Bernie vs. bankers: Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO slams Sanders, which campaign calls Wall Street ‘panic’
Feb. 12, 2020
Lloyd Blankfein is tweeting again.
This time, the former Goldman Sachs chief executive is taking aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the victor of Tuesday’s Democratic primary in New Hampshire by a slim margin.
In a tweet on Tuesday night, his first since November, Blankfein said Sanders would “ruin our economy” if elected president and accused him of not caring about the U.S. military. He asserted that Russia might back Sanders because he would “screw up” the country better than President Donald Trump. The tweet quickly attracted thousands of comments from Sanders’ supporters.
Blankfein wrote: “If Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US. Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military. If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around.”
Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, responded to the criticism in a tweet on Wednesday morning: “This is what panic from the Wall Street elite looks and sounds like.”
Sanders, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, represents the party’s liberal wing, championing a progressive worldview while spurning what he sees as the establishment values of his centrist rivals.
He and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have faced continued disdain from Wall Street for their full-throated attacks on corporate excess and support for new taxes on billionaires to tackle wealth inequality. (Sanders, when asked if billionaires should exist in the United States, said, “I hope the day comes when they don’t.”)
Blankfein, a former investment banker who left the top job at Goldman Sachs in 2018 after a 12-year tenure, has not let the attacks on corporate America go unnoticed and has tussled online with both candidates.
In November, Blankfein took aim at Warren after being featured in one of her campaign ads, saying “vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, not for the country.” In February 2019, Sanders and Blankfein sparred on Twitter over corporate stock buybacks, which Sanders wanted to limit.
Blankfein, a registered Democrat, supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and has donated to Republicans in the past. He said in October at a CNN conference that he doesn’t see himself reflected in the current party.
He used his first Twitter post to slam Trump for leaving the Paris climate accord in 2017.