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Billionaire David Rubenstein says why be president when you can be Oprah

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Billionaire David Rubenstein says why be president when you can be Oprah

Billionaire David Rubenstein said Thursday that media mogul Oprah Winfrey has a much better job than being president of the United States.

"Which is being Oprah," said Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chief executive of private equity giant The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG), which has $170 billion of assets under management and controlling interests in more than 200 companies.

Rubenstein was speaking in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC's " Squawk Box ." When asked whether Winfrey could run for president, Rubenstein said: "Oprah is higher than being president of the United States. ... I mean she can do anything she wants. Nobody criticizes her and she is a terrific person."

Billionaire businesswoman Winfrey, CEO of Harpo Productions and the Oprah Winfrey Network, is widely known for hosting her international talk show "The Oprah Winfrey Show." In 2011, Oprah launched her network. Winfrey is also an investor and partner of Weight Watchers. She recently joined Kraft Heinz in a new supermarket venture.

Talks circulated that Winfrey could make a run for president after President Donald Trump , a businessman, won the election. In March, she told Bloomberg , she never considered it before but after Trump's victory she thought "Oh? Oh!'"

What about Jamie Dimon?

Rubenstein also addressed noise about a possible 2020 presidential run by JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM)Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon .

In talking with Dimon, Rubenstein said of the JPMorgan chief that he feels he "doesn't have the personality for what you have to do as president."

"[Dimon] doesn't feel that he can get along with members of Congress," Rubenstein said.

A recent Financial Times report said ex-colleagues of Dimon believe he might run.

Appearing Tuesday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley," Dimon addressed the speculation. "No I'm not stepping into the arena," he said. "And I'm not criticizing Washington, I'm criticizing us collectively. Collectively, the leadership of America hasn't done the thing that could get us growing faster — jobs and wages."

Dimon also said America's failures on infrastructure and taxes are "embarrassing."

The comments came a few weeks after he blew up during the bank's earnings call — railing in a profanity-laced rant about the dysfunction in Washington.

At the time, he said, "It's almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid s--- we have to deal with in this country."

"It's not his personality but you never know," Rubenstein said.

"People change their mind," he added. "If Jamie wanted to run for president of the United States, he'd be a very good candidate and a very good president."

Dimon has avoided blaming any one side. He's a member of Trump's business advisory council. He's also chairman of the Business Roundtable lobbying group.

Rubenstein was also asked whether Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) co-founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg would run. He said Zuckerberg's fortune is probably "enough to keep him busy."

CNBC has reached out to spokespersons for Zuckerberg and Winfrey.

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