Billionaire Bill Ackman joined an X Spaces with Elon Musk and Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) Monday to complain about the Democratic National Committee’s full-fledged support for President Joe Biden ahead of the 2024 election.
“I think it’s an embarrassment to our country, and I’m ashamed,” Ackman said of Phillips being left off primary ballots in several states.
Phillips, who announced his presidential bid in late October, has called Biden a threat to democracy and frequently criticizes the cognitive ability and age of the president, who is 81.
His longshot presidential bid received a $1 million boost from Ackman on Monday, as Ackman argued: “he has a credible path to winning the nomination despite what the oddsmakers may think.”
Ackman—who fueled a wave of recent headlines for his push to oust ex-Harvard president Claudine Gay and the subsequent reporting on plagiarism allegations against his wife—said that he understood that the original logic of coalescing behind Biden is that the Democratic party didn’t see any other candidate with a path to beat former President Donald Trump. But he echoed concerns about Biden’s ability to actually beat Trump again.
“Now that, as Biden falls further and further behind in the polls as his health and cognitive health sort of obviously deteriorates, I think there’s got to be grave concern,” Ackman said. “All of that being said one wants to say the emperor has no clothes.”
Similarly, Musk argued in favor of Phillips being included on primary ballots, stating that “political parties shouldn’t think that they know better than the public.”
“I’m against anything that undermines the democratic process, and certainly, getting candidates … that are quite viable removed from ballots is taking that decision away from the public, which is fundamentally anti-democratic, that’s insane,” Musk said.
Phillips entered the primary race against Biden late, preventing him from being added to ballots in some states. In Florida, a judge rejected his recent lawsuit to force a primary after Florida Democrats essentially canceled voting because Biden was the only candidate.
According to RealClearPolitics’ average of recent Democratic primary polls, Biden is heavily favored at 70%. Phillips notches 3% on average, behind author Marianne Williamson.
But if Phillips somehow pulls off his bid, cabinet positions could await both Ackman and Musk.
Speaking about his potential first 100 days as president, Phillips promised on the Space to build “the most extraordinary bipartisan Cabinet in American history,” adding: “maybe we’ll have a third of them on this spaces right now.”