Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman reacted to former President Donald Trump’s landslide victory in Monday’s Iowa caucuses by warning Democrats that incumbent President Joe Biden is toast.
“If you haven’t figured it out already, it is now abundantly clear that @realDonaldTrump is going to crush @POTUS,” the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management wrote on his X social media account on Tuesday.
Ackman, who has become far more vocal in the public sphere since the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel and the subsequent eruption of antisemitism on college campuses, repeated his call for the 81-year-old Biden to “step aside” so that the Democratic Party can “quickly get behind a strong, credible contender” for the presidency.
The self-described Clinton Democrat has endorsed Rep. Dean Phillips, a Minnesota Dem mounting a long-shot challenge to Biden.
Ackman and Biden have history. In 2017, Biden referred to Ackman as an “a–hole,” according to an item recently unearthed by the news site Mediaite.
The two men were guests at a dinner hosted by former Trump press secretary and hedge funder Anthony Scaramucci, according to Fox Business.
During the get-together, Biden was asked by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush why he declined to run for president in 2016. He then told the assembled guests that he passed up the White House run because he was still in mourning over the death of his son Beau in 2015.
When the room grew quiet, Biden apologized, saying: “I’m sorry…I’ve said enough.”
Ackman is then reported to have chimed in: “Why? That’s never stopped you before.”
Biden then turned to someone near him and asked, in reference to Ackman: “Who is this a–hole?”
He then turned directly to Ackman and said: “Look, I don’t know who you are, wiseass, but never disrespect the memory of my dead son!”
When Ackman reportedly tried to apologize, Biden would hear none of it, saying: “Just shut the hell up.”
Biden faces being primary challenges from Phillips and Marianne Williamson, the self-help author who ran in 2020.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr, a longtime Democrat, is running for president as an independent.
Despite Biden’s age and concerns about his stamina and mental acuity, Democrats overwhelmingly support his re-election.
His campaign has a war chest of $117 million.
However, public opinion polls show his approval rating hovering near 40%.
Polls also show Biden losing to Trump in a potential head-to-head matchup.
Ackman, Phillips and X owner Elon Musk participated in a streaming “Spaces” broadcast on Monday to discuss the 2024 election.
Ackman — who spearheaded a campaign to oust Harvard president Claudine Gay over antisemitism on the Ivy League school’s campus — recently said he can no longer be “associated with” the Democratic Party due to its support of “racist” diversity, equity and inclusion. He also has vowed to sue with Business Insider after the publication alleged his wife, a former MIT professor, committed plagiarism.
On Saturday, Ackman announced on his X account that he was donating $1 million to a political-action committee backing Phillips.
He has called Phillips “super smart, highly experienced and successful in business and politics,” while noting that “he is a moderate, appealing to both Republicans and Democrats.”
“The Democratic Party and Joe Biden are heading toward a trainwreck,” Ackman wrote.
“We need to pull the train off the tracks now!”
The billionaire has predicted that Phillips would prevail over Biden in the primaries.
“As Dean rises in the polls and Biden deteriorates, the Democratic Party is going to have to choose a candidate that can beat the Republican nominee,” Ackman wrote on his X account over the weekend.
The Post has sought comment from the Biden re-election campaign.