Billionaire philanthropist Bill Ackman announced a $1 million donation to support the campaign of Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) against incumbent Joe Biden in a Saturday X post.
The lengthy post from Ackman, a hedge fund manager with a net worth of more than $4 billion according to Forbes, argued that Phillips would be “a truly outstanding President of the United States,” and that he has a “credible path” to the Democrat nomination.
My best and favorite investments come from a deep understanding of the importance of asymmetry, that is, by understanding the potential risk and reward, and making sure that the reward overwhelming compensates for the risk. I have made some great asymmetric investments at…— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) January 14, 2024
Ackman likened the U.S. to a business that has a “great, albeit somewhat tarnished brand, massive resources, but it has been mismanaged for a long time.”
He went on to compare President Biden to an incompetent CEO.
“The problem is that the incumbent CEO has a large base of support and a huge incumbency advantage because the CEO we want to hire is not known to nearly all of the shareholders,” Ackman wrote. “The current CEO is well past his prime, and if he were available in the market for other opportunities, he would have no chance of getting any job, let alone be hired to run a business of this scale and quality.”
“If you haven’t guessed by now, the business is the United States of America,” the billionaire said before endorsing Phillips as the best next “CEO” of the country.
“This is not a joke, I am totally serious,” he clarified, before announcing his generous donation:
I met Dean two months ago. I have kept in pretty close touch with him over the last two months, and spent 90 minutes with him yesterday when he presented to nearly all of our employees, which inspired me to top up my initial $3,300 donation to his campaign.
On Tuesday, I am wiring $1 million to wedeserve.org, a political action committee that supports Dean’s run. This is by far the largest investment I have ever made in someone running for office, and I am making this investment at a high-risk, but critically important moment for his campaign.
The rest of the over 2,000-word post detailed why Ackman believes in Phillips, from his experience as an “entrepreneur and a successful business leader” to his “character, credibility, and capabilities” in Congress.
Ackman, who has been in several recent headlines for blasting Harvard University amid its antisemitism and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) controversy, had previously signaled support for Phillips’ White House bid.
The Hill reports that the billionaire said he was “impressed” by the congressman last year and also asserted that it is time for Biden to “step aside” in the primary.
“I think Biden’s done a lot of good things. But I think his legacy will not [be] a good one if he is the nominee,” Ackman said in a November interview with Bloomberg Television’s The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations. “I do think the right thing for Biden to do is step aside, and to say he’s not going to run, and create the opportunity for some competition.”