Mark Cuban weighed in Friday on the potential for a debate between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — and entertained the idea of holding his own debate against the presumptive Republican nominee.
“What I don’t understand is why he doesn’t just volunteer to write his half of the check himself,” he told Business Insider in an email.
Cuban was referring to Trump’s suggestion to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel earlier this week that he’d debate Sanders if the proceeds went to charity.
The brash billionaire business mogul, ABC’s “Shark Tank” star, and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks also said that a similar debate pitting himself against Trump would be a blast. But he suggested it wouldn’t provide much in the way of upside for the presumptive Republican nominee.
“As fun as it would be, there is no upside for him to debate me,” he said. “Only downside.”
“That said, there would be no need to raise the money,” he added. “It would be easy to just write my half of the check.”
Sanders and his campaign have turned up the heat on Trump, trying to goad the mogul into debating the Vermont senator, while Trump has continued to fuel the speculation since his original suggestion.
“I’d love to debate Bernie. He’s a dream,” the Manhattan billionaire said during a Thursday news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota. “If we can raise for maybe women’s health issues or something. If we can raise $10 or $15 million for charity, which would be a very appropriate amount.”
“I understand the television business very well,” he continued. “I think it would get high ratings.”
For his part, Cuban has made a recent foray into presidential politics. He made a weekend appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” after a Washington Post story earlier this month reported that anti-Trump Republican operatives tried to recruit him for a third-party or independent presidential bid. Cuban later said there was no chance of a presidential run in 2016.
Earlier this week, when asked by Business Insider about what his end game was in this political escapade, he said via his Cyber Dust social-media app that he was just trying “to be a good citizen.”
During his appearance on “Meet the Press,” he expressed interest in serving as either Trump or Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s running mate.
Clinton expressed openness to the idea during her interview on the same Sunday program, and Cuban later said that Clinton’s campaign was working to set up a meeting.
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