Equities

Leon Cooperman says he will support Mike Bloomberg for president


Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark.Ole Jensen | Getty ImagesBillionaire Leon Cooperman says he will support former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg if he enters the 2020 Democratic primary for president.”I’m a huge fan of Michael. I know him personally. It’s a breath of fresh air. Unless he changes his stripes, he will have my unequivocal support,” Cooperman told CNBC on Friday.Cooperman, in an extensive phone interview, noted he would help Bloomberg with fundraising, as long he sticks with his moderate policies.”That’s the whole idea,” Cooperman said when asked about potentially helping with fundraising. “I have a world of respect for his accomplishments and his values. I have to sit down and understand his platform. If the Democratic Party was smart, they would support him.” he added.Cooperman is one of a few Wall Street executives that are already preparing to help Bloomberg in anyway they can if he runs for president.A private equity executive, who declined to be named in order to speak frankly about the situation, said he would likely support Bloomberg’s campaign as well. This person has contributed to former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign and others in the race, but has not been impressed so far with the overall field.While Bloomberg has a net-worth of just over $52 billion and has signaled he would spend over $100 million on a campaign for president, he will still need donors to qualify for any potential debates. Cooperman has a net-worth of $3.2 billion.Cooperman, the CEO and chairman of Omega Advisors, recently sent a letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a potential rival of Bloomberg’s. In it, he cited Bloomberg’s story of becoming a self-made billionaire as a reason not criticize the wealthy, as Warren has done since she officially entered the primary back in February.”In 1981, Mike Bloomberg, whose record of public service and philanthropy are legendary, created a machine that changed the way the financial world —a sector that is the source of much of the tax revenues that fuel your legislative priorities — conducts business,” Cooperman said to Warren.”He [Bloomberg] understands how the world works. He’s not a hater,” Cooperman told CNBC when asked about Warren versus the former New York mayor.As for fundraising, Cooperman has given to a wide range of candidates over the years. In 2018, he wrote two checks of $2,700 to Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott. He’s also contributed to Barack Obama’s first campaign for president and later, to Mitt Romney’s run for the White House in 2012.

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