Former Trump strategist and noted political loose cannon Steve Bannon has suggested wealthy businessman Mark Cuban to run for the US presidency in 2020 as a Democrat.
Mark Cuban, owner of NBA Dallas Mavericks and founder of broadcast.com could be a Democratic presidential candidate, according to a report by the Daily Beast. In the report, the billionaire is said to have “flirted” with the idea of running for president for awhile, but this time things may be becoming serious, as Cuban — one of the world’s richest people — has been corresponding with former US President Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon.
Cuban, whose net worth is estimated at some $3.3 billion, confirmed the news to the Daily Beast, but insisted that communication with Bannon was more barely over “one full sentence.”
People close to the two, however, say that communication has been vigorous and has been going on for months.
“They talk regularly,” Sam Nunberg, a former Trump adviser who is close to Bannon, told the media outlet. “They’re very similar. They have a lot of synergy there. Even when [Steve] went to work for Trump, Mark would be interviewed and say nice things about Steve.”
Cuban has said repeatedly, if half-seriously, that he might run for president, but as an independent candidate. Bannon, however, reportedly suggested that Cuban consider running as a Democrat — “as a realistic path to a viable presidential run,” the Beast said.
As for Cuban and his possible policy moves, the Beast describes him as a “idiosyncratic political figure.”
“Cuban’s politics are a mix of social liberalism, big-business-friendly centrism, and a love of objectivist icon Ayn Rand,” the media outlet said, adding that “he lacks a discernable political base.”
Despite that, Nunberg believes Cuban does have “a lot of potential for 2020, assuming that the president doesn’t run for re-election.”
Cuban has been a vocal critic of Trump, reportedly campaigning for Hillary Clinton, making various anti-Trump statements, and recently dubbing Trump a “Twitter troll.”
Cuban’s assertions have not gone unnoticed in the Oval Office.
“I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn’t interested in taking all of his calls. He’s not smart enough to run for president!” the president tweeted.
So why would Bannon — an unapologetic supporter of history’s most unpopular US president — seemingly set up a rivalry for his former boss? The website Axios.com has an answer to that.
“Bannon wants to break down the entrenched political system, so he might view Cuban — with his mix of social liberalism and Ayn Rand devotion — as someone he could work with on the left,” the website stated, referring to a February story from Washington post.
“Bannon framed much of Trump’s agenda with the phrase, “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning the system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president claims have “stymied economic growth and infringed upon US sovereignty,” Washington post wrote in February.
“Bannon says that the post-World War II political and economic consensus is failing and should be replaced with a system that empowers ordinary people over coastal elites and international institutions,” it added.
According to a Vanity Fair October report, Bannon believes that the Cabinet might invoke a 25th Amendment — a mechanism to remove a sitting US president from office if he or she displays an obvious incapacity for the job.
Vanity Fair reported at the time that Bannon estimated Trump’s chances to last a full term at about 30 percent, implying that Bannon is confident Trump will not be able to run for another term, despite Trump’s assertion — made mere hours after inauguration — to do just that.
A Cuban candidacy would necessarily not be perceived as a fight against Trump, neither would it be a battle between Democrats vs Republicans.
Bannon’s agenda is, apparently, the desire to deconstruct the old political establishment spread across both major parties, a consistent trope by the former White House strategist.