Home Depot co-founder lashes out at Warren over anti-millionaires jabs: ‘What the hell did she do’ to earn her millions?
Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus blasted Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., over her attacks on wealthy Americans, which Warren continued in Thursday's PBS Democratic debate.
Marcus said Warren, who Forbes reported as having a net worth of around $12 million, likely didn't work up the corporate ladder the same way he did as the son of impoverished immigrants in Newark, N.J.
On "Your World," host Neil Cavuto asked Marcus — who co-founded the home improvement giant with current Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, philanthropist Ken Langone and others — if Democrats' claims that capitalism has failed Americans are true.
"It's not only made me a wealthy person," Marcus said of capitalism, "We have over 400,000 people [employed] at Home Depot. I would estimate that we’ve had millions [of people] working for the Home Depot since 1979 when we started the company. How many millionaires have we created, forget about myself?"
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Cavuto responded by pointing to comments by Warren that most wealthy Americans have others to thank for their success.
"Elizabeth Warren said that you didn't do that — that there were a lot of people that made that possible — that it wasn't you, it wasn't Ken Langone, you didn't think of that."
Earlier this year, Warren said at a debate that her "problem" with people that have made "fortune[s] in America" is that they built that … in part using workers all of us helped educate. You built it getting your goods to market on roads and bridges all of us helped pay for. You built it, at least in part, protected by police and firefighters all of us help pay the salaries for."
Marcus responded by telling Cavuto that he worked 80-hour weeks during Home Depot's early days.
"The government didn’t help me, I must tell you. The government did everything they could to stop me from being successful," he said, turning his attention to Warren.
"You know, to hear this nonsense, look at her: How much money is she worth today and what the hell did she do to get that money?"
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"Did she work the way I worked? I doubt it very much."
Marcus said his life has been the American dream. "[I] came out of nowhere," he remarked.
"My parents were Russian immigrants — poor as possibly could be. Who could've ever dreamed that I could achieve what I've achieved in my life? Only because this is America and only in America could you do that."
Warren was born in Oklahoma in 1949 and had a self-described lower-middle-class upbringing. The now-senator eventually became a commercial law professor at several universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and Harvard.