Trump now considering independent run
April 12th, 2011
08:29 AM ET
11 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. jim

    If only his talent were as large as his ego!

    April 12, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. MSHMiami

    This man's ego knows no bounds. Maybe he'll pick Sarah Palin as his running mate and we can all sit back and watch the fireworks as they fight for the spotlight. Both are equally unqualified to run, but neither seems to have a clue that the only thing that drives them is their insatiable egos. Delusions of grandeur, pure and simple.

    April 12, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. gVOR08

    Is this a great country or what? A delusional twit can become a billionaire. Of course it could just be that he's lying.

    April 12, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  4. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Who cares? No one takes him serous as a candidate. If you like "winning," you sure won't win running as a birther. I love the comments Bill Cosby had about you Donald. You birthers just don't seem to understand that this fantasy that you're chasing is pissing off alot of African Americans. Tough luck trying to get minority support EVER!!!

    April 12, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  5. franny

    Let him run on the moron ticket for all I care. This man is so arrogant that he probably really believes his own fantasy that he can win! Besides by the time the elections get here? We Americans will need all the comic relief we can get. This jerk is beyond dispicable. I put him even below Gingrich! He has had 3 bankruptcies in the past, and has bullied his way through any endeavor he may have acomplished thus far.

    April 12, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  6. Dolce21

    The only thing I pray come out of Trump wanting to run, is that he has the resources to uncover this administration and how dishonest they are.

    April 12, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    This is how you postpone financial disclosures for a period of time. Perhaps, just long enough to get elected. I still say he should cut a deal with Obama, birth certificate for tax returns.

    April 12, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  8. usualone

    Does anyone know of anybody else who loves himself so much except perhaps dictators? His children need to talk some sense into this man before he wastes their inheritance. He would really put a nail in the USA's coffin if he were to ever win the presidency. His behavior is not that of a conservative - unless one describes conservatives as being only rich - and of course ones who question the President's birth place.

    April 12, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  9. Realistic

    First, If Trump did run, america would throw up in their own mouth once he spoke on a national debate. He would embark on a self serving ego tantrum that most people would change the channel or puke in their own mouth. Trump is a joke when it comes to politicis and he would not be able to handle all the questions about his vision and how disturbing they are for americas future.

    April 12, 2011 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  10. greg in jax

    Who in the hell told Trump the think he would be a good president because its time to tell them "You're fired!"

    April 12, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  11. Grahame Rhodes

    How can anybody even consider voting for someone who is the spitting image of Bunito Mussolini.

    April 12, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  12. ABM

    Can this be a good thing for our President? Yes! The Dems now need to make sure everyone gets out to vote. That way the GOP and ultra right wingers can fight over stupid topics while a real presidential candidate can continue his work in his second term.

    Don't hide and wait until October to face the voting public. Get out there now and make sure you are not drowned out by Fuax news and the 'never-informed'.

    April 12, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. Tony

    Donald Trump is Obama's dream coming true. If he runs as the GOP nominee or as an independent, Obama should give Trump an ambassadorship after the election.

    April 12, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. Tom

    As an independent, I wouldn't vote for him. Other independents will hopefully do the same thing – he's not an independent. It takes more than losing another parties nomination to make you an independent. He'll just hand Obama a victory as the republican party splits it's vote. In that light, he's probably more of a shining star to the Obama campaign rather than worst nightmare.

    April 12, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. John

    Good, let him... The Republican's are their own worst enemy... and they deserve it!

    April 12, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  16. Paul

    Donald and Sara – the dream team!

    April 12, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. Longsack the Clown

    Very funny article. Now he has accomplished something, He made a clown laugh!

    April 12, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. andreNYC

    Wow, everyone knows this is only good for Obama right?

    April 12, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. Truthman

    You go Donald! Maybe you can ask Christine O'Donnell, Michelle Bachmann, or Sarah Palin to be your running mate. Charlie Sheen would be perfect as your Secretary of State. You could also make the wearing of tinfoil hats mandatory (at least it would cover your bad hair decade(.

    April 12, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. JD in Moraga, CA

    Megalomaniac much? First he's the President's "worst nightmare" and now the Republicans are also "afraid" of him? Someone pass the oxygen tank – I think I might pass out from laughing so much!

    April 12, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. rusty155

    Donald trump you know you aren't going to run, this is all about keeping your face on the news and on TV. And deep down you know you couldn't win. You file Bankrupt more time than any body else in America. And you are till Rich so that mean you must of screw over other company or other people. We just don't need anybody like you.

    April 12, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  22. JAB

    Fame is a double edged sword. The same fame that has worked well in his entertainment field may not carry over well into his campaign. I, personally, find him obnoxious and full of his own self-importance, never mind the fact that he has been married multiple times and filed bankruptcy once or twice. It seems that he can't manage his own personal life let alone manage his own businesses without overspending.

    April 12, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  23. Randy999

    What a joke this guy is. I want to see his birth certificate and the pedigree for his hairpiece.

    April 12, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  24. Shrike

    "I like winning".

    THAT's your reason for wanting to run for the President of the United States? Not to help citizens, not to repair what you believe to be broken. But it's because you want to win? That is quite possibly one of the worst reasons Mr Trump.

    Everytime you open your mouth, you show how unqualified you are.

    April 12, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  25. FM

    The circus is yet to begin. Now you are talking "Donald the Trump". We will support you running as independent. GOP will not nominate you for sure, as you don't share entirely their values.

    April 12, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
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