President Donald Trump’s former top economic adviser said Monday he had not yet decided who he will vote for in November’s presidential election.
“You know, I honestly haven’t made up my mind,” Gary Cohn told CNBC in an interview. “I’m really eager to see an economic debate between the two of them. I actually vote on issues.”
Trump tapped Cohn, the former president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to lead the White House’s National Economic Council at the outset of his administration in January 2017.
Cohn, a registered Democrat, emerged as a trusted aide to the president and was in contention to succeed former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, a role that ultimately went to current Fed chief Jerome Powell in November 2017.
But Cohn faced skepticism from more conservative members of the administration, who rebuked his support for free-trade policies and supposedly “globalist” economic outlook.
Cohn, who is Jewish, publicly broke with Trump in August 2017 over the president’s response to to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and he resigned from the administration in March 2018 amid disagreement with Trump’s tariff policies.
The former investment banking executive has offered occasional criticism of the administration since leaving government service, but he has not issued a full-throated repudiation of Trump’s presidency in the way some former high-ranking officials have.
Cohn previously expressed hesitancy to support Trump’s reelection bid in January, telling CBS News in an interview that while he did not “have any intention not to vote for the president,” he was “leaving the door open.”
“I just don’t vote on the economy,” Cohn said. “I vote on a lot of the social issues, as well. So, you know, in many respects, I’ve got to balance both sides of that equation before I figure out who I’m going to vote for.”
On Monday, however, Cohn spoke specifically about economic policy and his concerns regarding the federal deficit as he appeared more open to backing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s candidacy.
“We have to have a plan to get back to a more normalized fiscal picture, once we normalize and we get back to a normal economy in the United States,” he said. “And I really do want to hear where the two candidates are. Just taxing to spend doesn’t make sense to me. We have to have a plan to get our fiscal house back in order.”