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Meet the billionaires influencing the 2016 presidential election

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Meet the billionaires influencing the 2016 presidential election

Billionaire business magnate Warren Buffett may have officially endorsed Hillary Clinton last year, but he's only just now making waves on the campaign trail.

On Monday, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman joined Clinton at a rally in his home state of Nebraska, delivering a harsh rebuke of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Less noticed, however, was that Buffett's appearance made him the third billionaire in less than a week to publicly aid Clinton in her increasingly contentious fight for the White House.

It's not just Clinton, either. A plethora of billionaires are lining up behind both of 2016's major party presidential nominees. And they're starting to make their support more readily known -- in television appearances, on the campaign trail and in the candidates' pocketbooks.

Here are some of the billionaires backing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and what they likely want from their political investments.

For Clinton: Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett

When it comes to billionaires, Buffett's political leanings have long been seen as relatively liberal. When he endorsed Clinton in December, he called for higher taxes on wealthy individuals. Clinton herself has signaled that she would raise taxes on Americans who earn more than $250,000 per year.

One issue Clinton and Buffett differ on, however, is solar energy. While Clinton has promised to install half a billion solar panels by 2021, Buffett owns an electric utility company in Nevada that's been fighting to hike prices for residents to use rooftop solar panels.

For Trump: Activist investor Carl Icahn

Icahn rose to fame by being a so-called "vulture capitalist" -- in other words, a person who buys stock in public companies and demands large-scale changes in those companies. "My investment philosophy, generally, with exceptions, is to buy something when no one wants it," Icahn has said.

As for his political leanings, Icahn has said he would "back lawmakers who share his views on cutting U.S. corporate taxes on overseas profits," according to the Washington Post. As it happens, Trump's tax plan calls for "an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad."

Regardless of your politics, it's a seminal moment for women.
Oprah Winfrey

For Clinton: Oprah Winfrey

Talk show mogul Oprah Winfrey endorsed Clinton in June, specifically because she said she wanted to see America elect its first female president.

"Regardless of your politics, it's a seminal moment for women," she said. "What this says is, there is no ceiling. That ceiling just went boom. It says anything is possible when you can be leader of the free world."

For Trump: Technology investor Peter Thiel 

In addition to co-founding Paypal, billionaire Peter Thiel is an openly gay, anti-war libertarian from Silicon Valley. Those qualities made him an unexpected presence at the Republican National Convention last month, where he publicly announced his support for Trump, saying he admired Trump's ability to shake things up.

"I am not a politician, but neither is Donald Trump," Thiel said. "He is a builder." 

Thiel has also made waves in recent months for his lawsuits against Gawker Media.

For Clinton: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg, the politically independent former mayor of New York City, endorsed Clinton onstage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last month. He acknowledged he disagreed with her on issues like policing and Wall Street, but said defeating Trump was more important.

"There are times when I disagree with Hillary," Bloomberg said. "But whatever our disagreements may be, I've come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue."

For Trump: Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson

Adelson, the chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp., is not just interested in supporting Trump rhetorically -- he's interested in supporting Trump financially. According to the New York Times, Adelson is "willing to contribute more to help elect [Trump] than he has to any previous campaign, a sum that could exceed $100 million."

Adelson has said he believes America's problems can only be solved with a Republican in the White House, and that Trump's business acumen makes him well qualified.

"He is a CEO success story that exemplifies the American spirit of determination," Adelson has said.

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For more news, check out today's 60 Second Circa. 

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