In a recent interview, billionaire Bill Gates expressed skepticism about the wealth tax proposal of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Gates also said he didn’t want to make a “political declaration.” So, he refused to say unequivocally that he would vote for her over Trump.
When asked directly who he would support in a Warren vs. Trump race, Gates responded:
I do think no matter what policy somebody has in mind a professional approach is–even as much as I disagree with some of the policy things that are out there—I do think the professional approach to the office, whoever I decide would have the more professional approach in the current situation, probably is the thing I will weigh the most. And I hope that the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.”
The repeated use of the word “professional” is the first tell here. Trump has been called out for being unprofessional and unpresidential over and over again during his time in office. It is not a criticism that has been made of Warren.
The second tell is Gates saying, “I hope that the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.” But clearly Gates is NOT saying “I hope that the more professional candidate [Trump] is an electable candidate.”
Obviously Gates is talking about Warren, a candidate whose electability has been a long-time focus of the media and other Democratic candidates.
So Gates could not be clearer that he means “I hope that the more professional candidate [Trump] is an electable candidate.””
Gates said, “I’m all for super progressive tax systems” and “I’m impressed that there are a few candidates that go even beyond my view.” Elizabeth Warren has released her tax plan which is quite progressive. The plan ruffled the feathers of many in the upper echelon. It even sparked a sparring match on Twitter with financier Leon Cooperman.
Leon is wrong. I'm fighting for big changes like universal child care, investing in public schools, and free public college.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 31, 2019
“If I’d had to pay 20 billion it’s fine,” Gates went on to say. He did express a bit of doubt that Warren would want to sit and discuss her tax plan with him. However, since the interview aired, she has agreed to meet. She even sent an assurance that his portion of taxes wouldn’t be unreasonably high.
I'm always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views. @BillGates, if we get the chance, I'd love to explain exactly how much you'd pay under my wealth tax. (I promise it's not $100 billion.) https://t.co/m6G20hDNaV
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019
Before getting to the hard ask, the interviewer mentioned that Gates had expressed “misgivings” about the current President in the past. Gates has been known to crack jokes and tell stories that don’t exactly paint Trump in the best light. He even claims he had to talk Trump out of launching a commission into vaccines causing autism.
So even though he wouldn’t make any “political declarations,” Bill Gates made clear who he supports.