Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein traded barbs on Twitter Friday after the Democratic presidential contender put out his list of “anti-endorsements” that included Blankfein.
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The former CEO, who announced his retirement in 2018, tweeted an article regarding Sanders’ list. Those on the list included Disney CEO Bob Iger and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and criticisms the businessmen have made about Sanders in the past.
The quote attributed to Blankfein was, “It has the potential to be a dangerous moment.” The former CEO was discussing Sanders’ candidacy when he made the comment. However, Blankfein appeared to be confused as to why he made the list.
“Don’t know why Sen. Sanders picks on a retiree like me,” he tweeted. “I think he’s always looked down on me because he grew up in a fancier neighborhood in Brooklyn.”
Sanders, who grew up in Midwood, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, hit back at Blankfein saying he was concerned about the former CEO’s advocacy to cut social security and other programs.
“Actually, my concern has to do with the fact that you had no problem getting bailed out by working Americans, while you’ve been picking on them by advocating for cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,” the senator wrote.
Blankfein oversaw Goldman Sachs for 12 years including during the 2008 financial crisis. Goldman and its competitors accumulated billions of dollars of toxic assets on their books -- bad mortgages, collateralized debt obligations and other illiquid assets. Blankfein moved to save the firm from its near-death experience, taping the Federal Reserve’s emergency programs set up to keep banks from failure. Eventually, Goldman took money from the $700 billion TARP bailout program, which it repaid.
However, the feud didn’t end there. Blankfein responded, “Didn’t know I was against all those necessary and well-established social programs. Actually, I think we may have more in common than you think…..two self-made millionaires from Brooklyn who lean a bit to the left!”
Sanders hit back with a video of Blankfein’s interview with CBS’ Scott Pelley.
“Entitlements have to be slowed down and contained,” Blankfein told Pelley in the clip.
“Because we can’t afford them going forward?” Pelley asked.
“Because we can’t afford them,” Blankfein replied.
“This must be someone else,” Sanders wrote. “My mistake.”
“Sry (sorry) didn’t think slowing expansion of entitlements in a dismal economy meant I was getting rid of those program,” Blankfein replied. “I support those programs and GDP growth!”
This is not the first time the two have feuded on Twitter. In February, Blankfein responded to Sanders’ criticism of stock buybacks.
“Never thought I’d hear Sen. Sanders criticize me for not paying higher wages at my old firm,” he wrote.
After Blankfein retired from Goldman, David M. Solomon, a long-time Goldman executive, assumed as CEO on Oct. 1, 2018, and became chairman of Goldman in 2019.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.