Billionaire business mogul Mark Cuban praised President Donald Trump Thursday for his deal with the Democrats, calling it a “really smart” move during an interview with Fox Business host Neil Cavuto.
The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” said the Wednesday agreement that tacked on a three-month suspension of the federal debt ceiling to a bill that also includes money for Hurricane Harvey relief was a “huge positive” because it showed he could work with the opposition party.
“It’s pure classic Donald Trump,” Cuban said. “I thought it was really smart. You know, think about being a salesperson like President Trump is, you want to keep deals alive. The biggest fear a salesperson has is that a deal would die and so working with somebody even it’s only for a short term, even if it’s with the Democrats, it keeps the deal alive and I thought that was very smart.”
Cuban said that he thinks Trump’s early presidency is not going “very well” and that he does not believe Trump is “learning from his mistakes.” But he added that Trump is “a salesperson at his heart” and “he follows his sales wins,” going “to where he thinks he can get his wins.”
“I want to see him succeed,” Cuban said. “I think not being a politician is one of his core strengths and playing to your strengths is something you should always do to get results. So I think going out, and just going to where he can get results regardless of party I think is a huge positive for him. But I think he’s got to demonstrate that, he’s got to show the empathy gene more than just every now and then.”
“He’s got to be able to demonstrate that he’s learned from the past more than just a week and then I’m more than happy to reconsider,” he continued. “Like I said, fiscally if he can get tax reform done, and I think it’s going to take reaching out as opposed to just trying to negotiate with other politicians, then I think he’ll get some momentum and you know as a good salesperson I think he knows how to play up momentum better than he knows how to play from behind.”
Trump baffled Republican leadership on Wednesday when he spurned their proposals for raising the debt ceiling and instead decided to make a deal with Democratic leadership. Trump sided with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the deal, which earned scorn from Republican leaders who were angling for a suspension of six or 18 months for the debt ceiling.
Cuban, often critical of Trump, has given strong hints that he may run for president in 2020, though it’s not clear whether he would run as a Democrat or as an independent candidate. Trump at times has fired back at Cuban for his criticism.
An August survey from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling found that Cuban, presumed in the poll to be Trump’s Democratic opponent, held a four-point lead over Trump in a prospective 2020 race.
“These are always entertaining,” Cuban told Business Insider in an email following the poll’s release. “As I have said before, I would only run if I can come up with solutions for healthcare, the plight of working families, and reducing the stress levels of our country. It’s possible. When I have something to offer, I will.”
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