One of the sideshows of this year’s presidential campaign circus is “The Battle of the Reality Show Billionaires.” Donald Trump has leveraged his “The Apprentice” name recognition into a presidential campaign. And Mark Cuban is challenging the other billionaire’s word and claims, getting media attention due to his fame from the other reality show, “Shark Tank.”
In case you don’t watch television, “The Apprentice” is a show that is billed as “The Ultimate Job Interview,” in which contestants vie for a position in the Donald Trump organization. Trump eliminated “losers” by saying, “you’re fired.”
That fame allowed Trump to walk into the Republican presidential debates without having any governmental experience. However, it has been said that the image the public has of Trump is artificially constructed, and for better or worse, is not at all like Trump’s real personality and methods, as we noted elsewhere.
It should be noted that Trump is relying on one of the show’s contestants, Theresa “Omarosa” Manigault, as his liaison to the African-American community. The choice has been ridiculed, since her experience is so different from that of most African-Americans, and the fact that she was portrayed as a villain in the show.
Meanwhile, “Shark Tank” is also an “interview” program, with entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to the show’s resident billionaires, hoping one (or more) of them will give them business capital in exchange for a percentage of their companies. The main “sharks” are Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and Mark Cuban—owner of the Dallas Mavericks
When Trump first hit the campaign trail, Cuban thought it was a good idea, exactly one year ago.
“I have to honestly say he is probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long time,” Cuban said in a statement on his own Cyber Dust app.
“I don’t care what his actual positions are, I don’t care if he says the wrong thing,” Cuban continues. “He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”
Cuban changed his mind, according to Business Insider. The site includes a “smack down” video of Cuban’s jokes about Trump.
“At the beginning, he was a businessperson,” Cuban explained. “I wanted to see a change from the traditional politician, but then he went and opened his mouth.”
Cuban then added, “He had a really good chance to be different and really have a chance to change things, but he doesn’t do the work. He’s lazy.”
Cuban is now saying Trump is lying about his net worth. In this case, Cuban shared a video of Trump supposedly singing the Bruno Mars song, “I wanna be a billionaire so f—ing bad.” Humorous.
There was early speculation that Trump might choose Cuban as his running mate. In May of this year, after Cuban began ridiculing Trump, Cuban said he would accept a call from Hillary Clinton, if she asked him to become vice president, according to Fox Business.
“Washington has become so partisan and gridlock is so bad that you need somebody that doesn’t have the legacy baggage of one party or the other. And I think both candidates are severely deficient in technology… Hillary has her challenges with email; Donald doesn’t even use email… If you don’t have that strong a grasp of technology – that’s what’s going to drive our economy… I think I can bring that value to both,” he said.
A few days ago, Cuban upped his doubt about Trump’s success, asking if “Hillary pays more in taxes than Trump has made in income?” Here are a few of his recent tweets, according to The Hill.
Cuban called Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton, “much smarter business people and negotiators.”
Cuban also “apologized” in the same article.
After Trump received his party’s nomination, Cuban also apologized to the world.
“Dear World. Please ignore what the loud guy in the suit is saying. Americans are nothing like him. We love our country and are proud of it,” Cuban said.
Also in that article, Cuban notes that while Trump has not released his information, Hillary has released it all.
Trump has said he won’t release his tax returns because it wouldn’t be right until after the completion of an audit by the IRS. However, Richard Nixon released his returns in the middle of an audit, according to CNN Money.
In the summer and fall of that year, “Nixon was engulfed by a controversy over his personal taxes”. . .that gave rise to one of Nixon’s most famous quotes, Thorndike found. “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook,” Nixon told reporters in November 1973. “Well, I am not a crook.”
Cuban says Trump won’t release the forms because they will show Trump doesn’t earn much as he says, doesn’t donate much at all, and has dubious sources of income.
The Resurgent says Trump has another fear about releasing his tax forms.
If Trump released his tax returns, I suspect it will show that Trump has been commingling his personal income and corporate assets. For example, when Trump makes personal trips on his airplane to Mara Lago, is that a corporate expense or a personal one? . . .
Likewise, assuming Trump’s annual income shows he really could not have the cash flow to be making multi-million dollar loans to his political campaign, that’d raise further issues about commingling of corporate and personal assets. Once that is shown, a creditor or plaintiff could “pierce the corporate veil,” i.e. go after Trump personally for claims against his corporation.
Trump may also be hesitant because his tax forms may show other things, speculating that. . .
1. He has Russian ties.
2. He is being audited. [–and is guilty] .
3. He did not pay any taxes.
4. He has mob ties.
5. He donates no — or very little — money to charity.
6. He is not as rich as he says.
Cuban’s newest charge is that Trump will try to avoid debating Clinton.
“Trump’s biggest debate fear is that @HillaryClinton will make up an acronym for a non-existent agency & DJT will respond thinking it’s real,” the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” tweeted.
“Im going to go out on a limb and say that @realDonaldTrump will do everything possible not to debate @HillaryClinton,” he wrote just beforehand.
Trump has had difficulty showing his knowledge of topics during Republican primary debates earlier in the election cycle, such as when he seemed to stumble when asked about the nuclear triad.
Cuban “doubled down” on his criticism of Trump’s abilities.
“You know what? It’s rare that you see someone get stupider before your eyes, but he’s really working at it… You have to give him credit. It’s a difficult thing to do but he’s accomplished it,” the billionaire entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner said in an interview with Extra. . .
“Donald has been at this a year but you don’t look at him and say, ‘Wow, he’s gotten so much smarter on this topic or that topic.’ In fact, you look at him and say, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’,” he added.
Trump, he remarked, would “get kicked out of ‘Shark Tank’ so fast, it would make your head spin.”
And, finally, Cuban thinks Trump’s real “dream” is to lose the election, according to CNN Money.
Mark Cuban is betting Donald Trump will lose the presidential election, but end up with his net worth increased tenfold.
In a series of tweets Thursday, Cuban said there’s a more than a 50% chance that the presidential race will end in Trump’s “dream scenario” — winning the popular vote, but losing in the Electoral College.
“All the glory. None of the work,” Cuban tweeted. . .
He doubts that Trump’s campaign is built to win a national election. Cuban speculated on Twitter Thursday that Trump doesn’t have the necessary “analytics” and “ground game” to win key districts in swing states. He added that Trump doesn’t have the insight or will to make “face to face contact in precincts [where] he needs votes to tip a state.”
. . . Trump’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
That’s what it sounds like when billionaires “take off the gloves.”