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

Sometimes the qualities that make a strong candidate in one pool make them a weak candidate in another pool.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would hurt Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain as a running mate because of "vulnerability" stemming from his successful businesses and support for free trade, according to a reporter for The Washington Post.

"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 called McCain and Romney "inveterate free traders" and headed some warning to Romney:

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.

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." The Times also reported:

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.

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