Donald Trump has already lost business because of the outlandish comments he's made in his campaign for the Republican nomination for president, but "Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary thinks the real estate mogul's upending of the political process will be positive for him as an entrepreneur.
"I think it's good for his brand," O'Leary told HuffPost Live on Tuesday. "I think he's being honest when he talks to people."
Trump's coverage in the news has skyrocketed amid his play for the Oval Office, making him one of the most-discussed men in America. That could ultimately help him should he flame out of the race, considering how important name recognition is to his bottom line. Bloomberg reports that in a recent interview, Trump's CFO pointed out "that Trump’s licensing businesses, even if they’re smaller than his real estate and golf portfolios, are essentially all profit and help make [his company's] margin so wide."
Critics of Trump often point to how little real estate Trump has developed himself. Veteran journalist Wayne Barrett noted in a recent HuffPost Live interview that Trump "really hasn't built anything since 1992." But O'Leary said he doesn't expect one of Trump's biggest promises -- constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border -- to actually take effect if Trump makes it to the White House.
"I don't think if he ever got to be president he'd ever build a wall. I don't think he does want to throw everybody out of the country," O'Leary said. "I don't think these are pragmatic solutions to the problems we have."
O'Leary noted that while he doesn't endorse Trump, he does find his outspoken, outside-the-beltway demeanor "refreshing." But he said if Trump hopes to be a real leader, he needs to tell Americans which people he'll choose to support his vision for the country. O'Leary explained:
He's going to have to show us as voters that he can bring together a cabinet of very, very strong people to run the government. He's their titular leader, he's the vision guy, he's said that many times, but I want to know who's going to be the secretary of state, who's going to run finance, who's going to support business, who's going to do all the things government has to do? Can he build a bureaucracy that keeps his vision? If he can do that, he can be president of the United States.
Kevin O'Leary's book, Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money, is available now.
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