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. Martha in CF

    Hey Trump-Give it up. It appears that you don't know who you are.....

    April 12, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Michael

    Trump is a Birther. Birthers are, without a doubt, the definition of dumb. No reason to ever again listen to what this guy says. Yes, he is rich. So is Sarah Palin. Both are as dumb as a rock.

    April 12, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Ken

    "The Donald" s,ys, "I'm not doing it for any other reason. I like winning." He has finally admitted the only reason he wants to run for President. I don't think a nation would hire him just because HE LIKES WINNING. This guy is a bigger flake than Sarah Palin.

    April 12, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. liz

    I hope he does run-that will weaken the Republican votes. I am sure there are running scared. The really don't have a viable candidate. I have always wondered who is financing the ads that picture Mormons as real, average people. Could it be Romney financing? You betcha.

    April 12, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. lforlegend

    Flip-fLOP-FLIp-fLOP-fLiP-flop. I could care less for what this joker is doing. The reality: He's a big mouth and a blow-hard.

    April 12, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. kgh

    Run, Donald, Run. It would assure the re-election of President Obama.

    April 12, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Just Me

    What an egomaniac. There is not another person in the world with such an inflated ego. He makes Sarah Palin looks sane. Whether he runs as an independent or Republican, he will NEVER get close to the White House. His ego is a BIG turn off.

    April 12, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Ernie

    Donald Trump has an excellent track record in getting things done, not matter if it's a building that is being built or a golf course, it's gets gone. If everyone listens to Donald Trump he is telling how the country is getting SCREWED by other countries especially and all the oil rich countries. Donald Trump says he does business with China all the time and he says that the Chinese don't "SCREW" him. All the Presidents since Ronald Reagan all have been predictable and world leaders know how to get what they want. Ronald Reagan was not predictable he was unpredictable other world leaders "feared" him. Donald Trump has shown that he is not afraid of anyone. Donald Trump says it other countries what help from the U.S. Military they will have to pay for it. When other have to start paying for U.S. Services everything is going to change. Countries will be thinking now we have to pay for U.S. help, other countries will be saying we can get help from somewher else or they will have to pay for it. It's just that simple. This is what the politicians in Washington won't do because their afarid where Donald Trump isn't.

    April 12, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Linda

    Surely the people of the USA are not going to fall for this idiot! Oh, yeah...they fell for Dubya!

    April 12, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Dennis

    Until the Republicans can come up with a sound candidate, sound platform that puts American Citizens first, party second, ego third and BIG BUSINESS and WALL STREET and the BANKERS in the basement, it doesn't matter who runs where, when or how. Well maybe how does matter, because everyone I know is being tired of the same old political game of name calling, hatred without any substance or solution other than how to get more money into the hands of the wealthy.

    April 12, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. SB

    As a liberal, I would very much like to see any candidate draw votes away from the GOP nominee by running as an independent. But, let's face facts. Trump isn't as popular as he claims to be. The only draw here is in watching yet another political train wreck tumbling down the tracks, ultimately indistinguishable from the carnage that is the lineup of GOP presidential hopefuls.

    April 12, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Jeffer65

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

    Now there's a good reason to run to for politcial office – NOT! Go ahead Don, run as an independent and take votes from the Republicans.

    April 12, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Michael

    Dear Lord, please please please let Trump run as an independent and Bachmann for the GOP, thus separating the greedy and vile from the ignorant and vile, and allowing this great nation to take one step, however small, in the direction of sanity and humanity. Thank you.

    April 12, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. Indiana Jones

    Trump likes Winning and I like filing for Bankruptcies and yet masquerade as a Successful entrepreneur....LOL...

    April 12, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Michael

    These photos are great. In this one, it looks like Trump is being scolded by his own superego.

    April 12, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Bob from Pittsburgh


    Here is a guy that surrounds himself with "YES" people, including his kids..
    How can you get an accurate picture where you really stand if the people giving advice are not free to challenge you. The guy is a bully, he will never get a true picture..
    He is in la la land..

    April 12, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Tom

    Trump. What a nutjob. I demand to see his birth certificate, because nobody in my neighborhood recalls seeing him in the hospital nursery.

    April 12, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. ACE

    Well there goes side show Trump again, I'am a little confused is he actually thinking of running or just his ego.

    April 12, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    if THIS isn't crying out for attention, ego and the limelight then NOTHING is. But Trump in a way is really helping Obama to a second term. Many GOPers are turned off by his antics and he is only polling positive among the right wing birther crowd and if he does go indy that will take votes away from the Republicans for sure. Besides how many indy candidates have ever won a presidental election? EXACTLY.

    April 12, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. Molly Weasley

    Considering all he cares about is getting publicity and making money (and then eventually declaring bankruptcy again), he should go for it. Then maybe he and $arah Palin can start a new reality show: "Give us your money or we'll keep talking."

    April 12, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. s

    Trump is a serious joke. He can't manage his own money, how does he expect to manage the country's money. He has no political background. He should just stick to his show and his miss America pageants. Every time he opens his mouth he just sounds dumber.

    April 12, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Rose

    Get the popcorn ready!!!! Someone is about to be punk'd!!!

    April 12, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Charlie from the North

    Donald Donald,

    I would have thought that you would have learned in your many years of business not to alienate your customers. I am thinking now that you don't understand America well enough to lead it. In other elections before the last three weeks I might have voted for you depending of course on the other candidates. Now that you have joined the "bithers" I would not vote for you for dog catcher (no offense intended to elected dog catchers).

    Memo to Mr. Trump : If you are "thinking of an independent run" don't start out by trying to out-conservative Mike Huckabee and out-crazy Sarah Palin it just makes you look foolish . For future reference try this line " I don't care where the President was born I care where he is living and 1600 Penn. Avenue doesn't work for me" See that way it shows you being clever, brushes the wako birther question aside and announces your displeasure with our President. It has the adde benefit of not making you look like a mean stupid SOB. That being said I love our President so if you would like to divide the GOP vote and siphon off a few mean stupid SOB's to your side God Speed my friend.

    April 12, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Please let it happen!

    This will be the best dream in the world. Palin/Bachmann (or Bachmann/Palin) on the republican side and Trump as an independent. Talk about splitting the tea party/nut vote. Can't wait to see the debates! People don't expect good politicians but they do expect good comedy.

    April 12, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Brady

    It's "bad news bears" for Republicans if Trump runs as an independent. He could Nader a Republican candidate and net Obama another four years.

    April 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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