President Obama’s class warfare rhetoric definitely helps him rally his progressive base, but it may be turning off some major political donors who supported him in 2008. Politico’s Mike Allen names a few of the high-profile fundraisers who tried to persuade Gov. Chris Christie to run for president at a meeting yesterday, and it looks like at least one – hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones – was a major Obama bundler in 2008. According to financial disclosures, Jones raked in between $100,000 and $200,000 for the campaign, but he doesn’t appear on Obama’s recently-released list of 2012 bundlers.
Other billionaires at the Christie event included hedge fund titan Stan Druckenmiller and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, who have both publicly railed against the president’s economic policies. And there were reportedly also unnamed attendees who claimed to be former Obama supporters who have grown disillusioned with the president:
Several of Langone’s guests said during the session that they are Republicans, but voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because they disagreed with having Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket.
Several said they were severely disappointed in the president. The biggest complaint was what some called “class warfare.”
While this is a good sign for Republicans looking to pick off Obama backers, there hasn’t been any evidence yet that Obama’s ability to recruit wealthy donors has been seriously impacted. He’s raised at least $35 million from 244 bundlers so far this cycle, although it remains to be seen whether he’ll have as many bundlers as he did in 2008 (560). But for at least some wealthy fundraisers, the president’s bitter tirades about taxes on corporate jets don’t seem to be helping.
As for Gov. Christie, the presence of all of those high-powered kingmakers reportedly didn’t sway him from his previously stated decision not to run. However, the prospect of such major financial backing had to be tempting — maybe it’ll be something for Christie to mull over during his well-timed trip to Iowa next week.