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Mitt Romney: Wall Street's Candidate?

1:51 PM, Aug 22, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney now the candidate of big finance and Wall Street? Several financial industry donors who gave to Barack Obama in 2008 have shifted their dollars to Romney, the Hill reports.

According to a review of fundraising data, 67 people who work in the financial sector and live in the New York City metro area gave to Obama in 2008 and the former Massachusetts governor in 2011.

The reversals come in the wake of Obama's tough rhetoric on Wall Street, most notably last year when the president was pushing Congress to pass what became known as the Dodd-Frank law.

The 67 individuals who live in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut donated at least once to Obama's 2008 campaign. They have since directed contributions amounting to more than $147,000 toward Romney's presidential campaign.

The article notes that large financial services companies like Blackstone and Goldman Sachs employ the Romney donors, and one anonymous executive cited “disappointment” as the reason many are jumping ship. Only 3 of the 67 donors mentioned have also donated to Obama this year, according to the Hill.

Democrats have already seized on his "corporations are people" comment, painting Romney as the out of touch, pro-corporation candidate. And recent reports that Romney will be “quadrupling” the size of his California beach house certainly don’t help him combat that image. It's possible that the endorsements of Wall Street bankers may further fuel arguments that Romney, who is wealthy in his own right, is out of touch with voters during this economic downturn. 

If Romney is the nominee, the Obama campaign will likely jump at the chance to exploit this Wall Street connection. But, then again, this might be a hard argument to make since only a few years ago, Obama himself was the candidate of Wall Street.

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