Home Depot’s Ken Langone to Bernie Sanders: How much have you given to charity?

Billionaire Ken Langone sounded off on progressive presidential candidates like independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren who have used their platform to attack America’s ultra-wealthy.

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The Home Depot co-founder said the 2020 presidential candidates shouldn’t lecture his fellow billionaires whose success resulted in major charitable contributions that surpass the efforts made by lawmakers.

“Don’t sit and tell us we’re bad people because we were successful. That’s by the way what we did – that was our sin,” Langone said during an interview on “Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street” on Friday.

Langone’s comments come on the heels of the second 2020 presidential debate as the presidential hopefuls fired back at corporate executives for not paying their fair share of taxes. Bill de Blasio, mayor of Langone’s hometown of New York City, vowed to increase taxes on the super-wealthy.

“When I am the president we will even up the score. We will tax the hell out of the wealthy to make this a fairer country,” de Blasio said.

Langone, who co-founded Home Depot with Bernie Marcus, credits America’s capitalist system which he said has allowed his fellow billionaires to accumulate enough wealth to make significant donations to charities.

“Bernie Sanders agrees or admits he made a million dollars,” he said. “I’d love to know how much he’s specifically given to charity.”


Langone added he would rather not be remembered for his wealth, but for what his charitable contribution throughout his illustrious business career.

“They are talking about all the wonderful things with our money. That’s fine,” he said. “How about what you are going to do with our money.”

Langone donated $100 million in August 2018 to New York University to support free tuition for medical students.