PITTSBURGH — Hillary Clinton ally Mark Cuban said Friday that Donald Trump “doesn’t know when to shut up” and would be susceptible to bribes from foreign governments if elected president.
“There’s going come a time when a Putin or an Assad is going to say to him, ‘Donald, I’ll give you $20 billion for this.’ You think he’s going to do what’s right for the country or do you think he’s going to take the money?”
Cuban, the billionaire businessman and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, became a Trump nemesis during the campaign, questioning the New Yorker’s wealth and grasp of the issues. On Friday, he headlined a Clinton rally at Heinz Field that also featured Pittsburgh Steeler legends Franco Harris and Mel Blount.
It was part of a three-state tour by Clinton of key “Blue Wall” states — those the Democrat likely must have to win Tuesday. She also was hitting Michigan and Ohio — where pop star Jay Z was to headline a pro-Clinton rally in Cleveland. This was Clinton’s 14th trip to Pennsylvania since the Democratic National Convention in July, aides said.
The locations and the words onstage were part of Clinton’s “closing argument” strategy in the final weeks of the election: Relentlessly tour swing states. Push turnout, especially among core Democrats, blacks and Latinos. And frame the choice Tuesday as a referendum on Trump.
“Think about what it would mean to entrust the nuclear codes to someone with a very thin skin . . . who would start a real war, not just a Twitter war,” Clinton told Pittsburghers in a refrain she has repeated at every stop this week.
She noted that Trump has insulted many people and whole groups of people, used Chinese steel to build some of his buildings — “Boooo!” the Steel City crowd responded — and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. She noted that Trump admitted preparing little for the presidential debates and, appealing to the locals, compared that to the training and groundwork of the great Steelers teams of the past.
“You don’t just say: ‘Hey, get out on the field, do whatever you want.’ That’s not how it works,” she said.
Another key element of Clinton’s final week strategy is star-studded rallies. On Wednesday, pop star Pharrell Williams campaigned with her in North Carolina, including making a stop at a college to encourage blacks to vote. Friday night, Jay Z was set to perform in Cleveland.
Cuban, who also stars in CNBC’s “Shark Tank,” has become another vocal Clinton ally. He said Trump has “ripped off” students at Trump University and doesn’t believe in science.
“On the one hand, Secretary Clinton wants to invest in technology and science,” Cuban said. “Trump can’t even spell the word.”
Clinton spokesman John Podesta, speaking to reporters on the plane to Detroit, said of the campaign schedule in the final days: “We’re crisscrossing the states we still feel good about . . . places that can give us a decisive victory.”
An enthusiastic crowd greeted her at the popular Eastern Market in Detroit — a local DJ with a microphone led a pro-Hillary sing-along outside.
Using a line sure to go over well in Michigan, Clinton said Trump thought automobile companies should have gone bankrupt rather than getting a government bailout. She also sought to turn around the phrase shouted at some Trump rallies — “Lock her up!” — by saying her adversary would like to jail political opponents, as some authoritarian governments do.
“No wonder he so admires Vladimir Putin,” Clinton said, to cheers.
She urged them to talk to undecided voters and not to get complacent. She told them: “Everything is on the line.”