* Last night, Gov. Mitt Romney said this in response to President Barack Obama’s claim that Romney had invested in some Chinese companies…
“Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in — in Chinese companies,” Romney said.
Romney then asked: “Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?”
Obama responded: “I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.”
Romney then charged that Obama holds investments in companies based in foreign countries
“Look at your pension,” Romney said. “You also have investments in Chinese companies. You also have investments outside the United States. You also have investments through a Cayman’s trust.”
* From Fox News…
Asked to substantiate the nominee’s claim, the Romney campaign pointed primarily to the president’s Illinois pension fund.
According to Obama’s latest financial disclosure form, the assets in that account are between $50,000 and $100,000. And the 2011 report from the Illinois State Board of Investment listed dozens of Chinese companies from China Mobile to China Oilfield Services.
It’s unclear how many of those Chinese firms are in Obama’s specific portfolio. The board estimates that across all its funds, 19 percent of the assets are in foreign securities.
What Fox doesn’t mention is that the “president’s Illinois pension fund” is via the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System. From the Washington Post…
To our mind, there’s a qualitative difference between a pension-plan investment portfolio and earning returns from contemporary stock investments.
The Romney campaign explains that his point was that international investments are a crucial part of investing today — and that just as Obama has no control over the investments made by his pension fund, Romney has no control over investments made by funds that are part of his blind trust. The Romney campaign says that 19 percent of the Illinois pension fund’s investments are in foreign companies, including dozens of Chinese companies.
“Obama has a pension, managed by the IL Pension fund. He has no control over how they invest it, and they invest some of it in Chinese companies,” a Romney spokesman said. “Romney has a blind trust. He has no control over how the trustee invests it, and the trustee invests some of it in funds that invest in Chinese companies.”
So, will Democratic and Republican legislative challenges now start beating up incumbents for investing in China and having money in a “Cayman’s trust”? Stay tuned, campers.
That’s snark, of course.
Then again, the state House Democrats have been sending mailers blasting just about every Republican candidate for wanting to decimate Medicare and Social Security. At least the Chinese/Cayman claim is somewhat based in reality.