Billionaire investor and Shark Tank host Mark Cuban said he won't run for president in 2016, but he's open to being Donald Trump's VP.
Former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are both technological illiterates. Florida senator Marco Rubio is too inexperienced to win the presidency. And Texas senator Ted Cruz is disturbingly reminiscent of red-baiting 1950s demagogue Joe McCarthy.
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In a wide-ranging interview, Cuban discussed the candidates he likes--as well as those he disdains--and who should replace Antonin Scalia, the former Supreme Court Justice who died over the weekend. (Cuban declined to be interviewed for this story.)
See images of Cuban throughout the years:
Cuban has not shied away from voicing his opinions about the 2016 presidential election on his blog and on Twitter. But the nearly 30-minute radio interview provided a forum where he could give a more comprehensive picture of his views, positioning himself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Here are eight takeaways:
1. Vice President Cuban?
Cuban laid to rest the possibility that he may enter the presidential campaign in 2016. However, he left open whether he might run in the future. "I would never rule it out... the real question is, can a businessperson and entrepreneur do more to help the country than the president?" he asked. However, in another interview on Tuesday, on a Dallas sports radio program, Cuban reportedly said he'd consider running as vice president on a ticket with fellow billionaire Donald Trump. "As long as [Trump] said he'[d] listen to me in everything I said, we'd be OK," Cuban said.
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2. Donald Trump isn't self-aware
Cuban tends to think that Trump has the most potential, though he'll need to change his tone. "He's been a breath of fresh air from the perspective that he speaks his mind," Cuban said. Trump's biggest problem, according to Cuban, is that he isn't very self-aware. He has a pragmatic side that will make him tone down some of his more extreme rhetoric, however.
3. Bernie Sanders is most interesting candidate
Of all the candidates, Cuban says he would most like to sit down with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, even though he objects to Sanders's stance as a democratic socialist and plan to levy a special tax on billionaires. "I'm like, yo dude, come on, I ... got here through hard work!" Cuban said.
4. Bloomberg should enter the race
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden would be welcome additions to the race, Cuban said. "We know his policies, from his time as mayor of New York," he said of Bloomberg. "We know where he stands on guns. We know where he stands on other issues. He's very, very progressive in a lot of respects on social issues and he's somewhat conservative on fiscal issues." As for Biden, Cuban said he'd be a better bet than Clinton, because he has a better chance of striking a middle ground with Republicans in Congress.
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5. Clinton is too polarizing
Cuban said Clinton is too polarizing to win the presidency. "I think Hillary is smart, but she's just upset so many people on the other side, that it's going to be very, very difficult." Also, the imbroglio over her handling of classified email while she worked in the State Department shows she knows very little about technology, he said.
6. Ted Cruz is a disaster
As he has in recent weeks, Cuban saved most of his vitriol for Cruz. "He is Joe McCarthy reincarnate," Cuban said. "He ... labels the others, you know, and denigrates people who don't, who aren't pure in how they are. ...He's not the type of person who will accomplish anything. He's just obstructionist."
7. Choose a wild-card justice for Supreme Court
Regarding the highly polarized atmosphere around finding a successor to Scalia, Cuban said he'd choose someone who's independent-minded. "I would look to find the smartest, most open-minded person, who is able to say, you know what, where there's a liberal interpretation that's better suited for what's going on, fine," Cuban said. "If there is a conservative interpretation that's better suited, because that fits the law better, fine."
8. It's the economy, stupid
Finally, Cuban said the outcome of the election ultimately will be all about the economy: "There's so much uncertainty with markets, there's so much uncertainty with international finance, that people could start feeling the effects personally and that could change what they're focused on," he said.