Mark Cuban 'honestly considering' a 2020 run for president
Mt. Lebanon native Mark Cuban stoked the ever-burning will-he-or-won't-he flames around a possible run for president Thursday when he told a crowd in New York he was "honestly considering" a 2020 bid.
Cuban, a billionaire who owns the Dallas Mavericks and stars on the television show "Shark Tank," told a New York Times columnist at a DealBook conference that if he ran, he would either run as a Republican to challenge Donald Trump in the primaries or as an independent to face off with the president in the general election.
He said he would not run as a Democrat.
"Given the circumstances, there's a unique opportunity for someone, like me, who's independent and not affiliated with a party in any way," Cuban said, according to a BuzzFeed News report . "People are looking for a real independent voice, if he at least knows an inkling of what we're talking about."
Cuban's comments caught the attention of Donald Trump Jr., who took to Twitter.
You misspelled "looking for attention" https://t.co/EiIz16XeP0— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 9, 2017
Cuban's response showed he has no need for 280 characters.
Seriously Jr ? https://t.co/Zh50DLegSE— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 9, 2017
Cuban said his family is what is holding him back from jumping into the race.
"What caring, loving parent would put three young children through the disaster," he said.
Cuban got a taste of being president when he played the leader of the free world in "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!" Conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter was his vice president.
Cuban has been critical of Trump, despite saying in May 2016 that he would consider being vice president if Trump or Hillary Clinton asked .
That same month, Cuban said Republican operatives approached him about mounting a third-party bid for president. Cuban told the Tribune-Review at the time that "the system is stacked against any third-party or independent efforts. It's something that needs to change."
The Trib asked Cuban on Thursday if he had more to say about Trump Jr.'s response.
"Nah. Nothing to add," Cuban wrote in an email.
Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.