A handful of wealthy former donors to President Barack Obama contributed last year to the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney’s quest for the GOP presidential nomination, according to campaign filings made public this week.
In a sign that wealthy donors might be tiring of attacks on “the 1 percent,” Restore Our Future collected at least $525,000 from executives who supported Obama and other Democrats in 2008.
While that’s just a drop in the bucket compared with the more than $30 million the group raised in 2011, it could just be the beginning of the defections. Some executives might be holding out in an effort to miss the hype surrounding the first reporting deadline, fundraisers said.
John Griffin, the president of Blue Ridge Capital, who gave nearly $138,000 to Democrats, including Obama, during the last two election cycles, contributed $125,000 to Restore our Future in 2011, the reports show. The firm itself gave another $100,000 out of its treasury.
Manhattan real estate tycoons Stephen Ross and Steven Roth — both of whom have contributed extensively to Democrats in the past — also both cut $100,000 checks to the super PAC.
These financial giants are just the latest in a parade of financial services industry executives and firms that have lined up behind Romney in hopes that he would bring a more business-friendly tone to Washington, D.C.
In November, billionaire hedge-funder Ken Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel LLC, announced the he would back Romney.
He raised $50,000 to $100,000 for Obama in 2008 and gave almost $50,000 to Congressional Democrats and party committees in the runup to the election. But this cycle, he’s already given $100,000 to Restore our Future, $300,000 to the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads and almost $40,000 to the Republican National Committee, the reports show.
Several other fund managers switched allegiances last year, including Dan Loeb, one of Obama’s biggest bundlers who rounded up $100,000 to $200,000 in 2008. He has yet to put serious money behind a Romney-focused PAC, but on Dec. 30, he made a $50,000 contribution to American Crossroads.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.