Democrats are underestimating President Donald Trump's chances for reelection just as Republicans doubted Barack Obama's reelection bid in 2012, outspoken Silicon Valley billionaire and venture capitalist Peter Thiel said on Thursday.
"If [Trump] runs again, he'll get re-elected," Thiel said, speaking at a meeting in New York City hosted by the Economic Club of New York.
Thiel was one of Trump's few outspoken supporters in Silicon Valley during the 2016, and was a member of his transition team after his election in 2016. He previously donated $1.25 million to Trump's campaign.
Thiel, who calls himself a libertarian, said he is unsure whether there was anything liberal voters learned from Hillary Clinton's defeat, adding that Democrats' "hate factory" handicaps them from seriously engaging with important issues.
Facebook's (FB) first outside investor and one of the co-founders of PayPal (PYPL) , Thiel said he was in the extreme minority in San Francisco, calling the liberal majority in Silicon Valley "almost totalitarian." Thiel said that this near-unanimity, as well as the growing costs and risk of herd-mentality, led him to recently move his personal investment firm, Founder's Fund, from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
"We should ask at one point, [are these benefits of Silicon Valley] a feature, or at what point does this become a bug?" Thiel said.
Thiel, who continues to serve on the board at Facebook, also gave his thoughts on privacy and security in tech. Along with Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Youtube, Facebook has been criticized for publishing graphic and violent content and assembling vast amounts of information about their users.
"Libertarians always dislike regulation ... if [these companies] don't take these issues seriously, the risk is that they will be regulated," Thiel said.
The billionaire also said he believes "charismatic" tech companies and institutions that will make the world better include Bitcoin and biotech, along with ventures from fellow "PayPal Mafia" member Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) .
"My view is that [Bitcoin] will be the equivalent of gold," Thiel said, adding that while it is too cumbersome to replace day-to-day currency, it could serve a similar role as neither Bitcoin nor gold are backed by any government and are seen as a safe bet in the case of "the whole world falling apart."