Republican moneyman Kenneth Langone, the leading force behind a failed effort to recruit New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie into the presidential campaign, said Tuesday he is now supporting Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential primary race, but wistfully opined that he preferred some Democrats who are not in the contest for the White House.
Appearing on the Charlie Rose talk show, the co-founder of Home Depot and former director of the New York Stock Exchange said he would like to vote for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or former President Bill Clinton. Each Democrat, he said, showed the leadership he thinks President Obama has failed to show for nearly three years in office.
“Look, I think right now what we need to do, all of us as Americans, take a step back, forget party affiliation,” Langone said. “As I said, if Gov. Cuomo were to run for the presidency in these circumstances, I would vote for Gov. Cuomo. He is making tough, unpopular decisions that you think somebody of his persuasion would not do.”
Langone was tapped as an economic advisor on Cuomo’s transition team last year. Still, the vocal support of such a prominent Republican for a Democrat like Cuomo is unusual.
Of Christie’s announcement on Tuesday that he would stay out of the contest for the Republican nomination, Langone said, “I feel bad that we’re not going to have the benefit of his leadership, but I’m not disappointed.” Langone led the effort of a collection of wealthy Republican donors to try to get Christie to enter the race.