Mark Cuban has gone sharply critical on Donald Trump over the past several weeks, despite having previously said that he’d be open to a conversation with either Trump or Hillary Clinton about running as either’s vice presidential candidate. Just Tuesday, Cuban tweeted that Trump would “have to grovel” for campaign cash, adding that the presumptive GOP candidate will tell prospective donors “what they want to hear.”
Fortune conducted a brief interview with Cuban, via email. Below is the exchange:
FORTUNE: You have been publicly going after Donald Trump (mostly via Twitter), particularly on issues related to his wealth and fundraising. Why?
CUBAN: Because I thought the media was asking the wrong questions. They were so enthralled with tax returns and his net worth. Those really have no basis on anything he does.
Has Trump (either directly or indirectly) reached out to you over the past month?
Yes, directly. To ask me why I have gone far more negative. I won’t tell you what I said.
You have only ever given to one federal political candidate, and that was over a decade ago. Clearly you have interest in politics. How come you’re not an active donor?
I don’t give because:
1. It’s slimy. I don’t want to ask or be owed favors. I want everything to be straight up.
2. I value my independence. The minute you give you are colored by the candidate. I don’t want that.
This is a blog post from 2004. Look at the reference on Senator Hatch.
No matter who becomes president, what is a concrete step that he or she could do to improve America’s economy?
I think we need to create one simple regulatory form for small businesses.
It could be a website or an app. Fill in the form. Hit submit. Get registered. The data would go into a database. The local governments would use the API to retrieve the information or they could print it out locally.
Very small businesses, particularly trade or skill-driven one or two person shops, get intimidated by, or can’t find, all of the places they are required to register. As a result, they have to spend money they probably don’t have on a lawyer. Or they ignore the registration and licenses and operate on a cash basis outside the system. Both are expensive in one way or another.