Earlier this month, the New York Times found a problem with Elizabeth Warren’s ascent to co-front-runner, alongside Joe Biden, in the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating contest. While the Massachusetts senator is bringing in gobs of cash from small-dollar donors and surging to the top of polls in early-voting states, she doesn’t have a lot of endorsements.
At least, not the type we’re used to seeing. What Warren does have is an increasingly long list of anti-endorsements that may be even more effective than the traditional kind. Yes, it’s good that Senator Ed Markey has endorsed Warren, but it’s probably better that Wall Street keeps talking about how much it fears her. What better way to play the hero than by making enemies with such an obvious villain?
The number of Warren’s anti-endorsements has increased in recent months as she has surged in the polls. Of course, she’s not the only Democrat that usurious lenders and Wall Street fat cats fear — but unlike Bernie Sanders, she appears to be the scary one who they think can win.
Here’s where Warren’s anti-endorsements are coming from:
The payday-loan industry
The payday-loan industry, with its long history of preying on the working poor, is terrified of a Warren presidency, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. It’s not just Warren’s history as a consumer advocate that has the industry nervous. It’s the shift the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Warren helped create, has made under President Trump. Instead of closely watching the industry, it’s now attempting to roll back Obama-era regulations. Warren has criticized the CFPB’s recent moves and would undoubtedly reverse them if she made it to the White House.
Leon Cooperman, the billionaire investor and former Goldman Sachs executive, has made no secret of his antipathy for Warren. Last week, he told Politico that Warren is “shitting on the American dream.” A week before that, he criticized both Warren and Sanders for proposing wealth taxes. The stock market will drop 25 percent if either is elected, he said.
Credit Cooperman for at least putting his name on his critiques. Many more titans of Wall Street have anonymously spoken about their opposition to a Warren presidency. Last week, CNBC reported that “high-dollar Democratic donors and fundraisers in the business community” are planning to sit out the general election if Warren wins the nomination. “You’re in a box because you’re a Democrat and you’re thinking, I want to help the party, but she’s going to hurt me so I’m going to help President Trump,” a private-equity executive told CNBC.
Those comments echoed ones Jim Cramer and David Faber shared on the network in September. Wall Street executives think Warren “has got to be stopped,” Cramer said. On Twitter, Warren reveled in the anti-endorsement.
The founder of PayPal, a libertarian, and a Trump supporter, Thiel’s dislike of Warren is expected. But as he told Tucker Carlson this summer, of all the candidates in the Democratic field, he thinks she’s really “the dangerous one.”
“I’m most scared by Elizabeth Warren,” Thiel said. “I think she’s the one who’s actually talking about the economy, which is the only thing — the thing that I think matters by far the most.”
Warren tweeted a link to Thiel’s remarks with a one-word comment: “Good.”
Warren’s spat with the Facebook founder has been largely one-sided, with the senator calling for Facebook to be broken up and challenging the social-media network for running false ads. But in a private call with employees in July that was obtained by The Verge, Zuckerberg admitted a Warren presidency would “suck” for Facebook:
“You have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies … If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government.
Again, Warren responded on Twitter: “What would really ‘suck,’” she wrote, “is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anti-competitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”
This CEO of a yacht company
Rob Parmentier owns Marquis Yachts in Wisconsin. When a Wall Street Journal reporter asked him about Warren’s surging campaign, he said, “We’re all worrying about it.”