Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban is keeping the door open to a possible presidential run in 2020, a move that he flirted with back in 2016 before backing Democrat Hillary Clinton in her failed bid.
The owner of the Dallas Mavericks and investor on "Shark Tank," Cuban has been a relentless critic of President Donald Trump. However, in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Friday, he hinted once more at taking a run at the Oval Office, likely as an independent candidate.
"I'm not ready to announce anything. Obviously, time is shortening,” Cuban said, explaining the motivations behind his thinking. “So, behind the scenes, I'm keeping the doors open, but I haven't made any decision yet.”
As the coronavirus outbreak decimates the global economy, more than 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance in the last five weeks. Nationwide lockdowns have shuttered businesses, and mostly locked residents indoors to prevent further spreading of the virus, which has now killed over 50,000 Americans and infected nearly 900,000.
The ranks of the unemployed are “going to grow. And nobody's coming up with any solutions whatsoever, and that's a real problem,” the investor told Yahoo Finance. He added that people looking for a rapid restart of the economy were in for an unpleasant surprise.
“And I think we're going to start to see, over the next couple of weeks, that demand doesn't come back, even once states open up, hoping it'll be the same as it was. It won't be the same,” Cuban said.
“And if that's the case, and there's no solutions coming from anywhere, or all the solutions are dogmatic and partisan, that's when I think that door might open up” to a potential White House bid.
Backs independent candidates
The 61-year-old billionaire has been vocal about the lack of leadership, trust, and transparency coming out of Washington, D.C.
In that vein, he explained his backing for an organization called the Center for Competitive Democracy, that promotes democratic principles and “sues states and the federal government to get people on the ballot, and we just won in a situation in Illinois to make it easier for independent parties and individual candidates to get on the presidential ballot.”
Cuban lashed out at what he called a lack of leadership in politics and a polarized view that pits the parties against each other.
“And I think that the people don't have someone they truly trust. Everything's so partisan,” the billionaire said.
“There's no transparency. There's no honesty. You know, there's an attempt at communication, but without the transparency and honesty and vision, it's hard to know what's real and what's not real," Cuban added.
Cuban said if it wasn’t for his family's opposition to a presidential bid, he would "already have done it." However, the fragile state of society in the wake of the pandemic forced his hand, he said.
"But, again, this is crazy, right, what's going on. I expect walkers from ‘The Walking Dead’ to start pounding on my door,” Cuban joked.
“It's just — it's just so surreal. And so you just don't know what's going to happen next," he added.
Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.