Trump now considering independent run
April 12th, 2011
08:29 AM ET
4 years ago

Trump now considering independent run

Washington (CNN) - Donald Trump says he's now flirting with the idea of running as an independent candidate should he fail to win the Republican presidential nomination, a move that, however farfetched, threatens to draw crucial support away from the eventual GOP nominee.

"I think the Republicans are very concerned that I [may] run as an independent," Trump told the Wall Street Journal in comments published Tuesday.

"I am very conservative," he added. "The concern is if I don't win [the GOP primary] will I run as an independent, and I think the answer is probably yes."

The odds have always been stacked against a third party candidate in a presidential race, usually due to a combination of lower name identification, relatively little funding, and a lack of party infrastructure to rely on for get out the vote initiatives.

But Trump – who has already spent years making sure people know who he is and has vowed to spend hundreds of millions of his own fortune if he runs – says he could win without the GOP banner behind him.

"I'm not doing it for any other reason. I like winning."

Meanwhile, top White House aide David Plouffe shrugged off Trump's potential candidacy Sunday, saying there is no way he "would ever be hired by the American people to do this job."

But speaking to Fox Sunday, Trump maintained he is actually the Obama campaign's "worst nightmare."

"I am not the person they want to run against," he said. "They know it, and I know it, and I know it for a fact. Because I have a lot of people that, frankly, are contributors to him and they tell me, 'Donald you are not the person they want to run against.'"

Trump has not led the potential GOP field in any major poll. But a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed "The Apprentice" host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are tied for second place with support from 17 percent of likely GOP voters, behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 21 percent.


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Steve

    "I'm not doing it for any other reason. I like winning."

    Ok, so he isnt doing it for the people, he isnt doing it for the country, he isnt even doing it for the money.

    He is so flippant and unconcerned with the condition and future of the country that he is merely doing this because he "likes to win." What a moron and anyone who would vote for this tool can more than likely be considered the same.

    April 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Brian

    Memo to: The Donald.
    As an Independant voter I find you to be as looney as Sarah, Michelle, and Mike (and a few others). However, it is your money to spend as you see fit but you will in no way entice Independants to vote for you. May the sun always shine on your parade because votes certainly won't rain on it from independants.

    April 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. ThinkAgain

    YAY! This will be sooooooo entertaining to watch yet another self-deluded millionaire blow their cash!

    April 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Martin

    If he runs as an independent, against say, a moderate conservative like Mitt Romney on the Republican ballot, it would be the best thing that ever happened for the Democrats.

    It would split the Republican vote in half, Democrats win in a landslide.

    Trump is actually Republican party's worst nightmare, not Obama's. He's Obama's new best friend.

    April 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Chris

    Donald Trump "im a very conservative guy" Really?! So conservative that you donated to Hillary's campaign, John Kerry's Campaign, Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign, donated to Charlie Rangel, Andrew Cuomo and even eliot spitzer?!? And Tea Partiers are actually buying in to this?

    April 12, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. SF

    Trump is all about publicity and wanna be notarity, he is clown act with no funny parts, he really needs to sit down and rethink the hair do and the bad tan, he should stick to where he is comfortable, "reality" TV, I guess he is trying out for a new show

    April 12, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Almost too easy..

    Ross Perot Redux .... 2012 style...

    Another easy win for President Obama..

    A fool and his money soon will part....

    Don't worry Donald... if you go broke doing this you can always declare bankruptcy again...

    April 12, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Cindy

    Run Donald run! Winning, duh! :-D

    April 12, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    President Obama has paid taxes for many years (you can see his return online at the White House Web site).

    To do this, he must list his Social Security Number (it's not shown on the form online, just like it isn't for GW Bush, Sarah Palin, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, GHW Bush, etc., etc., etc. – this is standard procedure to not show it, since that would lead to identity theft).

    To get a Social Security Number, you have to prove U.S. citizenship by providing a verifiable birth certificate.

    Conclusion: Since President Obama has a Social Security Number, President Obama is a U.S. citizen.

    NEXT!

    April 12, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. CIA

    This is nothing more than a big ego-stroking attention grab by "The Donald". He will posture and complain without saying anything and then back out at the last minute saying that he could win, but can't do it for some lame excuse.

