Thomas Peterffy grew up in socialist Hungary before immigrating to the United States in 1956 at the age of 12. Despite the fact that he couldn’t speak a word of English when he arrived, Peterffy’s hard work and dedication drove him to fulfill his own American Dream. Now a self-made billionaire, Peterffy is sharing his personal experience in a very public way, purchasing millions of dollars worth of air time for a television ad with a cautionary message for American voters: Avoid socialism.
“I grew up in a socialist country and I have seen what that does to people. There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement,” he says with a soft Hungarian accent in the ad. “The nation became poorer and poorer, and that’s what I see happening here.”
Peterffy says he plans to spend between $5 and $10 million on the ad, which will run on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and other channels in key swing states. Although he doesn’t endorse any specific candidate in the ad, the computer programmer-turned-business owner sends a clear message: ”America’s wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success. Take away their incentive with badmouthing success and you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy,” he says.
“It seems like people don’t learn from that past. That’s why I’m voting Republican and putting this ad on television.”