Nelson Peltz, left, and Joe Manchin
Wall Street veteran Nelson Peltz hosted a $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for Sen. Joe Manchin at the billionaire’s sprawling Florida estate last month, where several top executives said they privately hoped the conservative Democrat would change. party and will run against President Joe Biden in the 2024 election. CNBC has learned.
Peltz, who is a co-founder of the investment fund Trian Partners, hosted Manchin along with at least 50 executives at a luncheon intended to raise money for the West Virginia lawmaker’s re-election campaign, according to someone who attended the event. They declined to be named to discuss the private event.
A spokeswoman for Peltz confirmed that the veteran finance executive hosted the fundraiser and reaffirmed the billionaire’s support for Manchin. Emails to Manchin’s campaign office and a call to his office on Capitol Hill were not immediately returned. Manchin has previously said that he has no plans to change parties.
“Mr. Peltz supports Mr. Manchin. He believes that Mr. Manchin is a rare elected politician from both sides of the aisle who puts country before party, something Mr. Peltz believes is sorely needed in our country today.” “, Anne Tarbell, Peltz’s spokeswoman, said in an email to CNBC. Peltz told CNBC last year that he talks to Manchin every week and has been his personal friend for a decade.
Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, along with Home Depot co-founders Ken Langone and Bernard Marcus, who generally support Republicans, were among the executives at the fundraiser, according to the person who attended the event. Longtime investor Leon Cooperman, who has contributed to those on both sides of the aisle, was also at the luncheon.. Representatives for Schwarzman, Langone, Marcus and Cooperman did not respond to requests for comment.
Over a choice of chicken or fish lunch, Manchin told the crowd of donors that he plans to run for re-election in 2024, according to the aide. Manchín has previously He said he will make a decision on running for re-election after the 2022 midterms.
Peltz’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, is reportedly worth at least $95 million. Virtual Globetrotting, a website that tracks mansions owned by billionaires across the country, shows that Peltz’s waterfront mansion features an outdoor pool, tennis court and basketball court. The venue has played host to other high-profile events, including a fundraiser for the then president donald trump as well as Peltz’s daughter Nicola’s wedding earlier this month for Brooklyn Beckhamthe son of soccer superstar David Beckham and former pop star Victoria Beckham.
Manchin is up for re-election in 2024, but his stance against key elements of his party and Biden’s agenda has previously led to an infusion of campaign donations from a plethora of special interests, included those of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. With the Senate split 50-50, Democrats can’t get much done without the support of Manchin, who has become a key swing vote on issues critical to both parties.
Manchin opposed Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending bill known as Build Back Better and rejected the idea of raising corporate taxes from 21% to 28%. He has said that he is willing to allow corporate taxes to increase. youor a maximum of 25%. Manchin has also previously opposed his party’s proposal for a health tax. Manchin opposed Biden’s pick of Sarah Bloom Raskin to the Federal Reserve board. The climate change activist withdrew her name from consideration after CNBC reported on Manchin’s opposition.
Federal Election Commission files show Home Depot co-founder Marcus contributed two separate $2,900 checks to Manchin’s campaign last month. Cooperman donated $5,000 to Manchin’s re-election campaign in February. Schwarzman and Langone are not listed as Manchin’s donors in his latest filing. Langone previously donated to West Virginia legislator’s re-election campaign and his political action committee at the end of last year. Langone also lavished praise on Manchin during a previous interview with CNBC, and said that he will also organize a fundraising event for him. Manchin’s campaign raised more than $1.3 million from January to the end of March, with just over $7 million available.
Although Manchin told the group that he plans to run for re-election to the Senate as a Democrat, a small group of donors at the event said privately that they hope he will switch parties and run for president as a Republican against Biden in 2024, the aide said. .
This person pointed out that some attendees at the Peltz event, who were once supporters of Trump, see Manchin and his stances against some of his party’s policies as someone who could successfully run in a Republican primary and then possibly defeat Biden.