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Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein on Warren: 'Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA'

Adriana Belmonte
Associate Editor

Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is the latest billionaire to sound off against presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and her plans to tax the ultra-wealthy.

After Warren released an ad taking aim at specific billionaires, Blankfein responded on Twitter:

“Surprised to be featured in Sen Warren’s campaign ad, given the many severe critics she has out there,” he tweeted. “Not my candidate, but we align on many issues. Vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, not the country. Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA.”

The DNA-tribalism reference

Blankfein’s tribalism remark appeared to be a thinly-veiled reference towards the controversy surrounding Warren’s Native American heritage. President Trump began referring to her as “Pocahontas” during the 2016 election, as he mocked her claims that she was Native American. Then, in 2018, Trump offered to pay her $1 million if she took a DNA test. She did — only to discover that her Native American ties went back six to 10 generations, which according to the New York Post, makes her anywhere from 1/32nd to 1/1024th Native American.

Warren publicly apologized to the Native American community earlier this year: “Like anyone who’s being honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we’ve had together.”

Lloyd Blankfein, smiles during a discussion at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Warren’s new ad highlighted how Blankfein earned $70 million during the 2008 financial crash. Other billionaires featured in Warren’s ad include Leon Cooperman, Joe Ricketts, and Peter Thiel. Cooperman, whose insider trading settlement with the SEC was highlighted in the video, wasn’t pleased that he was featured, either, and candidly stated his thoughts this week.

“In my opinion she represents the worst in politicians as she’s trying to demonize wealthy people because there are more poor people than wealthy people,” he said. “As far as the accusations of insider trading, I won the case. She’s disgraceful. She doesn’t know who the f--- she’s tweeting. I gave away more in the year than she has in her whole f----ing lifetime.”

Blankfein isn't happy with Elizabeth Warren. (Photo: Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

Just the latest in an ongoing spat

Blankfein’s tweet is the latest development in an ongoing feud between Warren and American billionaires. The backdrop of the ongoing spat stems from her proposed ultra-millionaire tax, which would place an annual 2% tax on every dollar a household has above $50 million, and increase to 6% for households with more than $1 billion.

Earlier this month, Cooperman teared up during a CNBC interview when discussing the 2020 election, including Warren’s policies. Last week, after Microsoft founder Bill Gates expressed displeasure at the idea of paying $100 billion in a wealth tax, Warren responded with her “Calculator for the Billionaires” to show how much the ultra-wealthy would actually be paying.

On Wednesday, Warren’s campaign began selling “Billionaire Tears” mugs for $25 on her campaign website, an apparent dig towards Cooperman’s emotional CNBC interview.

Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.

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