Billionaire investor Sam Zell told CNBC on Wednesday he's not ready to endorse a candidate for president yet, saying the big question is whether Democrat Joe Biden would run the nation more as a centrist or tack hard left.
"Let's put it like this: If you told me that the Obama-Biden plan or methodology was going to repeated for the next four years, I would be a lot less worried than I am now," said Zell.
The outspoken founder of Equity Group Investments, who describes himself as a right-leaning independent, doesn't agree with all of the policies under former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Biden, saying in a "Squawk Box" interview that a failed income redistribution strategy in the previous administration exacerbated the nation's wealth inequality.
Zell said the next 2½ months in the run-up to the November presidential election should reveal whether Biden will be able to embrace his moderate roots or act as a "placeholder" for the takeover of the Democratic Party by the "radical left," whose policies would "lead to the destruction of our economic system."
"I think that anything that is focused on dividing the country is not a positive thing," said Zell, answering a question about President Donald Trump's approach to governing. However, Zell has in the past expressed support for the president's business-friendly policies such as cutting the corporate tax rate and rolling back Obama-Biden era business regulations.
Fellow billionaire investor Barry Sternlicht, who has also supported Trump's economic policies, went a step further than Zell, telling CNBC on Tuesday that he would "probably vote for Biden right now."
"I think that on the margin, the nation needs to heal and I think we need to get back together, and I don't think we're going to do that with the rhetoric from the right," said the Starwood Capital founder, who like Zell expressed caution about the divisiveness of the Trump White House.
Sternlicht also said he's in the middle politically. "I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal, like most of my peers, and we don't have a party. We kind of just wing it."