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Sanders Says He 'Welcomes Hatred of Crooks Who Destroyed Our Economy' After Blankfein Suggests He May Vote Trump Over Bernie

"I don't like that at all," the billionaire former Goldman Sachs CEO said of Sanders' wealth tax proposal.
By Jake Johnson / commondreams.org
Feb 22, 2020
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Sanders Says He 'Welcomes Hatred of Crooks Who Destroyed Our Economy' After Blankfein Suggests He May Vote Trump Over Bernie
Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein speaks onstage during a New York Times Dealbook event on November 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times)

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday said he welcomes "the hatred of the crooks who destroyed our economy" after former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein suggested he might vote for President Donald Trump in November if Sanders wins the Democratic nomination.

"I think I might find it harder to vote for Bernie than for Trump," Blankfein, a life-long Democrat, 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."

Sanders quickly responded to Blankfein's comments on Twitter:

Blankfein said Sanders' proposed wealth tax on the ultra-rich is "just as subversive of the American character" as Trump's demonization of "groups of people who he has never met."

"I don't like that at all," Blankfein said. "I don't like assassination by categorization. I think it's un-American. I find that destructive and intemperate... At least Trump cares about the economy."

Blankfein, who has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion, told FT that he is not rich, but "well-to-do."

"I can't even say 'rich,'" said the former banker. "I don't feel that way. I don't behave that way."

The FT interview was not the first time Blankfein has spoken out against Sanders, a longtime critic of Wall Street. Following Sanders' victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary earlier this month, Blankfein tweeted that the Vermont senator is "just as polarizing as Trump and he'll ruin our economy and doesn't care about our military."

Blankfein's past criticisms of Sanders earned the former banker a spot on the senator's "anti-endorsement list" released last September.

"Lloyd Blankfein became a billionaire after his investment bank received an $824 billion taxpayer bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, paid over $5.5 billion in fines for mortgage fraud, avoided paying any federal income taxes in 2008, and lectured Congress to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid," reads Blankfein's section on Sanders' anti-endorsement page.

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