Last week, Marc Lasry defended private equity on national television. "Private equity, do they do God's work or are they vampires?" a CNBC host asked Lasry, who is a hedge fund manager. "I think they do very good work," he replied.
Today, Barack Obama will go to Lasry's New York City home. But the president isn't going to voice his disagreement with the money man; instead, he's going to collect a check--$40,000 per person in attendance.
The context of the discussion on CNBC was that President Obama has criticized his Republican opponent Mitt Romney's work in private equity at Bain Capital. "Your job [as president] is not to simply maximize profits," Obama has said about Romney's experience, contrasting public sector work with private equity. "Your job is to make sure everyone has a fair shot."
The Obama campaign has previously run ads and made TV appearances to push the anti-private equity line. "In a career of buying and selling companies, Romney’s pattern was to reap quick profits for himself and his investors at the expense of workers and communities," one such Obama campaign ad says of Romney's record. "Sometimes it meant sending American jobs overseas. Other times, it meant cutting wages and benefits. In Romney’s economic philosophy, CEOs and wealthy investors prosper by any means necessary, even when it meant companies failed and workers were left behind. Romney believes in two sets of rules – one for people like him, another for everyone else."
But though President Obama has sure gone after private equity, he has proven more than willing to benefit from the money these guys have earned doing their jobs.
Only three weeks agom President Obama held his last fundraiser with private equity folks. That one was at the home of Hamilton E. James, COO of the firm Blackstone.
Today's fundraiser is one of three the president is holding in New York City.
Before today, Lasry had already raised more than $200,000 for Obama's reelection effort.