Elizabeth Warren vs. the billionaires?
The Massachusetts senator and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful is ramping up her rhetoric against the very wealthy this week as the presidential primary race approaches a critical phase: The Iowa caucuses are just two and a half months away.
The Warren campaign released an ad on the business- and investing-focused cable channel CNBC targeting a number of wealthy individuals by name who have criticized Warren’s wealth tax. The ad blasted hedge-fund manager Leon Cooperman and former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, as well as TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, both of whom have donated heavily in support of President Trump.
For at least two of the men mentioned in the ad, it didn’t go over well.
“In my opinion, she represents the worst in politicians as she’s trying to demonize wealthy people because there are more poor people then wealthy people,” Cooperman told CNBC. “As far as the accusations of insider trading, I won the case. She’s disgraceful. She doesn’t know who the [expletive] she’s tweeting. I gave away more in the year than she has in her whole [expletive] lifetime.”
Blankfein said in a tweet Thursday he was “surprised” to see himself featured in the ad and took a shot at Warren’s claims to Native American ancestry.
Surprised to be featured in Sen Warren’s campaign ad, given the many severe critics she has out there. Not my candidate, but we align on many issues. Vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, not the country. Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA.— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) November 14, 2019
The Warren campaign did not appear to be fazed and as of Thursday was selling a mug labeled “billionaire tears” on its website.
“Savor a warm, slightly salty beverage of your choice in this union-made mug as you contemplate all the good a wealth tax could do,” the description read.
During a stop in New Hampshire to file paperwork to get on the ballot Wednesday, Warren took a separate shot at the very wealthy.
“We really shouldn’t have elections that are about billionaires calling all the shots, whether they’re reaching in their pockets to fund their own elections or whether they’re counting on getting other people to run,” she said.
Warren’s comments came as billionaire Michael Bloomberg considers making a late run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Billionaire businessman Tom Steyer is also competing with Warren in the primary.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.