Despite being a lifelong Democrat, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told the Financial times he’d have an easier time voting for Trump than Bernie Sanders.
While just one example, his thoughts illustrate the types of issues the Democrat establishment will have with selling a Bernie Sanders led ticket to corporate types who see socialism as the enemy.
Politico reports former Goldman Sachs CEO and lifelong Democrat Lloyd Blankfein told the Financial Times in an interview published Friday that he could have an easier time voting to reelect President Donald Trump than for Sen. Bernie Sanders, should the latter secure the Democratic nomination for president.
“I think I might find it harder to vote for Bernie than for Trump,” the billionaire banker said, though he pointed out that the Democratic primary has just kicked off and the nomination is very much still up for grabs. “There’s a long time between now and then. The Democrats would be working very hard to find someone who is as divisive as Trump. But with Bernie they would have succeeded.”
Blankfein, who spent 12 years as the chief executive of the banking giant — including through the 2009 recession and ensuing government bailout — before stepping down in 2018, has sparred with Sanders in the past over from the self-described democratic socialist’s rhetorical broadsides against billionaires.
The former Goldman Sachs CEO is one of several billionaires and financial industry moguls who have taken a heel turn in the Democratic primary, which features multiple candidates who have reveled in criticism from Wall Street-types amid an effort to make populist appeals to working class voters.
Both Sanders and Blankfein have relished their slap fight: Sanders included the financial mogul last summer on a list of “anti-endorsements” of his presidential bid, while Blankfein snarked on Twitter after Sanders’ win in the New Hampshire primary that the Kremlin might consider interfering on the Vermont senator’s behalf in the presidential election because he was the candidate “to best screw up the US.”
And on Friday, it didn’t take long before Sanders responded to Blankfein’s concern with glee. “I welcome the hatred of the crooks who destroyed our economy,” he wrote in a tweet.
Blankfein later replied to Sanders, saying he doesn’t have “hatred for” the senator — rather he strongly disagrees with his policies.
“Perhaps the Sen wants to feel hated because HE hates. This time around, how ’bout picking someone who’ll respect and work with all groups?” Blankfein wrote.
On policy, Blankfein railed against Sanders’ backing of a wealth tax, an idea that multiple Democratic White House hopefuls have also endorsed.
“I don’t like that at all,” he said in the Financial Times interview, likening it an “assassination by categorization.”
“I think it’s un-American. I find that destructive and intemperate. I find that just as subversive of the American character as someone like Trump who denigrates groups of people who he has never met. At least Trump cares about the economy,” he argued.