Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is with her.
In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday, Blankfein said he is backing Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House, despite not agreeing with all of her policies or everything she’s done in her political career.
“I certainly, yes, I do — yes, so flat out, yes, I do,” Blankfein said when asked whether he personally supports and admires Clinton.
“In terms of her intelligence — I think her positioning, not only in terms of her ideology, but what I regard as a pragmatism that I saw demonstrated when she was our senator and in earlier stages of her political career when she could cross the aisle and engage other people to get things done, I admire that. It stands out a little today — that kind of willingness to engage and compromise, but let’s just stop at engage — that willingness to engage is a scarcer commodity these days.”
Blankfein, who held a fundraiser for Clinton in her bid for president in 2008, had previously said he wouldn’t endorse a candidate.
“I don’t want to help or hurt anybody by giving them an endorsement,” he told CNBC earlier this year. That was during the Democratic primary when Clinton was still facing off against Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The Democratic nominee has been criticised for her ties to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms — and for earning hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches given to the global investment bank and its clients.
“If the worst thing is that we have a history of having engaged positively with Hillary Clinton, that’s not going to annoy me,” Blankfein said.
As for Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs employees and clients, Blankfein said if he were in her position, he would have released the transcripts. Clinton declined to do so, but some of them have since been released via Wikileaks.
“I didn’t think she was saying anything untoward,” Blankfein said. “I don’t recall specifically, but nothing that she said would have jarred me that she was going into some impermissible area or revealing some secrets.”
“I don’t know what secrets she would have had about the financial markets that she could have revealed,” he added.
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