OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — With billionaire investor Warren Buffett looking on, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and expand upon the so-called "Buffett rule'' pushed by the Obama administration to raise tax rates on the richest Americans.
"I want to go even further, because Warren is 100 per cent right, as usual,'' Clinton said at a rally in Omaha, Nebraska that featured a public endorsement from Buffett, the famed investor and one of the wealthiest people in America. "I want to be the president for the struggling, the striving and the successful.''
Introducing Clinton, Buffett offered a litany of statistics describing a growing chasm between the nation's rich and poor, lamenting, "millions and millions and millions of Americans have been left behind.'' Buffett was the namesake for the push by the Obama administration to seek a tax rate of 30 per cent on those earning $1 million or more.
The so-called "Oracle of Omaha,'' said he would be "delighted'' if Clinton takes the oath of office, asserting that she will not forget about middle-class Americans. Buffett said he had watched all of the Republican presidential debates but Clinton was a better choice for voters. "You know, I used to love Abbott and Costello,'' he said. "Vaudeville was never this good,'' he added, suggesting the GOP debates have been comedy.
Clinton was campaigning in deep-red Nebraska, which is holding its caucus on March 5. Clinton says she wants Democrats to tell their Republican friends: "I don't have horns.''
Buffett has referred to Clinton as a "hero of mine'' in the past and predicted last year that she would succeed President Barack Obama, whom he also supported.
Democrats say Buffett carries a rare dual appeal on Wall Street and Main Street. The investment guru's annual shareholder meeting is dubbed "Woodstock for Capitalists'' and drew an overflow crowd of more than 40,000 people from around the globe last spring.
"What he brings to the table is that he's one of the few highly-respected business people who average people view as one of them,'' said Marc Lasry, a New York hedge fund manager and Democratic donor, in an interview. "He's liked by lots of different kinds of people.''
Buffett supported Clinton's first Senate campaign in 2000, raised money for her presidential campaign in 2008 and later endorsed Obama and appeared at fundraisers for the president.