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. jeff, alabama

    This nut's a closet democrat.
    His whole motive is to split the
    conservative base.

    April 12, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. A guy

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

    I think that says it all right there. Trump only cares about Trump.

    April 12, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Brian

    Do it. Best news I've heard all year. Run Donald Run. I will even contribute to your campaign. Then when you suck the extermist birther tea party vote away from the GOP, we can have 4 more years of potential optimism before we have to worry about the politics of fear running the white house again.

    April 12, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Amz

    Well he is entertaining. But on a side note he coud get my vote.Voting for a Dem is out unless Obama can step aside and let someone qualified run. Repubs not a single one that is floating around has my attention or faith that they can do the job. Teas Party I think the basic message is ok but I am just not sure about that group in general. So if Hillary will not run as an independent then sure why not he certainly loves this country, been through enough muck in business and at the very least politics would would never have a dull moment.

    April 12, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. martin

    Hey Donnie- take the money and run...far, far away. Leave politics to grown-ups.

    April 12, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. pjrob

    why is it, if i had a charity fund raiser and for every $100 i collected i gave $10 to charity i would be arrested for pulling a scam...i would like to know how much money..nbc, donal trump and mark burnett bank off celebrity apprentice and how much a season goes to charity???

    April 12, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. p

    Run, you bozo! Joan Rivers for VP! Blow up the GOP! Only, get a hair-do we can understand...
    And, get your birth certificates handy, everyone.

    April 12, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    That's what I independent, who will not serve either of the major parties, both of whom, have demonstrated they are not serving the people, but rather, themselves.

    April 12, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. oleskier

    That's exactly what the country needs now! An egostistical billionaire and the corporations running this country. I don't think so. You are not going to win them all, Donald.

    April 12, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. cathstar

    Could he be any more impressed with himself? What a pompous egomaniac! At one of his Atlantic Hotels, there is a very large plaque of him which states "A Great Humanitarian." Self-proclaimed, I'm sure!

    April 12, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Michael

    Donald just loves the attention. First, he the self appointed darling of the republicans. Now, he's flirting with being an independent, which he is not. This guy is in love with being in the news, seeing his name in the paper. He is not a man of faith so why are the republicans even considering him?

    April 12, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Billy

    Open up a "New Party" Trump? You have Billions of shady dollars? Purchase and swindle your way into the White House. You no,"It make me sick to my stomach,when I think of all the millions this Greedy Guy is going to "Blow" on a failing adventure,when their is people in this country "Who just try to feed their Kidds!!! You make me ILL,man!!!!

    April 12, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. T

    Anything for attention.....this is a smoke screen......the Donald if playing his hand well......

    April 12, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Ernie

    David Plouffe should be very careful on what he says, this is his 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."

    When Obama is defeated in November of 2012 I want to hear what he will say, it doesn't matter what Republician win the Presidency, mat it be Mit, Mike Huckabee, Tom Pawlenty or Donald Trump. I want to hear his excuse.

    Everyone should remember that David Plouffe is an Obama "Yes Man" and tells Obama what he wants to hear. Advisors come and go look at the former Pres Seceurty he's gone. Hey David "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".

    April 12, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Florida Joe

    Great Idea Donald
    I can't wait to see you file all those financial forms that are required. Once you understand what you have to do to run you will just fade away............

    April 12, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Howard

    Does anyone remember the fact thet Trump went bankraupt awhile back and was only able to survuve because he owed so much money to the banks that they could not let him fail–just like the Wall Street Handout.recently. Want this guy handling the country??
    This guy is nothing more than a self promoting, ego driven bufoon with a big wallet.
    I would love to see him run as an independant because it would so fracture the Republican Party, all that would be left would be shrapnel!!!

    April 12, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. goplies

    That's a great idea Donald. Plaese go for it!!!

    April 12, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Maryann

    So, he just likes 'winning'? He's not a patriot, or has love of country. He just likes winning.
    Kinda like Charlie Sheen. And just as delusional. Maybe Charlie could be his running mate....and they can both run. Run and keep running until they run so far – never to be heard from again.

    April 12, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. mtrought

    This idiot TRUMP does not realise that ross perot the billionaire tried to run using his billions and did not win anything. Trump you will always remain an APPRENTICE rich kid who can buy out networks to keep you in the limelight. Why dont you use your ill gotten gains into research to help humanity instead of feeding your stupid ego – your a egomaniac!

    April 12, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Sue

    I believe I saw a picture of Donald Trump in Webster's Dictionary under the "NARCISSISTIC"! While I've run across a few of these kind of people in my lifetime, however, Mr. Trump takes self-absorption to a whole new level! He definitely needs to run (no matter which party), because there are an an awful lot of people out there who would love to see him eat crow – although I'm sure he doesn't have an ounce of humility in his body!

    April 12, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Eric

    Unfortunately Trump lost my vote after firing Mark McGrath instead of Gary Busey. How can I trust him to run the country when he allows Gary to lie straight to his face and not face any consequences? Trump talks big about China and Iran but is bested by an actor. I was prepared to vote for him if he ran...but not after the weekend.

    April 12, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. Nobody Special

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

    That says it all, folks.

    April 12, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Not All Docs Play Golf

    That would be great !!! As an independent, he'll only siphon off votes from the Republican candidate, and help us re-elect Obama, whom I fully support.

    April 12, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. independent

    It's sad when a potential candidate for POTUS wants to run, not to serve his country and fellow Americans, but because, as Trump says "I'm not doing it for any other reason. I like winning."

    April 12, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. susan

    He says he is doing this because he likes "winning". Now there is an altruistic reason to want to be President. He and Sheen–WINNING

    April 12, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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