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.
Anybody who would walk around with a hair-do like that obviously has poor judgement and this business about where Obama was born is just nonsense. This guy is a jerk and if he were ever elected the U.S. would be the laughing stock of the planet.
T-Rump/Palin 2012. The dynamic duo of disaster.
Trump is the giant zit of the acne that makes up the republican party.
AHHHH the new palin replacement . how funny but scary, this guy has lost what little he had left . someone please put a dipper on him . before he craps all over the stage,, and yes go as an independant . the repus will have a tea party and a repub so all three can split the stupid racist vote and the democrats will re elect a great man OBAMA 2012 ya baby :)
good for him, let Dubai money come back to America....at least there is a respite....for this idiot....
Does this guy actually ever talk to anyone or just listen to the voices in his head?
Me thinks Trump thinks to highly of himself – though I do agree – he is a nightmare!
You've got my vote Mr. Trump!
Trump is really talking out of both sides of his mouth , he knows he has absolutely no chance of winning anything when it comes to politics , so he'll say or do whatever the moment requires......but let's hope he can siphon off some votes from whom ever the republican presidential canidate maybe !!!
What a buffoon!! Run, Donald, Run!!!
How bruised would the ego be when America tells him, "you're FIRED"!!!
. . . cause I know it for a FACT! He likes to win. His candidacy would never be about the American people, it's all about the Donald!! Egotistical, maniacal, just plain delusional, HaHaHaHa!!!
"Donald you are not the person they want to run against.'" Yes We Do! OBAMA 2012
Since Donald likes winning, perhaps he should go on tour with Charlie Sheen or better yet Charlie could be his running mate.
The entire Republican field is like a can of mixed nuts.
I believe that Ralph Nader would make the best People's president ever. He has demonstrated DECADES of dedication to the welfare of product users, not Corporate America.
I thought Ross Perot was a serious alternate candidate for President. I ALMOST voted for him. Other than his subsequent appearance of paranoia, his predictions for our economy, including the "giant sucking sound" of NAFTA have proven pretty much dead on.
Donald Trump should only be viewed as wearing a full on clown suit and not taken seriously by anyone with financial, economic, social, emotional, legal, ethical, moral awareness.
Having made (and lost) numerous fortunes, he knows how to gamble, and he wins more than he loses, but as Presidential candidate, he would make a good barber.
Trump isn't Obama's biggest nightmare, he's the Republicans biggest nightmare.....if he runs as an independent he will strip away votes for their party........Only this man can dream up this stuff, what an ego.......he doesn't care that he doesn't know dip dittly squat about running this country he said it himself HE LIKE WINNING that's all it is about for him....let him spend his millions, he could spend his whole fortune and still not win......
independent? I have nothing against independents ... i consider myself one ... but if he actually intends to try to win, he may as well cut his own throat as run as an independent.
This Guy is a joke. Look what happens to Ross Perot, Meg Whitman, we the American people are smart not to vote for a greedy self minded candidate. Save your money and donate it to a good cause instead of eating it in a loss.
Lets see conservative, what a joke. This idiot is a self promoting womanizer who only cares about 1 thing, HIMSELF!!
What he is sayingto the Republicans, and not very subtly, is elect me your nominee or I will become a spoiler and keep you from having a chance at winning.
As a Democrat I hope he does it! But you can't take anything he says seriously. The man is a hopeless blowhard whose only success has been at marketing himself as a larger than life, pretty nutty, but entertaining.
Hmmmmmmm... OK, could it be that Mr. Trump is actually trying to HELP the President get re-elected, and that so many of us are merely being played like a piano?
I am an Independent voter in GA and would never vote for Donald Trump as President.
Can we say Ross Perot? Bad idea. The Donald will split the vote which will guarantee Obama's reelection. His ego is outrunning his brain.
So now we have to be subjected to Mr. Hairdo's daily announcements? If that's the case, I would rather go back to the Sarah Palin watch! At least i could always find something funny in her little world.
Trump is only looking out for Trump. Can you imagine him in a debate about economic policy.
So we'll have the Democratic Party, the Republican party, the Tea Party (Party?), and now Trump's Birther Party. Maybe he can get Orly Taitz to run as his VP. It should be a blast watching those last three group trying to show which of them represents the "real" America. Pass the popcorn!