President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said they will spend Thanksgiving at the Nantucket home of a private-equity billionaire.
In a statement to reporters, the White House said, “The First Family will stay at the home of their friend, David Rubenstein, as they have done previously.” The buyout tycoon’s Nantucket spread spans 13 acres and is worth a reported $20 million.
Rubenstein, who is worth $4.6 billion according to a Forbes estimate, cofounded private-equity behemoth The Carlyle Group. The Washington-based firm, which boasts $293 billion in assets, is known for its leveraged buyouts and investments that have included Dunkin’, Oriental Trading and Hertz.
Biden and his family have spent most Thanksgivings on the upscale Massachusetts island since the 1970s. They stayed at Rubenstein’s compound before — once in 2014 when Biden was vice president.
Photographers snapped photos of the couple descending Air Force One on Nantucket Island on Tuesday evening; however, it’s unclear if other Biden family members will join the festivities.
Rubenstein, 72, is vocal on political matters — including taxes — and has previously slammed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax.
“If you tax the upper income, there aren’t enough of those people to really make a wealth distribution effect that’s going to be significant,” Rubenstein told CNBC in 2019.
Rubenstein also has been a supporter of the carried-interest loophole, a tax break that treats private equity profits like capital gains rather than income. The loophole is seen as a giveaway to financiers since it allows them to pay a lower tax rate on their profits.
Rubenstein isn’t the only Carlyle alum to embrace politics. Ex-Carlyle co-CEO Glenn Younkin just trounced Democrat Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor — despite Biden’s best efforts to campaign for the latter.
Still, the White House was quick to defend Biden’s plans.
“This is a time to put politics aside, spend time with your loved ones and talk about what you’re grateful for,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Biden’s Nantucket plans come as the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is 14 percent higher than it was last year, according to an estimate from the Farm Bureau. Psaki defended White House policies that many economists say have contributed to rising prices.
“There are abundance of turkeys available. They’re about $1 more for a 20-pound bird, which is a huge bird if you’re feeding a very big family, and that’s something that, again, we’ve been working to make sure people have more money in their pockets to address,” she said.