Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
Lloyd Blankfein said Tuesday that politicians like 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren — whom Blankfein recently accused of "tribalism" — are moving away from "populism" toward "a kind of demagoguery."
"I used to be kind of a moderate Democrat and now, without having moved anything, I've become like a – in their eyes, kind of a right-winger because I don't want to blow up the financial system," Blankfein said on CNBC's "Halftime Report." He was also referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren's fellow progressive and presidential candidate.
"It's an odd time where we're shifting a bit from populism, where you want to represent underrepresented people that feel they didn't have a voice and you want to appeal to them, to a kind of demagoguery [where] you're labeling people as villains who may not have a role in the problem just to vilify them and improve your own prospects," Blankfein said.
Blankfein, the 65-year-old Goldman Sachs senior chairman, drew attention last week in a campaign ad promoting her proposed tax hike on the wealthiest Americans.
"Vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, not the country," Blankfein tweeted.
He added, in an apparent swipe at Warren's past claims of Native American ancestry, that "maybe tribalism is just in her DNA."
Blankfein didn't deny in his CNBC interview that he had made a thinly veiled reference to Warren's heritage.
"It's like looking at a piece of impressionist art. You ask, 'What was the artist thinking?' It's really for you to take away," Blankfein said with a smirk.
Pressed about the meaning of the tweet, Blankfein merely said, "The message stands."
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