Billionaire Bill Ackman announced Saturday that he plans to donate $1 million to a political action committee backing Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., in his Democratic primary campaign to beat incumbent President Joe Biden for the party’s presidential nomination.
Ackman, the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, has previously called for the 81-year-old President Biden to drop out due to his age – which he cited as a key factor in his decision to back Phillips in a post on X, formerly Twitter. He indicated that on Tuesday he’ll wire $1 million to the We Deserve Better super PAC that’s backing Phillips, a sum he said “is by far the largest investment I have ever made in someone running for office, and I am making this investment at a high-risk, but critically important moment for his campaign.”
“Biden is polling poorly against @realDonaldTrump, and his numbers are only going to get worse as he ages, and he is not looking good as it is,” Ackman wrote. “There is also a reasonable chance that Biden is forced to withdraw for health reasons.”
“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. If by then, as I expect, Dean is polling substantially better than Biden against Trump, I predict that the party will choose Dean Phillips over Biden. The party will have no choice,” he surmised.
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Ackman explained that for Phillips’ bid to best Biden to succeed, he’ll need to perform well in the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 23 which is “why I am frontloading my investment in his campaign now, and why I encourage you to invest if you like what you have heard.”
He went on to say that he believes Phillips could attract support from across the political spectrum based on how members of his hedge fund, Pershing Square, reacted to the candidate’s pitch during a meeting held Friday.
“Pershing Square is ideologically and politically diverse. One of the inspirations for my increased support for Dean is how well he resonated with the Republicans and more right-leaning members of our company, in addition to the centrists and Democrats in the room, when he visited us yesterday,” Ackman wrote.
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Ackman, a self-described centrist, has historically given most of his political donations to Democratic candidates and causes, though he has donated to Republican and Independent candidates in some cases as well.
Campaign contribution records from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) show that Ackman has donated to the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; as well as individual campaigns of Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
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He has also donated to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy – both of whom changed their party affiliation from Democratic to Independent. Ackman also donated to the presidential campaigns of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who dropped out of the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race last week, and GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy.
Ackman has gained public prominence in recent months following his criticism of elite universities’ handling of antisemitism on campus in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel.
He called for the resignations of the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after their controversial congressional testimony. Ackman has also expressed skepticism of corporate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
FOX Business reached out to Ackman for comment.