Barry Sternlicht dumps on Trump over Proud Boy remarks

Telling white supremacist group to “stand by” “literally empowers them,” Starwood boss says of president’s debate comments

National /
Oct.October 01, 2020 03:00 PM
Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht and President Donald Trump (left)(Getty; iStock)

Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht and President Donald Trump (Getty; iStock)

Starwood Capital Group’s Barry Sternlicht planned to vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden even before watching Tuesday’s presidential debate.

But President Donald Trump’s response to a question about white supremacy — that the far-right extremist group known as the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by” — was a breaking point for the billionaire investor.

“The president’s comment mirrored his comment in Charlottesville that there were good people on both sides,” he told The Real Deal in an email this week, referring to the violent white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in 2017. “There are no good Nazis. Full stop.”

Sternlicht cited his family’s own struggles with violent anti-Semitism and said he believes Trump is provoking far-right extremists “so they can wreak havoc if he loses the election.”

“My father was a Holocaust survivor,” Sternlicht wrote. “America is the opposite of a country of racists and extremists, which sadly exist on both sides of the political spectrum. To tell the Islamaphobic, racist and anti-Semitic Proud Boys to ‘stand by’ literally empowers them.”

Sternlicht first commented on the president’s response during a panel held at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference on Wednesday.


A day after the debate, Trump told reporters that he doesn’t “know who the Proud Boys are” and said “whoever they are, they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work.” When asked if he denounces white supremacists, he said, “Any form of any of that, you have to denounce.”

Real estate bigwigs usually play their rhetorical cards close to the chest when it comes to presidential elections, preferring to let their wallets do the talking.

“My father was a Holocaust survivor. America is the opposite of a country of racists and extremists, which sadly exist on both sides of the political spectrum.”

Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital Group

Several industry executives, including Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwarzman, developer Steve Witkoff and Red Apple Group’s John Catsimatidis, have donated to Trump’s campaign. So far, though, real estate players have donated more to Biden. In August, Related Companies’ Stephen Ross told The New York Times that he disagreed with the president’s climate policies and described Trump as “divisive.” He said, however, that he supports the president’s economic policies.

But Sternlicht, who describes himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, also noted that he disagrees with Biden’s proposal to increase capital gains taxes, as part of a $4 trillion tax plan. Under the former vice president’s plan, capital gains taxes would be raised for those earning more than $1 million.

“We need to grow the economy, not slice up a shrinking pie,” Sternlicht said. “Why is the pie shrinking? Because our once great education system is failing for the very people we need to help most.”





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Donald Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr with 1125 South Ocean Boulevard (Premier Estate Properties, Getty)
    Trump’s Palm Beach estate listed for rent asking $208K a month
    Trump’s Palm Beach estate listed for rent asking $208K a month
    Don Peebles and Barry Sternlicht with renderings of proposals to develop city-owned property in Miami Beach (Starwood Capital Group, Integra Investments, Comrass Company, Wikipedia, Getty)
    Miami Beach gives preliminary OK to controversial Peebles, Sternlicht office projects near Lincoln Road
    Miami Beach gives preliminary OK to controversial Peebles, Sternlicht office projects near Lincoln Road
    Starwood’s Barry Sternlicht (Getty, iStock)
    Starwood’s a “sea of stability,” prepared for a recession, Sternlicht says
    Starwood’s a “sea of stability,” prepared for a recession, Sternlicht says
    A photo illustration of prominent guests at the Witkoff wedding (via Instagram)
    Nuptials Mar-a-Lago style: Donald Trump, Don Peebles, Barry Sternlicht among real estate elite at Witkoff wedding
    Nuptials Mar-a-Lago style: Donald Trump, Don Peebles, Barry Sternlicht among real estate elite at Witkoff wedding
    Donald Trump and Grant Cardone (Cardone Enterprises)
    Presidential surprise: Donald Trump kicks-off Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference
    Presidential surprise: Donald Trump kicks-off Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference
    Starwood's Barry Sternlicht, Mast Capital's Camilo Miguel Jr. and renderings of The Paragon (Getty, Binyan Studios)
    Mast Capital, Starwood launch sales of planned oceanfront condo project in Miami Beach
    Mast Capital, Starwood launch sales of planned oceanfront condo project in Miami Beach
    Donald Trump and The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
    Trump’s toilet triumph: Guests of the former No. 1 will have more places to go No. 2
    Trump’s toilet triumph: Guests of the former No. 1 will have more places to go No. 2
    From left: Alex Rodriguez and Barry Sternlicht (Getty Images, Starwood Capital Group, iStock)
    Starwood, A-Rod and partner buy South Florida single-family rentals to add to portfolio
    Starwood, A-Rod and partner buy South Florida single-family rentals to add to portfolio
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...