Former Vice President Joe Biden is preparing for a June fundraising blitz in New York, where he will be joined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the short seller Jim Chanos, CNBC has learned.
The main event of Biden’s trip will be at Chanos’ home, according to people familiar with the matter. Cuomo will attend and introduce Biden there.
They will be joined by several prominent New York real estate executives, including Bruce Mosler, chairman of global brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield, Hal Fetner, CEO of Fetner Properties, and Kenneth Fisher, a co-managing partner at Fisher Brothers, the people added.
Biden’s plan to hit up top Democratic donors in New York is the latest example of his aggressive fundraising approach as he contends for the right to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. Throughout the 2018 congressional midterm elections, New York City financiers combined to give just over $272 million to Democratic causes, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Biden leads the sprawling Democratic 2020 primary field by large margins, according to most polling.
Cuomo’s decision to attend one of Biden’s first New York fundraisers comes after the governor indicated to party donors that he’s looking to open his formidable fundraising network to the former Delaware senator, CNBC first reported. The governor publicly threw his support behind Biden in April, saying: “I think he has the best chance of defeating President Trump, which I think is the main goal here.”
CNBC also reported that Chanos was slated to attend at least one of the New York fundraisers next month and that Biden is preparing for a California Bay Area money-making tour at the end of June. In his first official day in the race, Biden raised $6.3 million, more than any other 2020 Democrat did on their first day. Chanos said in February that he would back Biden for president.
The reception at Chanos’ home will take place the evening of June 17, and tickets are expected to go for up to $2,800 per person. Real estate executives had been planning a separate fundraising breakfast for Biden but organizers decided to fold their event into one.
People close to the Biden campaign said they expect at least 150 people to attend. Consolidating the two events, they said, made it possible for Biden to save time for other events during his New York trip. About 40 donors were expected to attend the breakfast.
Fetner, who was organizing the breakfast with Mosler, said in an email that he was unaware their event would be blended into the Chanos reception.
“I am happy to try and help Biden in any way,” Fetner said. Mosler declined to comment.
RXR Realty CEO Scott Rechler, who was also part of the group looking to host the breakfast for Biden, told CNBC he’s helping the former vice president in the fundraising circuit but declined to provide details on what to expect when he’s in town.
“I’ve been a long-time Biden supporter. I plan to support him when it comes to New York as well,” Rechler said Tuesday. “I think the people believe Joe brings a level of foundation, stability and insights that a lot of people have been supportive of for a long time,” he added.
There will be at least two other smaller gatherings for Biden during his visit to New York, which could carry into June 18, sources added.
Chanos and representatives for Biden and Cuomo did not return requests for comment.
Biden is continuing to dominate in polls of Democratic primary voters. A Real Clear Politics polling average has Biden up 17 points over his closet rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Biden’s strength in the race has caught the attention of Trump, who has turned the former vice president into one of his biggest targets.
In a tweet, Trump bashed Biden for his role in the 1994 crime bill. During the president’s visit to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump sided with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s purported assertion about Biden’s intellect.
“Well, Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a ‘low-IQ individual.’ He probably is, based on his record. I think I agree with him on that,” Trump said. “I can tell you Joe Biden was a disaster with his administration with President Obama. They were basically a disaster when it came to so many things, whether it was economy, whether it was military defense, no matter what it was they had a lot of problems, so I am not a fan.”