CNBC Anchor Gets Choked Up At The Notion Of Billionaire Leon Cooperman Keeping The Government's Hands Off His Money

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Billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman was on Squawk Box this morning discussing a whole mess of issues, including a recent pledge to give away nearly all his money to charity. Cooperman has signed on to the Buffett/Gates initiative to donate half his wealth but today he told CNBC, "Every dollar I make, I'll give it away because what I've planned to leave to my children, that's already been set."

Cooperman went on to start explaining that he just feels like this is "the right thing to do" and helping those less fortunate is what he and his wife "get the most enjoyment out of." But Joe Kernen knew in his heart of hearts there was another reason.

There'd been something emotional stirring in him the entire interview and at this moment he had to interject or he was just going to explode. "Did it have anything to do," Kernen asked, his voice shaking, "...did it have anything to do, philosophically..." [long pause in which JK lets out a sort of 'laughing but want to be crying' sound], "...with not wanting to give it to the government, where 90 percent just goes through the cracks?"

This was when Cooperman was supposed to respond, "I really don't WANT to give my loot away to charity, but if it means keeping as much of it from the grubby paws of the federal government as is possible, I will do ANY FUCKING THING." But, god damn the old man to hell, he fucked up the bit and just sort of stared at Kernen looking confused and a bit weirded out, completely screwing up the set up for JK to flash the "I need a minute" sign and turn his head away from the camera, as salty tears fell across his face.

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Leon Cooperman's Beef With President Obama Involves An Unsolicited Copy Of His 14 Year-Old Granddaughter's Self-Published Memoirs And Not One Handwritten Thank-You Note In Return

Last November, hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman penned an "Open Letter To The President Of The United States of America," in which he detailed the many ways Barack Obama was pissing him off. The Omega Advisors founder accused the President (and his "minions") of engaging in class warfare, expressed disbelief that he could attack "capitalists who...fill store shelves at Christmas" and still sleep at night, and advised Obama to "eschew the polarizing vernacular of political militancy," lest he lose* Cooperman's vote the next year.  While LC says that he received a major outpouring of support for his words ("[he] keeps a bulging manila folder of congratulatory notes in his office"), others were less than pleased at what they saw as a guy who actually has done pretty okay under Obama lashing out because his feelings were hurt on the occasions the president was perceived to have a "tone" in his voice when discussing the mega-wealthy ("If I knew where you lived, I’d put a bomb in your car," one person wrote Cooperman to say). Similarly, Cooperman's suggestion, on at least two occasions, that America should be worried about the startling parallels between Obama's rise to power and that of Adolf Hitler,** was met with mixed reviews, including one by his wife in which she called him a "schmuck." And while some*** have found it preposterous that Cooperman would paint himself as a victim of Obama, their astonishment speaks to not knowing the whole story, i.e. exactly what this man- no, this monster- did to Leon. Last July, before he had written the letter, Cooperman was invited to the White House for a reception to honor wealthy philanthropists who had signed Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least fifty per cent of their net worth to charity. At the event, Cooperman handed the President two copies of “Inspired: My Life (So Far) in Poems,” a self-published book written by Courtney Cooperman, his fourteen-year-old granddaughter. Cooperman was surprised that the President didn’t send him a thank-you note or that Malia and Sasha Obama, for whom the books were intended as a gift and to whom Courtney wrote a separate letter, didn’t write to Courtney. (After Cooperman grumbled to a few friends, including Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, Michelle Obama did write. Booker, who was also a recipient of Courtney’s book, promptly wrote her “a very nice note,” Cooperman said.) Now do you understand? Now do you understand? Even Hitler would have sent SOMETHING. Super-Rich Irony [New Yorker] Earlier: Leon Cooperman Doesn't Like The Tone Of President Obama's Voice *Just messing about him ever being in a position to "lose" it, of course. **Settle down, he wasn't saying Obama IS Hitler, would would be biologically impossible, he was just saying Obama is the second coming of Hitler, which is something people should be aware of: “You know, the largest and greatest country in the free world put a forty-seven-year-old guy that never worked a day in his life and made him in charge of the free world,” Cooperman told the New Yorker in May. “Not totally different from taking Adolf Hitler in Germany and making him in charge of Germany because people were economically dissatisfied. Now, Obama’s not Hitler. I don’t even mean to say anything like that. But it is a question that the dissatisfaction of the populace was so great that they were willing to take a chance on an untested individual.” ***Mrs. Cooperman, for example.: She is still a liberal, a position that puts her in the minority in their social circle. “She can be a socialist because she’s married to a capitalist,” Cooperman says of his wife, who is strongly pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. She calls Todd Akin, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry “morons,” and she worries about the underclass. “I care more about the disadvantaged people of America,” she said, comparing her politics with those of her husband.