George Soros, liberal New York billionaire and political activist, told The New York Times Magazine his thoughts on former President Barack Obama — and he didn’t paint the prettiest picture of the former Democratic president.
What are the details?
During the interview, which was published on Tuesday, Soros, 87, said that Obama — who Soros supported in his early days — was “actually my greatest disappointment.”
An aide of Soros, who was attending the interview, quickly urged Soros to quantify his remarks about Obama being the billionaire’s “greatest disappointment.”
After prompting, Soros said that his disappointment did not lie in Obama’s presidency itself, but on a “professional level” instead.
Soros went on to express his disappointment that Obama did not seek his counsel on either financial or economic issues.
“He closed the door on me,” Soros said of Obama after he was elected as president. “He made one phone call thanking me for my support, which was meant to last for five minutes, and I engaged him, and he had to spend another three minutes with me, so I dragged it out to eight minutes.”
He added, “[Obama] was someone who was known from the time when he was competing for the editorship of The Harvard Law Review to take his supporters for granted and to woo his opponents.”
What else did he talk about?
Later in the sit-down, Soros explained his own thoughts on U.S. politics, and professed that he doesn’t “particularly want to be a Democrat.” The Times said that the Republican party’s “extremism” forced Soros’ hand into becoming a Democratic donor and supporter.
Soros also pushed back when the Times’ Michael Steinberger asked if he considered himself to be “center-left,” and said that the left had moved further left — a move with which he was dissatisfied.
“I’m opposed to the extreme left,” Soros explained. “It should stop trying to keep up with the extremists on the right.”
Soros also explained that he wanted to see a “return to bipartisanship,” according to the Times’ Steinberger, and discussed the respect he has for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), as well as female Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Lisa Collins (R-Maine), to whom he said he might consider providing financial support.
“I shouldn’t say that,” he backtracked, however. “That would hurt them.”
According to the report, Soros has contributed $15 million to Democratic candidates and Democratic issues ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
Soros did not name who he would or would not be backing in the 2020 presidential race — he would not commit to backing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and expressed a lack of enthusiasm for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who he said used the #MeToo movement to promote herself.