Mitt Romney campaign strategist Ed Gillsepie accused the White House of favoring its top fundraisers when it comes to government policy on a call with reporters Monday, part of a larger push to try to regain the offense against President Obama.
But Romney refuses to release a list of his biggest backers, meaning there’s no way to tell whether he would correct the problem he’s alleging.
“If you’re a middle-class worker, you’re facing the prospect of layoffs, if you’re an Obama contributor you’re … benefiting from payoffs,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie provided only passing examples to back up his claim: The Obama administration offered a loan guarantee through a Bush-era program to Fisker, an auto company, which used part of the money to do engineering work for a vehicle in America and planned on using the rest building a plant in Delaware. The car itself, however, is assembled in Finland — without any aid from the U.S. government.
An NBC reporter followed up with the obvious question: How should Americans judge the Romney administration on the same count if he takes over? Unlike Obama, Romney does not release a public list of his biggest fundraisers, or “bundlers,” as they are commonly known, meaning it’s difficult to tell just who the administration would owe a favor to in the first place.
Gillespie offered only that Romney’s individual contributors — who are capped by a max donation limit, making bundlers who can package hundreds of donations from wealthy supporters so valuable — are legally required to be made available.
“As you know Gov. Romney’s contributors are made public, they’re disclosed,” Gillespie said. “We’ll continue to do that, but the difference here is the approach in policy: How do you make these decisions? Is it a top-down economy driven by political appointees in Washington, D.C., or is it … driven by working families and consumers and small business owners?”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.