Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Friday chided Wall Street executives for backing former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump, warning that they would suffer with Democrats in control.
Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said at an Axios event that many financial industry leaders have “turned to the left” and “become very progressive.”
Biden has raised more campaign contributions than Trump from executives and employees of investment firms and commercial banks, according to data compiled by Open Secrets. He has collected nearly five times more than the president from the securities and investment industry alone.
Kudlow, a Wall Street veteran who served as chief economist of investment bank Bear Stearns, said industry leaders would have “many, many regrets” under a Biden presidency. While Biden hasn’t adopted the same anti-Wall Street rhetoric as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), he would face pressure as president to embrace their views. Biden has said he plans to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
“For some reason, they don’t think Mr. Biden is going to move far left,” Kudlow said. “I think he will. Just look at the people around him.”
Kudlow’s comments highlighted the risks that some in Wall Street may be taking by supporting Biden, after Republicans enacted massive corporate tax breaks and sweeping deregulation moves during Trump’s term.
According to Open Secrets, the securities and investment industry has given Biden $13.4 million in campaign contributions, while Trump’s campaign has gotten $2.7 million. Titans of the financial industry have also helped the former vice president raise cash, including fundraisers hosted by executives at private equity firm Blackstone — a top target for Warren and other Democrats looking to rein in finance.
Kudlow said “we will get our share of Wall Street folks,” but he defended Trump by saying that the Republican Party during his tenure has expanded its base to include “middle America” and “ordinary folks working every day.”
“The GOP is not the country club party that it was many, many years ago,” he said. “It has changed. I think it’s changed for the better.”