‘The Clinton staff sucks at spin’: Mark Cuban rips into Clinton campaign for media strategy

Mark Cuban and Hillary Clinton
Mark Cuban and Hillary Clinton. Ezra Shaw/Getty; Justin Sullivan/Getty; Scott Olson/Getty; Skye Gould/Business Insider

The Hillary Clinton campaign is “horrible” at “driving the [media] conversation” and “sucks at spin,” billionaire businessman Mark Cuban told Business Insider in an interview this week.

The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, who backs the former secretary of state, was defending Clinton over a series of controversies, which included her use of a private email server, allegations of “pay to play” against the Clinton Foundation, and her recent health episode.

Cuban said all of those controversies, which have flourished in the media, are media-made issues.

“There’s always going to be opposition, no matter who it is, in order to combat that opposition,” he said. “You’ve got to have good spin, good [public relations]. It’s the same as in sports.”

“The Clinton staff sucks at spin and at anticipation and driving the message or driving the topics, driving the conversation,” he continued. “Horrible at it. Horrible.”

Cuban called Clinton’s campaign “great at policy” and “great at the things that matter and the stuff that you really want to truly understand.”

“But when it comes to the stuff that you know it’s going to drive the headline porn, they are just not great,” he added.

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In recent days, Clinton has faced questions about how transparent she’s been about her health. The former secretary of state was captured on video struggling to walk on Sunday as she left a 9/11 memorial event in New York City early. Her campaign later said she had been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier and would take some time off the campaign trail to recover.

Clinton is set to return to the trail on Thursday.

Cuban said he understood how the media could use the incident as a proxy for her transparency about health, and added the campaign could’ve “minimized” the situation “a whole lot more than they did.”

“She gets sick, she gets sick, but again it’s not disaster because when it’s been a week it works itself out,” he said. “There’s no disaster here. The quantity of coverage is more a reflection of filling time than anything else, because again, now you’ve got to cover the response.”

“And they could’ve minimized it a whole lot more than they did, but that’s another example of the campaign staff not having a clue,” he concluded. “But it’s a shame for that to be the deciding factor in this election.”

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