Buffett endorses Clinton, likens Republican debate to Vaudeville

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Buffett: I'll Be Delighted When Clinton Takes Oval Office

Billionaire Warren Buffett pitched his support behind Hillary Clinton during a campaign stop on Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska, saying that he and the Democratic presidential candidate share a commitment to helping the less affluent.

Introducing Clinton at the rally, Buffett recited statistics about how incomes for the wealthiest people in the U.S. have gone up seven-fold during the last two decades, as their tax rates have fallen. While Buffett said he doesn't condemn the rich, he said the odds were stacked in their favor.

More from Bloomberg.com: White House Signals Support for Plan Allowing Oil Exports

"That's a primary reason -- there's a lot of other reasons, but it's a primary reason -- why I'm going to be so delighted when Secretary Clinton takes the oath of office," Buffett said. "She will never forget the people who haven't shared the same way" in the nation's prosperity.

See photos of Buffett at the Clinton rally in Omaha:

12 PHOTOS
Warren Buffett Hillary Clinton rally
See Gallery
Buffett endorses Clinton, likens Republican debate to Vaudeville
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks at a Clinton Grassroots Organizing Event in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
OMAHA, NE-DECEMBER 16: Billionaire Businessman Warren Buffett introduces Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton at a Town Hall rally at Sokol Auditorium December 16, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, waves to supporters as she walks on stage at a Grassroots Organizing Event in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks at an election event for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laughs as billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks at a Clinton Grassroots Organizing Event in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, at a Clinton Grassroots Organizing Event in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his daughter Susie, listen to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak at a Clinton Grassroots Organizing Event in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his daughter Susie listen as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a Grassroots Organizing Event in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
OMAHA, NE-DECEMBER 16: Billionaire Businessman Warren Buffett listens to Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton at a Town Hall rally at Sokol Auditorium December 16, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska. Clinton has the majority support among Democrats over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, greets attendees following an event with Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., not pictured, at Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. Buffet said at the rally that he was supporting Clinton's bid for president because they share a commitment to help the less affluent. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
OMAHA, NE-DECEMBER 16: Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets supporters as she arrives at a Town Hall rally at Sokol Auditorium December 16, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska. Clinton was introduced by Billionaire Businessman Warren Buffett. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The event Wednesday was a rare appearance for Buffett at a political rally. It followed a fundraiser earlier Wednesday at Omaha's Happy Hollow country club, where the candidate and billionaire appeared in conversation in front of about 190 people who donated at least $500 to her campaign to attend, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the event was private.

More from Bloomberg.com: Trump Survives Another Debate Despite Best Efforts of Rivals

The gatherings were the culmination of a long evolution for Buffett. The son of a Republican U.S. congressman, he started shifting his allegiance to Democrats decades ago. In 2008, he backed both Clinton and President Barack Obama in the primaries. And he has since gotten more involved, increasing his donations to candidates and speaking out publicly.

Mocking Republicans

On Wednesday, he also took a few jabs at the Republican Party, likening their debates to a comedy routine.

"I've listened to all the Republican debates," he said. "I mean I used to love Abbott and Costello, people like that. This is really, I'm reliving my youth, I mean, vaudeville was never this good."

More from Bloomberg.com: Trump Promises to Forego Independent Run in Withering Republican Debate

He also singled out Republican front-runner Donald Trump for bragging "every five minutes" about how smart he is.

"Incidentally, I went to Wharton, too," Buffett said, referring to the University of Pennsylvania's business school, which Trump attended. "And I left after two years to go to the University of Nebraska."

Buffett became one of the richest people in the world by building Berkshire Hathaway Inc. into a sprawling conglomerate. In addition to holding major stakes in companies like Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., his company owns insurers, electric utilities, retailers, manufacturers and a railroad.

After Buffett's remarks, Clinton emphasized that she and the billionaire agree that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes. Four years ago, Buffett lent his name to President Obama's proposal that would implement an effective tax rate of at least 30 percent on households earning $1 million or more annually.

Clinton's View

"I'm gonna fight hard to implement the Buffett Rule," Clinton said Wednesday, in reference to that measure. "I want to go even further, because Warren is right, as usual," she added. Clinton, a former secretary of state and U.S. senator, has also pledged not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.

The Democratic front-runner last week began rolling out her proposals on corporate taxes, pledging to work to stop inversions and earnings stripping, both practices involving shifting profits overseas. But, with Buffett sitting on stage behind her, she made no mention of those ideas. Buffett was involved with one of those maneuvers last year when he helped finance Burger King's merger with Canada's Tim Hortons.

RELATED: See Warren Buffett through the years

14 PHOTOS
Warren Buffett through the years
See Gallery
Buffett endorses Clinton, likens Republican debate to Vaudeville
Warren Buffett speaks to the media during a press conference Monday, June 26, 2006 in New York. Buffet, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, recently announced his intention of giving 10 million shares of his company to charitable organizations, the majority going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (L) cofers with billionaire investor Warren Buffet (R) during a meeting with Wall Street investors at the Ritz Carlton hotel February 25, 2004 in New York City. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Kathy WILLENS (Photo credit should read KATHY WILLENS/AFP/Getty Images)
Investor Warren Buffet participates in the Treasury Conference on U.S. Capital Markets Competitiveness, Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at Georgetown University in Washington. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
CLEVELAND - MARCH 25: Philanthropist Warren Buffet (C) wears a LeBron James Witness tee-shirt as he cheers for the Cleveland Cavaliers during a game against the Denver Nuggets March 25, 2007 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
** FILE ** In this May 21, 2008 file photo, U.S. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet speaks during a news conference in Madrid. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is investing at least $5 billion in Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Goldman announced Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul White, file)
Warren Buffet, chairman of Bershire Hathaway, arrives for the annual Allen & Co.'s media conference Wednesday, July 9, 2008, in Sun Valley, Idaho. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
FILE - In this May 2, 2009 file photo, Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, right, waves to shareholders prior to the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway said Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, it has agreed to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe in a deal valuing the railroad at $34 billion.(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)
Warren Buffet heads to lunch after a morning session at the Sun Valley Inn for the 2011 Allen and Co. Sun Valley Conference, Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Sun Valley, Idaho. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Warren Buffett is interviewed in the White House Briefing Room in Washington, Monday, July 18, 2011, following his meeting with President Barack Obama. Obama met with members of the Giving Pledge including, Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, and others to receive and update on the program. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Billionaire investor Warren Buffet at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, Friday, July 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., right, speaks to David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, during the Economic Club of Washington dinner event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Buffett said he doesn't expect another U.S. recession unless Europe's crisis spreads. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks at an event called, 'Detroit Homecoming' September 18, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The purpose of the invitation-only event of Detroit expatriats is to give the group a chance to reconnect, reinvest and reinvent with their hometown. The topic of Buffet's conversation was, 'Why I'm Bullish on Detroit.' (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Warren E. Buffett, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., participates in a NADA Automotive forum happening in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show, Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Buffett Endorses Clinton, Likens Republican Debate to Vaudeville on bloombergpolitics.com

More from Bloomberg.com:
Little Risk Taking at Year's Final Republican Debate
The Most Combative Republican Debate of 2015, by the Numbers
Help! I'm Crushing It in Iowa But Drinking Alone: Read My Lips

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners