Mark Cuban continued his opposition campaign to the early days of Donald Trump’s presidency Wednesday, marking the fifth consecutive day of his taking aim at the president.
And following Trump’s nomination of 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Cuban had a simple message for Democrats still trying to figure out how to handle the Trump presidency: You’re “blowing it.”
“The Democrats are blowing it,” he told MSNBC early Wednesday. “I think … look, I’m an independent, I’m not a Democrat. I don’t have a vested interest in the Democratic Party at all. But, what I will say, at least from my perspective, everything that was wrong with Republicans during the Obama administration was built around obstructionism.”
Cuban warned Democrats, some of whom are either seeking to fully oppose all of Trump’s nominees, including Gorsuch, while others have already announced their opposition to Trump’s nominee for the court, that when the strategy was employed by Republicans “it was bad for everybody, bad for the country.”
“And the reality is, that’s how we ended up with a President Trump, which, I think, in an honest moment with conservative leaders, they will tell you they didn’t want a President Trump,” he continued. “They wanted a real conservative.”
He questioned why Democrats would want to “copy” the approach.
“It was everything that was wrong with the Republicans,” he said, adding, “They need to take a different approach if they want to get different results.”
The billionaire business mogul went on a lengthy tweetstorm in similar terms Tuesday night, following Trump’s announcement. In it, he said “every reasonable person HATED” the GOP’s obstructionist strategy in the Obama years, which came to a peak when Senate Republicans blocked Obama’s nominee to fill Scalia’s seat early in 2016, Judge Merrick Garland.
“Bannon is praying the dems take the same approach,” he wrote. “They will use it to expand their base and demonize Dems. ‘See, they hate you & progress.'”
As he mentioned in his MSNBC interview, Cuban said it would be wise to make a deal with Trump to give him “bragging rights.”
“Deal makers love to make deals,” he said. “Sales people love to sell. That’s who he is. All dealmakers will give you something. Get something. … Or dems can do business as usual. Obstruct every move. Treat him like a politician. How did that work out in the election?”
The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” who also served as a prominent supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the general election campaign, expanded upon this point in the MSNBC interview.
“Donald loves superlatives,” Cuban said. “He loves being able to brag. And if you give him something that gives him bragging rights, [such as] ‘we will make this the fastest Supreme Court nominee confirmation ever in the history of the United States. In exchange for that, we want to replace this cabinet pick or that cabinet pick or have you do this or have you do that.’
Cuban said it’s “worth trying,” adding that the voters Democrats need to worry about in the next election are not those who voted for Trump or Clinton, but those who voted for neither.
“Those are the people who are going to have the greatest impact in the next election,” he said.
Taking a shot at Trump, Cuban said their was a low bar to get over for something Trump does to be considered successful, after being asked for his thoughts on the president’s rollout of his Supreme Court nominee Tuesday night.
“It was a nice presentation,” he said. “I mean, the bar is low. All he had to do was not go off on a tangent, which he didn’t do. He popped in his typical Trump superlatives … it was fine.”
It’s now a “question of what happens next,” Cuban said, adding there is still “a whole lot more we need to learn.”
“I don’t think his management style is all of a sudden going to change because he decided to stick to the script for the most part in presenting the Supreme Court nominee,” he said.
Cuban returned to publicly voicing his opinions about Trump — something he frequently did during the campaign — following the president’s Friday executive order temporarily barring travel from seven Muslim-majority nations and all refugees from entering the US. The order — which targeted countries previously identified as terror hotspots by the Obama administration — was met with backlash by many business leaders and politicians, and it led to chaos at airports and protests nationwide.
Cuban spent days tweeting in opposition to the president, engaged with prominent Trump supporters such as Fox News host Sean Hannity, and began making the rounds on cable news, hitting CNBC, CNN, and MSNBC.
In the process, he became the de-facto face of opposition to Trump in the business and tech community, taking a more active stance against the president than any prominent executive.
“I’ve been crushing POTUS,” he announced on Twitter on Monday. “He has earned it.”
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