Bernie Sanders’s campaign says he is proud not to include Haim Saban as a backer of his presidential bid.
The Sanders campaign put the pro-Israel entertainment mogul and major Democratic Party funder first on a list of 13 “anti-endorsements” — that is, public figures whose support Sanders either doesn’t want or isn’t getting.
“Bernie Sanders asks to also be judged by those who oppose his policies and the progressive movement,” said a statement Wednesday from the presidential campaign of the Vermont senator.
“Saban is a billionaire that has spent millions of dollars buying elections for his candidates. He called on the United States to bomb Iran in 2014, criticized President Obama’s attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, and attacked senators for urging humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” the list says.
Each “anti-endorsement” includes a past attack on Sanders from the quoted figure. In Saban’s case, the mogul is quoted as recently telling the Hollywood Reporter, “We love all 23 candidates” for president in 2020. “No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders. He thinks that every billionaire is a crook.”
Saban has yet to commit to anyone in the 2020 field.
Of the 13 “anti-endorsements,” six are Jewish: Besides Saban, there are Lloyd Blankfein and Leon Cooperman, both former Goldman Sachs executives; Bob Iger, the Disney CEO; Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chief; and Bernard Marcus, the Home Depot co-founder. Some of the “anti-endorsements” — particularly Marcus — are Republicans and unlikely to give to any Democrat.
Sanders is the first Jewish candidate to win major-party nominating contests when he ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016 for the Democratic presidential nomination.