    Hey Donald, if you are serious, lets hear some real policy positions. What EXACTLY would you do to help things? Sorry, but your bs concern about President Obama's birth certificate isn't a plan for helping our country.

    I can't believe anybody pays attention to this guy.

    April 12, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    The problem I have with Trump and other former business executives running for elected office is simple. Government is about the people in the United States; first, foremost and only most. The business of government is not about the government of business. Business executives are not suited for high political office.

    Some politicians claim to be defenders of freedom and believers in the Constitution. The claim they do not want government interfering with their personal lives. They call for small government. Sounds good to me until..... Until they start spouting off about "protecting small businesses", and claimiing how a business executive would make such a good leader of people.

    No, he would not. A business executive would be a good choice to run a business. American's budget problems were created by politicians, though, however, some would argue the problems were instigated by the lobbyists of business executives. No, thank you. I cannot see how hiring a business executive as POTUS helps the people. The only positive I see is that it would be an turned into an economic boom for other business leaders, including the one you elected.

    April 12, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Kevin

    "I'm not doing it for any other reason. I like winning."

    This is just another conquest for the Donald. What happens when he gets bored and starts firing everyone?

    April 12, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Nadeem

    This guy is a house of horrors. The Ego – my goodness

    April 12, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Cheryl

    He's right...they don't want to have to defend against his money and his fantasies about where Obama was born, whether he's a Muslim or not, or any of the other erroneous stories swirling around out there. But not because he's a better candidate. He's just wealthy enough to buy votes and sway public opinion with bogus tv ads.

    April 12, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Erik

    zzzzzz. Of course he'll have to run as an independent eventually if he intends to be on the ballot. No one can work with him. It's his way or no way. He'd make a terrible president – nothing would get done.

    April 12, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Edward

    Trump would only be helping Obama by peeling off voters from someone that might think the GOP establishment candidate wasn't conservative enough. This situation would be likely if say Romney were the GOP nominee. The thing that makes Trump dangerous in this sense rather than Palin or Bachman is that Trump has the funds necessary to wage such a campaign.

    April 12, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Me

    I'd like for Trump to consider a run off of a cliff. He's nothing but a self-promoting, bloviating ringmaster. I have a certificate of live birth from MI. My husband and kids have them as well, issued by AZ. Are we not citizens? Oh, wait, we are because our Mothers were US citizens. You know who else had a US citizen Mom? Obama. Case closed.

    April 12, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Chris from Toronto

    Dear Americans,

    Please don't even begin to consider voting for Trump, who openly says ""I'm not [running] for any other reason. I like winning." That really does not seem like a candidate with your best interests in mind.

    April 12, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. MikeyH

    YES!
    Trump if you run under the GOP, it's a win for Obama.
    If you run as independent, it'll be a Reganesqe slaughter for Obama.

    Carry on, good buddy!

    April 12, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Jake

    Quote :Meanwhile, top White House aide David Plouffe shrugged off Trump's potential candidacy Sunday, saying there is no way he "would ever be hired by the American people to do this job." Endquote

    Never say never. The American people would love to see current members ousted.

    April 12, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. me

    Looks like the GOP read him the riot act.

    April 12, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Al-NY,NY

    "But speaking to Fox Sunday, Trump maintained he is actually the Obama campaign's "worst nightmare.'"...Mr Combover. If you run as an independent you are the GOP's worst nightmare. No democrat and a scant few independents would waste their vote on you but the GOP...? Who knows how many of them will vote for you, thereby assuring another 4 years for Obama. Can you say Ross Perot?

    April 12, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. AEK

    Yes, please Donald, run as an independent. But please DO NOT talk to Ralph Nader first or to Al Gore. Just keep planning away and stroking your own enormous ego. We'll just keep watchin'!

    April 12, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. IndeePendant

    Mr. Trump, they are trump(et)ing up your emotions. They want you to run (as an independent), coz they know you can't get Repub nomination. LOL. Thanks for making it entertaining to all of us, citizens.

    April 12, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Alan

    Go for it Donald!

    April 12, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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