Billionaire investor Bill Ackman says President Biden should step aside, adding he was “impressed” by Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who launched a long-shot primary challenge to Biden last month.
“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 an 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.”
Ackman, the founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, told Bloomberg Television he recently met with Phillips and was “impressed” by the Democratic lawmaker.
“You need to be at your intellectual best. And I don’t think Biden is there,” Ackman said. “I don’t say that, you know, with any derision of the president. But I think he’s clearly past his physical and cognitive peak.”
Ackman, who reportedly has a history of donating to Democrats, told Bloomberg Television he is “much more open to Republican candidates” over reelecting Biden. He said he is supportive of both former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Bloomberg reported Ackman donated to biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy but said he was “disappointed” with his geopolitical policies.
“He’s just been a little too far off to the right,” Ackman said.
The Biden campaign has faced repeated criticism over the president’s age and his ability to carry out a second term. At 81, Biden is the oldest U.S. president, and if reelected in 2024, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.
Phillips launched his presidential bid last month saying he is “not running in opposition” to the president, but rather to urge him to “pass the torch” to a new generation.
A Yahoo News/YouGov poll from earlier this month revealed that while more than half of Democrats want to see another Democrat challenge Biden, the incumbent still maintained a comfortable lead with 64 percent saying they would back him.
Earlier this month, former President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod drew attention when he appeared to suggest that Biden should step aside. He later said he is not concerned about poor polling numbers with the election still months away and later argued the president has a “50-50 shot” of winning in 2024.
As for Ackman’s political future, he appeared open to the prospect.
“If the country wanted me at some point, you know, I would be open to it,” Ackman told Bloomberg. “It’s something where the country would have to ask me as opposed to me putting myself out there.”
Ackman’s full interview with Bloomberg Television will be released on Dec. 6 at 9 p.m.