Blackstone's Schwarzman: I'd pick Trump over Cruz

Steve Schwarzman, co-founder and CEO of Blackstone Group LP at the 2015 WEF in Davos, Switzerland.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Steve Schwarzman, co-founder and CEO of Blackstone Group LP at the 2015 WEF in Davos, Switzerland.

Longtime Republican Stephen Schwarzman said Wednesday if the GOP presidential race came down to Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he would go with the real estate mogul.

"If those are my choices, I'd sort of, you know, I'd be really trying to figure out where we go," the chairman and CEO of Blackstone Group told CNBC's "Squawk Box" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "If I had to do that one, I would do Donald."

An average of four major national polls calculated by Real Clear Politics shows Trump leads the GOP pack with 34.5 percent of support among likely Republican voters, while Cruz follows in second place with 19.3 percent.

Schwarzman said the country finds itself in "some kind of odd protest moment," but what the nation needs is someone who can bring together Americans.

"The question is, what is everyone protesting about? There are a lot of things that I guess you could, but what's needed actually is a cohesive, healing presidency, not one that's lurching either to the right or to the left," he said.

Schwarzman spoke a day after tea party favorite Sarah Palin endorsed Trump in advance of the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.