Tuesday 16 January 2024

Billionaire Bill Ackman Pledges To Give Biden Challenger Dean Phillips A $1 Million Boost

 Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman pledged over the weekend to donate $1 million to help the campaign of Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), a Democrat who is running against President Joe Biden for their party’s nomination.

In a post to X, Ackman noted that he believes Phillips, who has loaned his own campaign millions of dollars, “would be a truly outstanding” president and argued the congressman “has a credible path to winning the nomination despite what the oddsmakers may think.”

To assist in that effort, Ackman said, he is wiring $1 million to We Deserve Better, a political action committee that is supporting Phillips. “This is by far the largest investment I have ever made in someone running for office, and I am making this investment at a high-risk, but critically important moment for his campaign,” Phillips added.

Phillips, like other challengers against the incumbent, trails Biden by a wide margin in polls and faces hurdles in trying to get on the ballot in key states such as Florida and North Carolina. But Phillips aims to give voters an alternative as Biden struggles with low approval numbers and other issues.

Ackman said he met Phillips two months ago. “I have kept in pretty close touch with him over the last two months, and spent 90 minutes with him yesterday when he presented to nearly all of our employees, which inspired me to top up my initial $3,300 donation to his campaign,” he added.

Biden is “polling poorly” against former President Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner, and the incumbent’s numbers “are only going to get worse as he ages, and he is not looking good as it is,” Ackman said. He also warned there is a “reasonable chance that Biden is forced to withdraw for health reasons.”

Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square, garnered headlines over the past few months as he railed against Ivy League presidents who dodged on the question of whether calling for the genocide of Jews on campuses violated their schools’ policies on bullying and harassment. He has particularly focused on Harvard, where he is an alum and donor, in the successful push to get President Claudine Gay to resign in the face of another controversy involving plagiarism allegations.

Another area in which Ackman has trained his fire is on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) movement that has permeated his alma mater and beyond. That led some to suggest that there may be a conflict of interest because Phillips has a record that indicates support for DEI and appears to have had a now-scrubbed section on his website dedicated to the cause.

In response to the attention the issue was getting on social media, Ackman said he believes Phillips “didn’t understand what DEI was when that was made part of his website. I made the same mistake. He is getting educated as we speak. Let’s listen to what he has to say after he gets educated. That’s the danger of the DEI movement. It comes inside a Trojan horse … constructed of beneficent sounding words.”

During a Spaces conversation with Ackman and X owner Elon Musk on Monday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Phillips invoked the late civil rights leader after whom the holiday is named in speaking favorably of the “equality of opportunity” while dismissing attempts to “guarantee the quality of outcomes.” He added, “I think it’s time to reframe this entire conversation and reunite this country by all agreeing on this simple notion: it’s time to elevate the foundation so that every person in this country starts from a place [where] they can succeed.”

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search