Wednesday 12 December 2018

Donald Trump says he will defeat Oprah Winfrey if she runs for US president: 'It'll be lots of fun'

Donald Trump claims he could beat Oprah Winfrey in a presidential race
Donald Trump claims he could beat Oprah Winfrey in a presidential race

Clark Mindock

President Donald Trump does not think that Oprah Winfrey will run for president in 2020, but he has a prediction on what would happen if she did: He would win.

"Yeah, I'd beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun," Mr Trump said during a meeting at the White House.

"I don't think she's going to run," he added.

Speculation has been swirling around Oprah's potential 2020 race since she delivered a rousing speech at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday, when she praised the courage of women who have spoken up against sexual violence in recent months, praised the news media, and promised that there is still a brighter future ahead.

Oprah has in the past said that she has no plans on running for elected office, but sources close to the celebrity have said since that awards speech that she is "actively considering" running for president against Mr Trump in 2020.

Still, Oprah's rousing speech served to kick start one of the first 2020 news cycles so far.

Celebrities and pundits alike expressed interest in an Oprah 2020 run, noting that -- unlike Mr Trump -- she is actually a self-made billionaire, and that she already has near-ubiquitous name recognition in the country.

Read More: Oprah Winfrey sparks calls to run for US presidency with Golden Globes speech

Still, others have noted that running for president could damage the media mogul. Those individuals note that approval ratings tend to crash immediately once an individual announces their intent to run for office, and point to her lack of legislating experience as a potential liability for her. After four years of Mr Trump, they say, the United States public may want to elect a leader with legislative experience.

The enthusiasm for an Oprah candidacy illustrates the range of candidates who may eventually run against Mr Trump. Oprah is one of many potential celebrity candidates who have been mentioned in recent months, a group that has included Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and mark Cuba, a businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

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Joe Biden (AP)

But others point to Mr Trump's lack of experience, and the tumultuous first year of his presidency, as good reason to look to the pool of experienced politicians to challenge Mr Trump.

Those candidates frequently mentioned include former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Corey Booker,  and others. Several of those candidates have expressed at least some interest in the presidency, though none have expressly indicated that they would pursue the nation's highest office.

Whatever the case, the 2020 candidates aren't likely to officially announce runs until after the midterm elections later this year.

That election could provide an invaluable insight into Mr Trump's vulnerabilities with the electorate, and is expected to be a tight race for Republicans to hold onto their dominance of Congress.

Independent News Service

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