Post Reporter: Romney's Free Trade Principles a 'Vulnerability'

     Picking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate could hurt Republican Sen. John McCain because of “vulnerability” stemming from his successful businesses and support for free trade, according to a Washington Post reporter.


     “On the whole subject of trade deals and free trade agreements is that a vulnerability, a potential vulnerability on the side of Mitt Romney?” Andrea Mitchell asked Post reporter Chris Cillizza on the August 28 broadcast of “MSNBC Live”.


     “It absolutely is,” said Cillizza, who writes “The Fix” blog at “And that’s a calculation I think the McCain campaign has to make. Yes, Mitt Romney has great business bona fides. Built a business, he used that line many times in the primary: ‘I know why jobs come and I know why they go.’”


     “The other side of that, however, is he worked for a company called Bingham Capital that occasionally engaged in leverage buyouts, that means shipping jobs overseas. That’s not the kind of thing that’s going to go over well in these rust belt states where McCain needs to perform well, most notably Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania,” Cillizza said.


     Earlier in the broadcast Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm hinted how the Democratic Party would go after Romney.


     “Michigan is going to be all about this issue of contrasts since John McCain and Mitt Romney are both inveterate free traders without enforcing and supporting our manufacturing industry. Michigan’s a state that has seen tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of jobs lost to Mexico, India and China. Those are fighting words in Michigan,” Granholm said.


     The Los Angeles Times blog, “Top of the Ticket,” wrote August 28 that Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe called Romney a “job-killing machine.”

     But business, and especially hedge fund business, is no stranger to political campaigns – even Obama’s.

     After an analysis of campaign records by The New York Times August 5, reporters found that about two-thirds of his fund-raisers who have each collected contributions totaling $50,000 or more “are concentrated in four major industries: law, securities and investments, real estate and entertainment.”

     “At least 100 Obama bundlers are top executives or brokers from investment businesses: nearly two dozen work for financial titans like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs or Citigroup. About 40 others come from the real estate industry,” the Times reported.

     The Times also pointed out that hedge fund workers gave money to both candidates.

     The article points to Kenneth C. Griffin, a hedge fund executive with Citadel Investment Group in Chicago, who collected more than $50,000 for Obama and helped hold a fund-raiser for Mr. McCain.