Billionaire Bill Ackman Donating $1M to Biden Challenger

Billionaire Bill Ackman Donating $1M to Biden Challenger

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Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has thrown his considerable wealth and support behind Democrat Rep. Dean Phillips presidential campaign.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman plans to donate $1 million to a political action committee (PAC) backing Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), a Democrat who launched a primary challenge to President Joe Biden in October last year.

Mr. Phillips is a 54-year-old, three-term congressman from Minnesota who launched a run for the Democratic nomination in 2023. According to his campaign website, he ran several successful businesses before being elected to office.
In his Jan. 13 statement on X (formerly Twitter), Mr. Ackman said, in his opinion, Mr. Phillips would be a “truly outstanding President of the United States,” a conclusion he came to after a recent meeting.

According to the billionaire, Mr. Phillips visited Pershing Square Capital Management and presented to “nearly all of our employees.” Whatever Rep. Phillips said must have resonated with Mr. Ackman because he said it inspired him to substantially increase the initial $3,300 donation he had planned to donate to his campaign.

“On Tuesday, I am wiring $1 million to a political action committee that supports Dean’s run,” Mr. Ackman said.

“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.”

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According to Mr. Ackman, the U.S. is just like a business, but in his view, a poorly run one, with significant pension liabilities, high health care costs, wasteful bureaucracy, and an enormous amount of debt, among other issues. To date, the Treasury Department estimates that America’s total debt stands at over $34 trillion.

“Dean is first an entrepreneur and a successful business leader. He has sensible views and ideas for addressing many of our country’s most recalcitrant problems.

“I was impressed with both his command of what is needed to drive the economy and reduce the cost of government, in addition to his surprising command of foreign policy, which he has gleaned from his experience in the Congress and on the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Mr. Ackman said.

“I am a big fan of entrepreneurs and business leaders as they learn to overcome uncertainty, make do with limited resources, succeed despite enormous competition, and address the inevitable challenges that emerge over time,” he added.

Mr. Phillips is considered a long shot against current President Biden. In a Jan. 9 poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire, President Biden was ahead with 69 percent, while Mr. Philips had 7 percent. In another poll by RealClearPolitics, President Biden was polling at nearly 70%, while Mr. Philips was at around 3%.

Polls are not always a reliable indicator, and Mr. Ackman says the congressman has a realistic chance of beating President Biden for the presidential nomination if he does well in New Hampshire. He also believes support for President Biden will lessen as he ages. President Biden is currently the oldest president ever elected, swearing into office at the age of 78. If he is re-elected, he will be 86 at the end of his second term.

“As Dean rises in the polls and Biden deteriorates, the Democratic party is going to have to choose a candidate that can beat the Republican nominee,” Mr. Ackman said.

“If by then, as I expect, Dean is polling substantially better than Biden against Trump, I predict that the party will choose Dean Phillips over Biden, the party will have no choice.”


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