Elizabeth Warren on the assault of billionaires, a risky gamble


Elizabeth Warren Democratic nomination candidate at an election rally on November 13, 2019 in Concord, New Hampshire (AFP / Joseph Prezioso)

Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading presidential candidates in the US presidential election of 2020, has stepped up her attacks on billionaires this week, a theme dear to her supporters but which could cripple her in her quest for broader support.

The 70-year-old Massachusetts senator notably introduced Thursday on CNBC, a financial channel where she is often criticized, an advertisement showing businessmen, bankers and entrepreneurs predicting the apocalypse if the candidate entered the White House and applied her taxes. on the biggest American fortunes.

"The defamation of billionaires does not make sense to me, it's nonsense", for example, the fund manager Leon Cooperman, one of Elizabeth Warren's Turkish heads, is moving.

In counterpoint, a message appears to recall insider trading charges against Mr. Cooperman.

In front of a crowd won over to her cause, the Senator of Massachusetts appears at the end of the spot, enjoining the most fortunate to contribute more to reduce inequalities.

This clip marks a new step in the strategy of Elizabeth Warren, who made attacks on billionaires a key point of her campaign.

– "A pub shot" –

"It's above all a publicity stunt, it shows that it is the most intransigent when it comes to attacking billionaires and defending the working classes," says political analyst Capri Cafaro, a professor at the American University in Washington and former Democratic elected.

In her battle, Elizabeth Warren often handles irony and derision.

When Leon Cooperman took offense at the "outrageous" methods of the Wall Street defender, the campaign count of the Senator tweeted "OK billionaire", referring to the phrase "OK boomer" (literally, "always causes , baby-boomer ") become viral among young Americans to express their frustration with older generations.

Bill Gates, October 10, 2019 at a conference for its foundation in Lyon (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)

To counter Bill Gates, who seemed to be worried about the taxes he would pay if the senator won the presidential election, the candidate's team also put online a "calculator for billionaires", supposed to allow to calculate their taxes in case Warren.

The site includes a line for the co-founder of Microsoft, directly posting his fortune, or $ 107 billion, but also for Leon Cooperman and the former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, who is thinking of embarking on the Democratic race in the presidential election.

– "Tears of billionaire" –

On her website, Elizabeth Warren also offers products surfing on the rejection of ultra-rich, such as a "mug" with the mocking inscription "Tears of Billionaire" or badges with two 1-cent coins, in reference to her project of 2% tax on assets over $ 50 million.

Besides Leon Cooperman, always quick to react to the pikes of his pet peeve, other billionaires have rebelled.

Cited in the CNBC ad, Lloyd Blankfein, former boss of Goldman Sachs, was surprised, wondering if "the clannishness was not in the DNA" of Elizabeth Warren.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, regretted that she "vilifies" successful people, rather than applauding them.

As for Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, he accused the senator of deceiving the Americans with proposals he considers doomed to fail.

Can this strategy pay? After competing in polls with former vice president Joe Biden, with more than 20% of primary polling intentions, an Ipsos poll released by Reuters on Friday gave it down to 13% behind Joe Biden and Bernie. Sanders at 19%.

According to Ms. Cafaro, some voters, already dubious about the senator's proposals, could be put off by what they might consider a revival of aggression against the richest.

"But for those who believe that billionaires must pay their share, it will make his candidacy even more attractive," said the analyst.

-dho / cat / leo / bdx

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