Warren Buffett would 'certainly vote' for Mike Bloomberg but here's why he's tight-lipped about it
Warren Buffett, the fourth-richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $90 billion, told CNBC on Monday that he "would certainly vote" for fellow billionaire and Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg.
But he is choosing to be tight-lipped about it.
"I don't think another billionaire supporting him would be the best thing to announce," Buffett told CNBC's Becky Quick.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has become the current Democratic frontrunner while campaigning on the idea that billionaires should not exist and with a platform that proposes a net worth tax on extreme wealth.
"But sure, I would have no trouble voting for Mike Bloomberg," Buffett said.
Bloomberg, 78, isn't that far behind Buffett in net worth. According to Forbes, Bloomberg is worth $61.9 billion.
While Buffett said that "he normally votes Democrat," he also admitted that he's "not a card-carrying Democrat."
"I've voted for Republicans and I've contributed to Republicans," Buffett said.
During the 2016 presidential election, Buffett endorsed and campaigned for Hillary Clinton.
Buffett has long said that the rich, including himself, do not pay enough in taxes. Buffett has previously advocated for a substantial estate tax on the wealthiest estates and an expanded earned income tax credit.
But when Quick asked Buffett about Sanders' proposed wealth tax, Buffett said he doesn't believe Sanders' plan is the answer.
"I'm very much in sympathy with the fact that Senator Sanders believes that a lot of people are getting left behind and through no fault of their own," Buffett told Quick. "And there's all kinds of aspects of capitalism that need, in some ways, to be regulated. But I don't believe in giving up the capitalist system."
That is why if given a choice today, he would choose Bloomberg over Sanders, but he still is "going to wait and see who gets the nomination."
"I don't think I want to get into handicapping the race, but I would say this in terms of Sanders: I actually agree with him in terms of certain things he would like to accomplish," Buffett said, including the idea that something needs to be done for the "people who get left behind" by the system.
As for Bloomberg, when Quick asked Buffett if he is interested in buying the candidate's company, Bloomberg LP, if Bloomberg becomes president, Buffett said "no."
(Bloomberg campaign adviser Tim O'Brien told CNN that Bloomberg is planning to sell his financial information and media company if he's elected president to be "180 degrees away from where Donald Trump is on these issues.")
A campaign spokesperson for Bloomberg did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It's request for comment regarding Buffett's comments.
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