WHEN: Today, Friday, November 8, 2019
WHERE: CNBC's "Closing Bell"
The following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Omega Advisors CEO Leon Cooperman on CNBC's "Closing Bell" (M-F 3PM – 5PM) today, Friday, November 8th. The following is a link to video of the full interview on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/11/08/full-interview-with-leon-cooperman-on-us-2020-presidential-election.html.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
Leon Cooperman on President Trump:
He's taken on a tough trade battle with China. He's focused on discussion of illegal immigration. He reduces government red tape and promoted deregulation. And he's bolstered our National Defense. So, you know, he's done a good job for the time he's been in office. And he should get credit for that. But he has to be more presidential. And if he's not prepared to do that, then I would say, step aside.
Leon Cooperman on Mike Bloomberg:
I think Mike Bloomberg is terrific. And I hope the democratic party agrees and gives him the nomination. Number one, he's a unifier. He's bright. He's immensely successful. He's been extremely generous with his resources. I read somewhere he's given away about $8 billion over the last number of years. Most importantly to me, I like people that are not pretentious. He's never forgot where he came from. If you talk to Bloomberg employees, he's very kind to the employees. And he understands how the economy works.
Leon Cooperman on Elizabeth Warren:
My criticism is, she's acting like a politician. And I use that word "politician," in the most uncomplimentary fashion. You know, why is she attacking and Bernie Sanders attacking billionaires? Most billionaires I know work very hard for their money, okay. They didn't hit a lottery, didn't inherit it, and they do good things with their money. So, you know, I think she's pandering to a base. There are obviously more poor people in the country than rich people. And it's easier to, you know, criticize wealthy people.
Leon Cooperman on Elizabeth Warren Mocking Him:
She can you know, mock me, make fun of me. That's fine, I don't care. I know what I stand for and know what I've done. And I know I've lived the American dream, by the way. And I'm very focused on helping others live the American dream.
Leon Cooperman on Carried Interest:
I have focused on carried interest, which is to eliminate. I focus on 1031, which gives these real estate billionaires the ability to roll over tax deferred forever, capital gains in their real estate. They should get rid of that. And I have no problem raising the marginal tax rate. So, I haven't focused on that one particular question. I've always felt long-term capital gains in part stems from inflation, so tax inflation is wrong. But let's come up with a number.
Leon Cooperman on the American Dream:
MORGAN BRENNAN: I wonder if you think the concept of the American dream is in jeopardy right now? It's such a long-held fundamental, societal value, but it seems to be very much in question and under siege. Is that how you see it?
LEON COOPERMAN: It is. But, you know, it exists in Asia. You know, all the billionaires are emerging there. Hopefully we don't lose that in America. The country is moving slightly to the left. I think it's basically because of income disparity. And my answer to income disparity is basically a fairer tax structure. I agree with that. But it's more economic growth and education.
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