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Donald Trump is "right on" about the economy, Carl Icahn told CNBC on Tuesday, claiming the "Archie Bunkers of the world" will support the real estate tycoon after his pledges to cut taxes across the board.
"If he sticks with that economic theme, he should definitely win hands down, because I don't know why you wouldn't vote for him," Icahn said in a phone interview with CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report. "
Trump, the billionaire developer, unveiled his economic vision in a markedly controlled speech Monday following a week of sagging polling and clashes with the family of a fallen Muslim-American soldier and fellow Republican leaders. Icahn said he did not defend Trump's remarks about the Khan family, calling them a "mistake."
But he contended that Trump should win if he courts middle class voters amid a perceived government "war" with business.
The activist investor said he could not understand why "the Archie Bunkers of the world" wouldn't support Trump, because "they know they're getting screwed." Archie Bunker was a fictional bigoted working class character in the 1970s sitcom "All in the Family." Icahn, who has supported Trump's presidential bid, said he did not have any bad intent by likening Trump supporters to the character. Trump has drawn the ire of many, but emboldened others, with statements about immigrants, Muslims and women throughout the election.
"Archie Bunker is a middle class guy, somewhat educated even, that doesn't know where his next check is coming to send his son or daughter to school, doesn't know if he's going to keep his job. ... Why the hell should he vote for a system that is not giving him a good paying job?" Icahn said.
In his speech Monday, Trump said he wants to create three income tax brackets of 33 percent, 25 percent and 12 percent, cutting the top rate from its current level of nearly 40 percent. He also called for lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent for all businesses and encourage companies to stay in the United States. He claims such an effort will create "millions of good-paying jobs."
One analysis of a previous version of Trump plan, which trimmed income taxes even more, said it could increase the federal deficit by $10 trillion over a decade. His proposals have also received criticism for potentially helping the wealthy more than the working class.
Icahn was also left off of Trump's recently announced economic advisory team. Trump picked mostly investors and businessmen, some of whom have donated to his election effort, to advise him.
Icahn said he is developing a possible political action committee and would not have been able to do so if he worked with Trump's campaign.