Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made national headlines in recent weeks discussing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which he called “probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long long time.”
But despite his stated willingness to consider becoming Trump’s vice president if asked, Cuban said in a new interview there’s “absolutely” no chance he’d ultimately join the Republican real-estate tycoon’s ticket.
“I try not to mix sports and politics,” Cuban reflected during his extensive back-and-forth with WFAA’s Dale Hansen. “People go to Mavs games to get away from politics. During presidential elections, I have a little bit more fun with it because it’s during that dead season during sports. If the NBA were playing right now, you wouldn’t hear a word about it from me.”
As far as his political ideology goes, Cuban said that he’d like to be a libertarian but he wants to maintain more of the social safety net than libertarian stalwarts.
“Not so much libertarian as much as I’d like to be libertarian,” Cuban told Hansen of his beliefs. “When I think libertarian, it’s ‘as small of a government as we can get, right now — you just cut right through it and you make it [smaller] right now.’ That’s not real. There’s got to be a process. There’s got to be a transition. As a country, we make decisions. We make decisions that we’re going to provide healthcare, right? We don’t just let people die on the street. You can go into any hospital and they have to treat you.”
Last week, Cuban mused about his desire to join the Republican Party, but he thought the party was too rigid and too unwelcoming to candidates who deviate from its orthodoxy. Cruz told WFAA that, like the case with the Libertarian Party, he supports more government intervention than mainstream Republicans.
“I’m a Republican in the respect that I like smaller government and I like less intrusion in some areas. But there’s sometimes where I think we have to intrude. I think there’s sometimes when you have to do things,” he said.
On the other end of the ideological spectrum, Cuban added that that government sometimes goes too far in trying to correct societal wrongs.
“You can’t cure every ill with a government program. I literally would rather write a check: Take whatever money is in a given department in the government, take 25% off the top, put it back in the taxpayers’ pockets, and then just give cash to people, right? Because it will be more effective in how it’s used and help the economy at the same time,” he said.
The billionaire investor said he just likes to “think for myself” and “stay independent.”
“I’m not dogmatic in any way, shape, or form. I try to take every issue independently. I don’t get excited about either party. I haven’t given money in … 15 years to either party,” he said. “They ask every minute of every day. It’s great to be able to go to the White House. I literally had lunch with President Obama in the West Wing and I was like, ‘Before we get started, I’m not writing any checks, right?'”
Despite his interest in politics, Cuban also suggested that he won’t ever run for elected office because his management style is too direct.
“My kids, who are only 5, 8, and 11, want me to,” he said. “I’m not a consensus builder. I’m like, ‘This is the way we need to do it. Let’s go do it.’ And that doesn’t work real well in politics.”
Watch his interview with Hansen below:
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