During the 2nd presidential debate Mitt Romeny threw a glancing, barely above the belt gut shot at the President attempting to link Obama’s investments to China and the Caymans. It was a to blunt the Obama campaign’s foreign investment attacks against the former governor who has significant sums invested in the Cayman Islands, China and other countries. The attacks were meant to call into question Romney’s loyalties to America. His sidelong blow against the President on this topic proves fairly weak when assessed in full.
Obama’s investments include, among those in a couple of investment firms, a large amount of U.S. Treasury bonds which illustrate a preference to keep his money close to home as compared to Romney’s large holdings in foreign countries. And keeping with his focus on education, he has invested in his own children’s academic futures by stoking away funds for their college careers.
The Chinese and Cayman Island investments Romney referenced in the debate are quite paltry when one peers into the actual numbers.
The claim refers to Mr. Obama’s Illinois pension, which the president in his ethics filings has valued at between $50,000 and $100,000.
The Illinois State Board of Investment’s 2011 annual report said it had 19% of its $11.5 billion invested outside the U.S., including holdings in many Chinese companies.
To back up the candidate’s assertion about the Cayman Islands, the Romney campaign pointed to a $17 million investment by the Illinois fund in a Caymans-registered partnership — the equivalent of 0.15% of the fund’s total holdings.
The Romney campaign said the comparison between the Illinois pension and Mr. Romney’s estimated $190 million to $250 million portfolio was justified.
It is also worth noting what he chose to do with his Nobel Prize award;
- $250,000 to Fisher House, which gives free housing to veterans and military families getting medical treatment.
- $200,000, plus any remaining unallocated money, to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund of the Clinton Foundation, a fund that helped rebuild Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
- $125,000 to the American Indian College Fund, which gives scholarships to Native Americans.
- $125,000 to the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation, which gives scholarships to low-income residents of the Appalachia region.
- $125,000 to College Summit, an organization that aims to raise college enrollment rates.
- $125,000 to the Posse Foundation, which provides full scholarships to extraordinary high school students.
- $125,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which gives scholarships to Latino students.
- $125,000 to the United Negro College Fund, which gives scholarships to Black students.
- $100,000 to Africare, an organization that builds wells and treats disease in Africa.
- $100,000 to the Central Asia Institute, which focuses on education and public health, primarily for girls in Central Asia