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Billionaire Democratic donor: No CEOs—only politicians sniffing around for 2020 cash so far

  • "Quite a few" possible 2020 presidential hopefuls have already come knocking for money, the co-founder of distressed asset specialist Avenue Capital says.
  • Lasry, who supported Hillary Clinton, refuses to name names, but says they're all politicians.

"Quite a few" possible 2020 presidential hopefuls have already come knocking for money, according to Democratic donor Marc Lasry, co-founder of distressed asset specialist Avenue Capital.

Lasry, who supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, refused to name names during a CNBC interview Tuesday. But he did say they were all politicians and none is from the business world. "It's all the people you would think."

The billionaire investor stressed that Democrats need to have a message beyond "anybody but Trump" if they want to take the White House.

Democrat John Kerry found out the same thing in 2004 — an "anyone but Bush" message was not enough to send incumbent Republican President George W. Bush packing, said Lasry, chairman and CEO of Avenue Capital, which has about $9.6 billion in assets under management.

Lasry did, however, admit he's seen good returns since Trump became president, in a rally that continues to fuel records in the stock market. "We've done well, thank God."

In Monday's powerful advance, the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high, pushing the index to a nearly 17 percent gain since Election Day.

In addition to running Avenue Capital, Lasry owns a stake in the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

Lasry appeared in New York on "Squawk Box" ahead of participating in a 9 a.m. ET global investing panel at the day-long Delivering Alpha conference organized by CNBC and Institutional Investor magazine.

— In addition to Lasry, Delivering Alpha participants include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Omega Advisors Chairman Leon Cooperman, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, Blackstone chief Steve Schwarzman, DowDupont CEO Edward Breen, Kynikos Associates' Jim Chanos and JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon.

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