Jan 14, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Bill Ackman donating $1M to Dean Phillips' White House bid

Bill Ackman attends an award ceremony in New York City on Oct. 19, 2022. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Billionaire Bill Ackman said he plans to donate $1 million to the political action committee supporting the 2024 presidential run of Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.).

Why it matters: The hedge fund manager's donation toward Phillips' long-shot presidential run comes as 81-year-old President Biden struggles in polling against several GOP opponents and faces low approval ratings.

What he's saying: "This is not a joke, I am totally serious," Ackman said Saturday in a lengthy post on X.

  • Ackman said this donation is "by far the largest investment I have ever made in someone running for office" and that he is "making this investment at a high-risk, but critically important moment for his campaign."

The billionaire's X post addressed Biden's low polling numbers, particularly when against former President Trump.

  • "Biden is polling poorly against [Trump], and his numbers are only going to get worse as he ages, and he is not looking good as it is," Ackman said.
  • Ackman said there is a "reasonable chance" of Biden having to withdraw for "health reasons."

However, the Minnesota Democrat still has a long road ahead in clenching the Democratic nomination and beating Biden.

  • 69% of likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire plan to vote for Biden, compared to just 7% for Phillips, according to a University of New Hampshire poll from last week.

Meanwhile, Ackman has garnered recent headlines for standing among the handful of billionaires who are publicly debating the merits and legality of DEI initiatives.

  • Ackman, an alumnus of Harvard, also pushed heavily for the resignation of Claudine Gay as its president.
  • Gay ultimately resigned following an antisemitism hearing and plagiarism probe.

Go deeper: Dean Phillips' standing on Capitol Hill has all but collapsed

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