”

Cuban criticized the Democratic party for what he sees as a group that’s more focused on appealing to its base than independents and Republicans.

“If you look at the Democrats right now, there’s like a democratic gravity that pulls all the candidates to the same point,” Cuban said. “And it’s very difficult to show leadership in a situation like that because you can’t truly lead if you have to find an equilibrium between being a true leader for the people of your country vs. getting elected in your primary.

“None of those things are conducive to out-and-out leading the country.”

Cuban’s potential political pitfalls

If Cuban does run, he’ll likely face increased scrutiny for the culture of sexual harassment and misconduct that existed within the Mavericks and prompted an apology and a $10 million donation to women’s causes, as well as a 2011 sexual assault accusation against Cuban himself from an alleged incident at a Portland, Oregon night club.

Police investigated Cuban for the 2011 incident in which a woman said Cuban “thrust his hand down the back of her jeans and penetrated her vagina with his finger” while they were posing for a photograph.

Cuban denied the allegation and was not charged due to insufficient evidence.

Cuban: Voters don’t want a politician

If he runs, Cuban wants to appeal to voters who don’t want a politician in office, a strategy he believes helped Trump win office in 2016.

“People weren’t voting for (Trump in 2016) because he was calling people names, they were voting for him because he was not a politician, and he was demonstrating to everyone that he wasn’t a politician,” Cuban told the Daily News.

“A big chunk of voters, Republican voters, still want someone who is not a politician. And you’re not getting that from anyone in the Democratic Party.”

This is not the first time Cuban has alluded to the 2020 election. In 2017, he also told reporters “we’ll see what happens” when he talked to NFL Network’s Rich Eisen about a potential White House bid.

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