Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban returned to his birthplace of Pittsburgh on Saturday to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, borrowing a local term to assail her bombastic Republican rival.
“Leadership is not yelling and screaming and intimidating,” Cuban said in a surprise appearance at a Clinton rally. “You know what we call a person like that in Pittsburgh? A jagoff. Is there any bigger jagoff in the world than Donald Trump?”
The endorsement ended the suspense over whom Cuban would back in the presidential race after expressing affinities for both Clinton and Trump. In May, Cuban said he was open to serving as a running mate for either candidate but has since grown critical of Trump.
At the rally, he made clear he was fully behind Clinton.
“I’m ready to tell you that I’m ready to vote for a true leader, I’m ready to vote for the American Dream, I’m ready to tell the world that I am here to endorse Hillary Clinton,” Cuban said. “But also I’m here to tell you that voting for Hillary is not enough.”
“You have to convince all your friends — you have to tell everybody you know that this is one of the most important decisions they’ll make for this country,” Cuban added. “This country needs the leadership of Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton.”
Cuban, an outspoken entrepreneur who owns the Dallas Mavericks, did not arrive at the endorsement without some ridicule of Trump. Cuban opened his remarks by saying hello to Trump in Russian — a jab at the GOP candidate over his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin. And recalling his various business ventures, Cuban mentioned how he started the TV show “Shark Tank,” noting it “kicked ‘The Apprentice”s ass.”
Cuban repeatedly sought to undermine Trump’s business credentials, at one point arguing that real entrepreneurs like himself take risks instead of depending on others.
“You don’t ask Daddy for a small loan of a million dollars,” Cuban said. “That’s not what entrepreneurs do.”
Cuban also criticized Trump for refusing to offer detailed proposals for the country, suggesting it is because he lacks them altogether. Trump, Cuban insisted, is “bluffing.”
“Companies and jobs — they won’t be created by terrifying people,” Cuban later said. “No, Donald Trump, they’ll be created by inspiring people like Hillary Clinton does.”
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2016/07/30/cuban-endorses-clinton-over-jagoff-trump/.