Back in 2012, before Peter Thiel supported Donald Trump’s quest to become president, the billionaire tech investor gave sharp advice to presidential candidate Mitt Romney — and was apparently ignored.
“I think the most pessimistic candidate is going to win, because if you are too optimistic it suggests you are out of touch,” Thiel told Romney, as reported in George Packer’s “
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.”
Thiel’s point was that most of America didn’t share the rosy view found in Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Instead of simply telling people that President Barack Obama was incompetent, he said, a challenger should say the country was broken and needed major change.
But Romney didn’t get it.
Wrote Packer: “He assumed that the more optimistic candidate would always win. He assumed that things were still fundamentally working.”
And the rest is history. Romney lost, and Trump came out with a shockingly pessimistic campaign — daring to say that America wasn’t great anymore — and won.
If you’re wondering why Thiel keeps supporting Republicans, check out our report on Thiel’s philosophy.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.