The Slatest

Jamie Dimon Is Very Sorry for Saying He’s Smarter Than Trump and Could Beat Him in 2020

Jamie Dimon being interviewed on a stage
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jamie Dimon is smarter than Donald Trump, more self-made than Donald Trump, but doggone it, Democrats are too liberal to nominate him to face off against Donald Trump in 2020, at least according to Jamie Dimon.

Then, a few hours later, he apologized.

Dimon was asked about Trump on Wednesday during an event at JPMorgan Chase’s headquarters and said that he would be able to beat the president in an election because “I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn’t work with me. I’d fight right back,” according to CNBC. But, Dimon said, he could never win the Democratic nomination because the party is too liberal and “they just keep on pounding away at business.”

He also played up his Queens bonafides, saying “this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money, it wasn’t a gift from daddy. And I grew up in a poorer part of Queens than he did.” (Dimon did indeed grow up in Queens; his father and grandfather were stockbrokers).

Soon after reports of his remarks, Dimon said in a statement: “I should not have said it. I’m not running for president. Proves I wouldn’t make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems.”

Dimon, like many financial industry executives, has praised the Trump administration’s economic and regulatory policies, especially the corporate tax cuts that slashed rates across the board for businesses, with especially large benefits for banks. He, again, like many in his class of corporate titans, has also criticized Trump’s trade policy and called for more immigration. This type of socially inclusive and business friendly synthesis used to have a stronger foothold in the Democratic Party — and Dimon was was friendly with President Obama before becoming disillusioned with the Obama administration’s regulatory policies and rhetoric toward Wall Street.

Trump, at least on Twitter, has long been a fan of Dimon, saying, “a good CEO is worth keeping” and “a good guy and a great banker” in 2012. Whether Dimon’s quick retraction will preserve that record remains to be seen.