Romney Fundraiser Host Bankrolled Right-Wing Group That Wants To Bomb Iran

via Think Progress

Yesterday, Mitt Romney held three fundraisers in the Hamptons, the exclusive beach towns known as a playground to super-rich New York City financiers.According to the Los Angeles Times, one event was co-hosted by Daniel Loeb, a hedge-funder who turned against President Obama and bankrolled a neoconservative pressure group that called last month for the U.S. to attack Iran. The Los Angeles Times reported:

At Romney’s luncheon with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Creeks, supporters were asked to contribute or raise $25,000 per person for a VIP photo reception. Among the co-hosts were lobbyist Wayne Berman, a former bundler for George W. Bush, as well as financiers Lew Eisenberg and Daniel Loeb.

Loeb supported Obama’s first run for president, raising $200,000 for him in 2008. But, comparing Obama to an abusive spouse to the hedge-fund industry — “[Obama] really loves us and when he beats us, he doesn’t mean it,” he told friends in an e-mail — he turned away from Obama and began supporting partisan, right-wing causes.

Among the beneficiaries of Loeb’s shifting political allegiances was a right-wing pressure group called the Emergency Committee For Israel (ECI). According to FEC filings, Loeb remains the largest single overall donor to ECI’s PAC.

Led by neoconservative don Bill Kristol, ECI is best known for publishing patently dishonest attackson Obama, smear campaigns against its ideological opponents, and attempting to paint the Occupy Wall Street Protests as anti-Semitic (trying to discredit Occupy seems a natural move for a hedge-funder).

Last month, ECI launched a television ad calling on Obama to bomb Iran. Watch it here:

Kristol quickly followed-up on ECI’s pro-war ad with a long article in the Weekly Standard calling for Congress to authorize war with Iran — only the latest in a long line of such calls from Kristol.

Romney’s Iran policy is more difficult to nail down. The presumptive GOP nominee regularly employs militaristic rhetoric toward the Islamic Republic, and many of his top foreign policy advisers often call for war with Iran. But when asked how Romney’s Iran policy would be a change from Obama’s, his campaign has a hard time trying to differentiate.

One wonders, though, how quickly the divide will be bridged now that Romney and Kristol are feeding from the same trough.

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.