Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban is ever-increasingly vocal in politics, becoming one of President Donald Trump’s chief critics.
Cuban has, at the same time, teased journalists with rising frequency about a potential 2020 bid for the presidency.
Business Insider recently discussed Cuban’s newfound political profile — his possible future presidential plans — in an email exchange with Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
This interview was edited for clarity.
Allan Smith: What does your family think about your expanding political presence?
Mark Cuban: We discussed how much of a threat I believed Trump to be. We discussed why it was important to me to get involved. That if I could have an impact and didn’t try, it would have left me guessing forever. Even having tried and failed, we all feel like we started on the right path and set a foundation to have a platform and voice for the future.
Smith: You gave a pretty good teasy quote to CNBC at [South by Southwest] about a future run. Late last year, you were saying it was a definite “no” when asked [about a future presidential bid.] What changed?
Cuban: The obvious. What I do depends on how things play out for the country.
Smith: How has becoming more vocal on politics affected your businesses? And what do you have to say to critics who think it’s been a negative for the Mavs?
Cuban: Nothing one way or the other. For every hate email there was a positive one as well. Remember, Clinton won Dallas County.
Smith: IF you ever decided to run, what would you do with your businesses?
Cuban: I have so many private business investments that it would be impossible to sell them. I would put them in a blind trust but make it clear I would still be available on a limited basis for those companies. It wouldn’t be fair to those companies if I just bailed on them. I would also be very transparent — truly transparent about what I was doing. And yes, I would make my [tax] returns available.
Smith: Some people have compared your entry into politics to Trump’s, who spent years building up a political brand by giving his opinions on all kinds of issues on places like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and so on. Do you see any similarities?
Cuban: No. He has talked about running for office for 30 years. I started talking about politics this year, after avoiding them the last almost 20 years, because I thought it was important to do so.
Smith: Any thoughts on the American Health Care Act? [Editor’s note: Business Insider asked prior to the bill’s failure, and the question was originally framed around House Speaker Paul Ryan.]
Cuban: All involved are ignoring the basic question. And I think Sen. [Bernie] Sanders brought this up, is healthcare a right or an opportunity in the United States? I believe that, given we all face the exact same genetic and wrong place, wrong time risks, coverage of most chronic and life-threatening illnesses or injuries should be a right.
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