Mark Cuban has about six months to decide who gets his vote, but in a new interview with CNN, the billionaire entrepreneur and Shark Tank star pretty much shut down any chance he'd tick the box for Donald Trump. But he stopped short of a glowing endorsement of Trump's likely rival, Hillary Clinton.
On Monday, Cuban told the network that the stock market hates uncertainty, and Trump's tendency to be unpredictable would set things going in the wrong direction. Given the choice between Trump and Clinton, Cuban said he'd "probably" vote for Clinton, just because she appears to have a plan for what she'll do in office.
"That uncertainty potentially as the president of the United States, that's the last thing Wall Street wants to hear.But Inc. reminds readers that Cuban has had different opinions on Trump in the past, saying when asked in February in an KTCK-AM 1310 interview that he would agree to be Trump's vice-president, "[a]s long as he said he'd listen to me in everything I said we'd be okay." In an interview with CNBC Wednesday, Cuban said Trump was wrong when he claimed current technology start-ups are creating a bubble similar to the situation that preceded the financial meltdown in the late 2000s.
"The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. I can go to Hillary's websites and there's spreadsheets, there's depth, there's analysis, there's details.
"[Trump's website] lists top line things he would like to do, but he doesn't say how he's going to get there."
"That's 180 degrees wrong because none of those companies are going public.Cuban said Silicon Valley's present trend against IPOs gives more power to legacy companies that are already publicly traded. He admitted, however, that current tech investors have no liquidity because of the resistance to go public. But there may be a private investment tech bubble because a CB Insights report, quoted by CNBC, found there are currently 163 private companies valued at $1 billion or more, known in the industry as "unicorns." As The Chicago Tribune pointed out in an editorial, Cuban said in the summer of 2015 that candidate Trump's positions were less important than the fact that he speaks his mind. But he said much less flattering things about Trump this week, including the fact that he finds it problematic that Trump's knowledge has not expanded over his months of campaigning.
"If we have a problem, it's not that there's frothy valuations for tech companies in the public market. It's that there's no tech companies that have high growth rates that are in position to get frothy valuations. That's the problem."
"He hasn't learned. And that's a real problem. As I said before, it's become a candidacy about nothing, the Seinfeld candidacy. And that's a problem."The Tribune also noted that Cuban's comments that he would not run as a third-party candidate this year -- he was apparently asked by anti-Trump forces -- indicated that it was just the wrong time, not that Cuban was not interested in entering the political fold. Rather, it implied that Cuban was mulling over the possibility of becoming a candidate himself, the Tribune assuming for a run in 2020 or 2024.
Cuban even said as much in the interview with KTCK-AM 1310. He dismissed the possibility of entering politics while he has young children, and his wife has not been in favor of a Mark Cuban candidacy -- but the idea still lingers.
"It's interesting to me. It really, really is. Just not now. Just not this time around.In the meantime, Hillary Clinton and Cuban's friend Donald Trump can watch the Dallas Mavericks owner on Shark Tank Friday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.
"I think everybody thinks like that too, right?
"But I truly believe my ideas are better."
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/John Sommers II/Getty Images]