Eight of the top ten contributors to Mitt Romney’s campaign for president are Wall Street banks or large financial institutions. The list includes influential names like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Coincidentally each of these firms want Wall Street reform to be repealed, passed in 2010 under President Obama and a Democratic Congress, a position staked by Mitt Romney and other Republican presidential candidates.
The contributions from Romney’s top ten largest contributors amount to $1.65 million, over 5 percent of the $32.21 million that he has hauled in to date. Goldman Sachs topped the list at $354,700, followed by Credit Suisse Group ($195,250); Morgan Stanley ($185,800); HIG Capital ($176,500); Barclays ($155,250); Kirkland & Ellis ($129,100); Bank of America ($121,500); PricewaterhouseCoopers ($118,250); EMC Corp ($117,300) and JPMorgan Chase ($109,750).
While Romney relies almost solely on Wall Street money among his largest contributors, President Obama has seen a wide variety of support in his bid for re-election. The top contributors to the incumbent president are noticeably smaller with the largest single source being Microsoft employees at $170,323. Rounding out the top ten are Comcast ($116,155); Harvard University ($94,225); Google ($90,166); University of California ($83,679); DLA Piper ($79,375); Chopper Trading ($64,815); Skadden, Arps et al ($64,162); Stanford University ($62,928) and Ballard, Spahr et al ($61,300).
Mitt Romney has proven to be one of Wall Street’s biggest defenders. He has used talking points sympathetic to the financial industry on the campaign trail, saying that the “extent of regulation in the banking industry has become extraordinarily burdensome following Dodd-Frank” and that “I’d like to repeal Dodd-Frank, recognizing that some revisions make sense.” As one would expect, Romney was critical of Occupy Wall Street: “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare.”
Romney was the target of Occupy Wall Street protesters on Wednesday in New York City as he held a $2,500-a-plate dinner in midtown Manhattan. Protesters compared the candidate to the fictional Wall Street financier Gordon Gekko, a defender of greed and corruption. As the founder of Bain Capital, Romney oversaw the purchase of low-cost companies and turned them profitable by laying off workers.
All of the data in this article comes from OpenSecrets.org, a non-partisan group that tracks campaign contributions. Campaign contributions are publicly available information released by the Federal Election Commission. Readers are encouraged to browse the website to hold all candidates and elected officials accountable.