This campaign season has already been so long that it’s sort of hard to believe we still haven’t even hit the first round of Democratic presidential debates. If you believe the word of New York supermarket magnate and top Republican donor John Catsimatidis, current frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden is reportedly already cozying up to top Republican donors.
The Gristedes supermarket owner and CEO told CNBC that on Monday, he attended a fundraiser for Biden at the New York home of investor and short-seller Jim Chanos, at which he said Biden spoke to him for about 10 minutes and asked for his help. “I just smiled,” Catsimatidis told CNBC.
“I think Joe Biden is the most common sense nominee of the 23 people running in the Democratic Party,” he told the network. “Monetarily, I did not commit to helping him but I will help him brotherly, on my radio show and with all my media contacts.”
When reached by Splinter, the Biden campaign declined to comment on the CNBC report. In case there was any question, however, the Gristedes grocery store founder tweeted his support for Trump today.
According to FEC reports, Catsimatidis gave the Trump Victory Fund $100,000 in 2016, in addition to tens of thousands to PACs affiliated with the House and Senate Republicans, former Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican National Committee, current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and more. Catsimatidis hasn’t just given to Republicans, however; over the course of the same cycle, Catsimatidis also gave over $83,000 to Hillary Clinton and over $66,000 to the Democratic National Committee, and CNBC notes that he also donated to the campaigns of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
In total, the Catsimatidis family gave over $200,000 to Democrats and nearly a million to Republicans in 2016. In 2018, the family gave over $850,000 to Republicans and over $76,000 to Democrats. Catsimatidis also been involved in politics himself, running a failed Republican bid for New York City mayor in 2013.
According to a pool report from the event, interestingly enough, Biden struck a Warrenesque tone during the event. “Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity. Everyone should be given half a chance,” Biden reportedly said. “You know, you guys are great but Wall Street didn’t build America. You guys are incredibly important but you didn’t build America. Ordinary, hard-working, middle-class people given half the chance is what built America.”
Even though Biden isn’t getting the support of Catsimatidis, however, there were reportedly plenty of other wealthy Republicans at the fundraiser. Per CNBC:
Catsimatidis was not the only Republican at the donor meeting Monday. Former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato was also there. Other notable guests at the event included former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who served under former President Barack Obama and Trump; Michael Kempner, CEO of public relations firm MWWPR; and real estate executive Bruce Mosler.
You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, get ‘em to max out their donations.