Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, said Wall Street bankers don’t believe they’ve been embraced by President Barack Obama and are consequently withholding their support.
“Wall Street certainly doesn’t feel loved,” Buffett told Charlie Rose in an interview broadcast on PBS. “I think there was some rhetoric that contributed to that.”
Buffett, 81, is seeking to draw backers for Obama’s re- election and planned to attend a fundraiser for the president in New York. The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. did at least five television interviews yesterday on topics ranging from politics to the economy to the European debt crisis. On PBS, Buffett said that Obama’s policies helped banks recover from the recession.
“You take the number of people making a million dollars or over on Wall Street and you can fill a very large auditorium,” Buffett said. “I think the president felt, ‘My God, look at all the things we did for business, and they’re unappreciative, and I’m all that stands between them and the pitchforks.’”
Obama has been accused of “class warfare” by Republicans including House Speaker John Boehner for seeking to close the deficit by raising taxes on the wealthy. Obama has asked Congress to enact a so-called Buffett rule, requiring those earning annual incomes of $1 million or more to pay taxes at a rate similar to that of middle-income Americans.
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