On Saturday, the announcement was made by billionaire Bill Ackman of his intention to contribute $1 million to a political action committee supporting Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., in the Democratic primary campaign against incumbent President Joe Biden for the party’s presidential nomination.
Previously, Ackman, the founder, and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, advocated for the 81-year-old President Biden to step down, citing his age as a pivotal factor.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Ackman revealed his decision to support Phillips and mentioned that on Tuesday, a transfer of $1 million will be executed to the We Deserve Better super PAC endorsing Phillips.
He characterized this sum as “the largest investment I have ever made in someone running for office, and I am making this investment at a high-risk, but critically important moment for his campaign.”
Poor polling numbers against @realDonaldTrump have been attributed to Biden by Ackman, who anticipates a further decline as Biden ages, expressing concern about his current appearance. Additionally, Ackman contemplates a plausible scenario where Biden might be compelled to withdraw due to health reasons.
Envisioning a future where Dean rises in the polls while Biden’s condition worsens, Ackman asserts that the Democratic party will confront the necessity of selecting a candidate capable of defeating the Republican nominee.
Should Dean substantially outperform Biden against Trump, as Ackman expects, he predicts the party will inevitably opt for Dean Phillips over Biden, positing that the party will have no alternative.
The necessity for Phillips’ campaign to outperform Biden is elucidated by Ackman, emphasizing the importance of a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary scheduled for Jan. 23.
Ackman clarifies the rationale behind frontloading his campaign investment, asserting, “why I am frontloading my investment in his campaign now, and why I encourage you to invest if you like what you have heard.”
In addition, Ackman highlights his belief that Phillips possesses the potential to garner support from a broad political spectrum. He cites the diverse ideological and political composition of his hedge fund, Pershing Square, and underscores the inspiration behind his heightened support for Dean.
Ackman notes the positive resonance Phillips had with Republicans and more right-leaning members during a meeting held on Friday, alongside centrists and Democrats present in the room.
A self-described centrist, Ackman, in the past, has directed the majority of his political donations to Democratic candidates and causes, although instances of contributions to Republican and Independent candidates are evident.
Records of campaign contributions from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reveal that donations have been made by Ackman to the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Individual campaigns of Senators Cory Booker, D-N.J., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., have also received contributions from Ackman.
Donations were made by Ackman to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, both of whom underwent a party affiliation shift from Democratic to Independent. Additionally, contributions were directed to the presidential campaigns of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who withdrew from the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race last week, and GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy.
In recent months, Ackman has garnered public attention for his critique of elite universities’ handling of antisemitism on campus, particularly in the aftermath of Hamas’ terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7.