"I certainly, shall we say, don't seek love from a lot of people. I can understand him saying that, and maybe I do have a fighting gene, but I think it's very important for our society today that you have guys like me," Icahn said. "I mean, that's how societies progress.
"We wouldn't have had the American Revolution if everybody just wanted to get along with the establishment in England. And you wouldn't have had Abe Lincoln and all the great presidents. You're looking at great presidents, I think they all have the fighting gene, the great ones. I'm not going to argue about the fact that I have a fighting gene."
Two weeks ago, Warren Buffett expressed reluctance to vote "no" on a Coca-Cola's executive pay package with which he disagreed, saying it was "kind of un-American" to vote against the iconic company. Buffett's decision not to voice his displeasure publicly elicited Icahn's weekend op-ed in Barron's, titled "Why Buffett Is Wrong on Coke."
On CNBC's "Halftime Report," Icahn said he agreed with Buffett's assessment that corporate boards were "collegial" groups.