Dozens of Obama 2008 Wall Street donors now support Romney

By Kase Wickman
Monday, August 22, 2011 12:37 EDT
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Many deep-pocketed backers of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign now have eyes for a different candidate, financial disclosure forms show. Sixty-seven Wall Street executives — and former Obama backers — have instead put their money behind former Masschusetts governor and Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney.

The bankers, who live in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, have together contributed more than $147,000 to Romney’s campaign thus far, The Hill reported.

Obama has been hot and cold about Wall Street and the mega-banks during his administration. Lately, he’s been cold: Obama said he would not allow Wall Street to “take the money and run” and has pushed for reform that he said would make taxpayer bailouts a thing of the past.

Recently discovered documents showed that the Federal Reserve loaned Wall Street more than $1.2 trillion of taxpayer money during the financial crisis of 2007-2008. He also called for tax hikes for the wealthy during the recent debt ceiling negotiations.

However, Obama hasn’t entirely shunned the financial sector. His new chief of staff, William Daley, is a former JPMorgan Chase executive. Cornel West criticized Obama in April, calling him “another black mascot” for “Wall Street Oligarchs.”

One anonymous banker, a former Obama donor who now supports Romney, said that he and his colleagues feel betrayed by Obama’s slams on their industry and attempts to raise taxes.

“Everybody I speak to is on the same boat — disappointment,” he told The Hill.

In 2008, more than half of these 67 donors also gave money to a Republican candidate, 15 of them to Romney. This year, however, only three of the 67 have chosen to put their money behind Obama as well as Romney.

Data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that Obama has still raked in millions from donors in the financial sector for his reelection campaign. Investment professionals make up Romney’s top donor group, the data shows.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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