Joe Biden's health promises to be one of the central issues of the 2024 presidential elections, if the president maintains his idea of seeking a second term. Democrats and Republicans have commented on the matter and have been joined by group including a major donor to the ruling party, who have directly argued that the president should step aside.
Bill Ackman is the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, a leading hedge fund firm. According to recent estimates by Forbes, his net worth is $3.5 billion, money he has used in part to donate to political campaigns.
Although identified as a "longtime Democratic donor" by the Daily Mail, Ackman is not very enthusiastic about a possible second term for Barack Obama's former vice president. He expanded on his thoughts in a recent interview with Bloomberg, in which he assured that the president should not run for re-election.
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said President Joe Biden risks tarnishing his political reputation by seeking a second term and he should "step aside."
— Bloomberg (@business) November 29, 2023
"I think Biden has done a lot of good things, but I think his legacy will not be a good one if he is the nominee. I do think the right thing for Biden to do is to step aside, to say he is not gonna run and create the opportunity for some competition," he commented.
"It's a full time job. You need to be strong, you need to be at your intellectual best, and I don't think Biden is there. I don't say that with any derision of the president, I always respect the president and want whoever the president is to be sucessful. I think he's clearly passed his physical and cognitive peak," added the philanthropist.
In turn, he took the opportunity to slip in some praise for Dean Phillips, the 54-year-old congressman who seeks to take the Democratic nomination from the president. He confessed to having been "impressed" after holding a meeting with him, which immediately opened the door to a possible donation to his campaign.
Ackman went on to acknowledge that he is “much more open to Republican candidates” than to Biden's re-election, even supporting Nikki Haley and Chris Christie.
The businessman is not the only one concerned about the president's health. Recently Ronny Jackson, a former White House physician, questioned Biden's status in pursuing a second term.
"The decline is occurring rapidly. Like you said, I've taken care of three president, so I know firsthand what it takes to be the commander-in-chief and the head of state. It's a grueling job, both mentally and physically. This man can't do the job. He's proven to us every single day that he can't do the job, but this is going to get worse", he indicated in dialogue with Fox News.
"It's just unbelievable how much he's degenerated just during his time in office. We cannot afford to have this man in office for the remainder of this term and then for another four years after that. He's already putting us at great risk right now," added Jackson, who served under George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.