Former Goldman Sachs CEO Attacks Bernie Sanders: He’s Just As Polarizing As Trump, Will Destroy Economy, Russians Probably Want Him To Win

Written by Dana Sanchez
Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is not a fan of Bernie Sanders, whose campaign promise to tax the richest resonated with voters in the New Hampshire and Iowa caucuses. Blankfein speaks in a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Lloyd Blankfein, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, is not a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign promises — make the richest Americans and biggest businesses pay more taxes — have resonated with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“If Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US,” Blankfein tweeted. “Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military. If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around.”

Thousands of Sanders’s supporters came to his defense. Some remembered Goldman’s position at the center of the 2008 financial crisis. Others brought up Blankfein’s presence in a meeting with a Malaysian financier who was later accused of stealing billions of dollars from his country’s investment fund.

Goldman Sachs is in talks with the U.S. government and a state regulator to possibly pay up to $2 billion and admit guilt to resolve investigations into its role in the 1MDB Malaysian corruption scandal, Reuters reported in December, 2019.

Blankfein was CEO of Goldman Sachs from 2006 until the end of 2018 and served as senior chairman since 2019. His Twitter profile describes him as “former CEO on a gap year.”

Blankfein’s comments reflect growing uneasiness among corporate players and investors about Democratic contenders for the presidential nomination, New York Times reported. The victory in New Hampshire has helped position Sanders as a frontrunner.

“This is what panic from the Wall Street elite looks and sounds like,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s campaign manager, responded in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

Sanders offers an antidote to Trump’s economic agenda, which has been based on cutting taxes and rolling back regulations.

In 2019, Sanders proposed a wealth tax on the richest Americans to help pay for his Medicare for all health program, universal child care and an overhaul of the housing market that would include big subsidies for first-time home buyers. Asked if billionaires should exist in the U.S. Sanders said, “I hope the day comes when they don’t.”

As head of Goldman Sachs, Blankfein was one of the most powerful people on Wall Street. Asked what his plans were after stepping down as CEO, he said, “Here’s one thing I look forward to: unrestrained tweeting.”

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Blankfein’s predecessor went into government. Hank Paulson left his job as Goldman CEO in 2006 to join the Bush administration. As Treasury secretary, Paulson became a household name, trying to steer the U.S. through the global financial crisis.

“But Blankfein, who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has been critical of the president, is unlikely to find a home in the Trump administration,” Julia Horowitz wrote for CNN.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Clinton also criticized Sanders. “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician,” she said, according to footage from an upcoming documentary about her, NYT reported.