Former Goldman Sachs CEO and billionaire Lloyd Blankfein suggested he might vote for President Donald Trump over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) if the latter became the Democratic presidential nominee.
“I think I might find it harder to vote for Bernie than for Trump,” he told the Financial Times in an interview published Friday. “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.”
He also criticized Democrats issuing warnings about the consequences of a second Trump term after his Senate acquittal, calling them “shrill.”
“Look, I am a Democrat, but they said those things in a shrill way to raise the stakes on the outcome,” Blankfein said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable or cynical for a legislator to have said that what Trump did was wrong and showed bad character, but it was not at a level where we’re going to overturn an election nine months before the next one.”
Other billionaires have also expressed concerns about Sanders and fellow presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whose progressive policies, such as a wealth tax on the ultra-rich, would negatively affect them.
Billionaires Tom Steyer and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are also in the running for the nomination, and have tried to portray themselves as alternatives to Warren and Sanders.
“I don’t like that at all,” Blankfein said in the interview, in reference to being described as a billionaire. “I don’t like 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.”
Blankfein, who has long had beef with Sanders, tried to launch a Twitter feud with the Vermont senator in July. Sanders had touted Blankfein and other corporate executives as his “anti-endorsements.”