'This is what panic looks like': Sanders team hits back after Wall Street criticism

Dominic Rushe in New York
Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

Bernie Sanders’ campaign has accused the “Wall Street elite” of panicking after one of its leading figures attacked the presidential candidate in the wake of two straight victories in the nomination process.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday Lloyd Blankfein, former chief executive of Goldman Sachs, said Sanders’ election would “screw up” the US economy and delight Russia.

“If Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the US. Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military. If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around,” he wrote.

But the Sanders camp hit back on Wednesday.

“This is what panic from the Wall Street elite looks and sounds like,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, responded in a tweet.

Blankfein’s post came after Sanders won the Democratic primary race in New Hampshire, his second win in the nomination battle after a narrow victory over rival Pete Buttigieg in Iowa.

Sanders has said that billionaires “should not exist” and proposed a wealth tax on the richest Americans.

Blankfein – who has a personal fortune of over $1bn – announced his retirement in July 2018 after 12 years at the head of Goldman Sachs. He has sparred with Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, in the past over Sanders’ plans to limit the amount of their own shares companies are allowed to buy back.

In 2012 Sanders called Blankfein the “face of class warfare” for supporting cuts to social security, Medicare and Medicaid and the two have previously sparred on Twitter.

Blankfein, a registered Democrat, supported Hillary Clinton in the last election.