Billionaire Buffett praises socialist Sanders but sticks with Clinton

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NEW YORK CITY (Reuters) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Tuesday praised the presidential campaign of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, even though Buffett said he still backs Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

"I think we all have lessons to learn from him (Sanders)," Buffett said in an interview with Reuters.

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"There are very few candidates that have - not just this election but in past elections - that have campaigned like Bernie Sanders," Buffett continued.

"You know exactly what he feels on everything. He's articulate, and he doesn't go around knocking the other candidates."

Buffett, the head of sprawling conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, is known as the Oracle of Omaha for his investing acumen.

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Billionaire Buffett praises socialist Sanders but sticks with Clinton
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)
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)
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)
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Upstart Sanders has been drawing increasing support and eroding the lead of Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 presidential election.

Nevertheless, Clinton still leads Sanders 43 percent to 28 percent in a Reuters/IPSOS five-day rolling poll on Tuesday.

But Sanders has drawn crowds of thousands nationwide with his fiery populism, including calls to break up big banks, increase social safety nets and boost taxes on the rich.

Buffett -- the world's third-richest person, according to Forbes magazine, with a personal fortune of $72.7 billion -- said that while he agrees with Sanders about the need to help those left behind by the market economy, "I disagree with him very much on the production side."

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