Obama Donors Shifting to Romney

Friday, 28 Oct 2011 03:24 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Business donors who gave more to President Barack Obama in the 2008 election than other candidates appear to be shifting their money and votes this time around to Mitt Romney, according to a report Thursday in the Boston Globe.
In interviews with the Globe, finance company executives in Massachusetts and elsewhere indicated that Obama’s handling of the economy, his administration’s efforts to place more restrictions on financial institutions, and his seeming acceptance of the Occupy Wall Street movement has sent them looking for other candidates.
Many have settled on the former Massachusetts governor, who for years also ran a private equity firm in Boston.
Scott Sperling, co-president of the Boston firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, gave to both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Romney in 2008, but ended up voting for Obama.
This year he has given only to Romney because he’s lost faith in Obama, whose policies — he told the Globe — were supposed to promote the idea that the American Dream can be achieved “no matter where you start.”
But Sperling said current policies are “not only undermining these opportunities, but the divisiveness and class warfare that we are seeing from the administration is both corrosive to our national spirit, and the polar opposite of what the president ran on, and I supported, in 2008.’’
Even some in the finance community who have had disagreements with Romney in the past are now backing his fight for the Republican nomination.
In an interview with the Globe, Marc Wolpow , who left Romney’s old company Bain Capital years ago because of personality and business differences, has given Romney $2,500 this year.
Wolpow, an Independent and partner at Audax Group in Boston, voted for Obama in 2008, but says he’s become frustrated as well with the “populist rhetoric” coming from the Obama administration.
“I don’t want to hear about how bad I am because I’ve been successful,” he told the Globe. He said he believes the American people “would benefit from a debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.’’
Romney is using the discontent to his advantage.
Michael Beckel, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign finance data, told the Globe that the top financial firms have “overwhelmingly favored Romney with their campaign contributions so far this year.”

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