||Marc Lasry (Photo: Bloomberg)|
Can Barack Obama take hedge fund money and simultaneously slam Mitt Romney’s private equity past? That’s the question being asked as the president attends a $40,000-per-ticket fundraiser Monday night at the Manhattan home of $13 billion Avenue Capital Group co-founder Marc Lasry.
“Obama Derides Private Equity While Fundraising With Its Supporters,” barked a research report posted by the GOP Monday.
White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the Lasry fundraiser, saying that Obama wasn’t against hedge funds and private equity but instead that Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital taught him how to cut jobs for profit, not create them.
“There’s nothing wrong with profit. You can succeed very well in that field by maximizing profit. That is the goal,” said Carney in response to questions from a reporter Monday. “The point simply is that job creation is not the goal.”
Carney also praised financial industry supporters of the president because they would likely pay higher taxes, a nod to the debate over the tax treatment of carried interest. "Folks who know that supporting the president and the president's success would mean that they would have to pay a little bit more…speaks extremely well of those folks," Carney said.
Lasry recently said he believes private equity managers “do very good work” on CNBC’s Squawk Box. He has raised between $200,000 and $500,000 this election cycle for the President, according to campaign bundler disclosures. He joins other brand name managers, including David Shaw, founder of D. E. Shaw & Co., Frank Brosens of Taconic Capital Advisors and Orin Kramer of Boston Provident, as supporters of the president.
About 50 people were expected at the Lasry event, according to the Associated Press. It was one of three New York City fundraisers the same day that were expected to bring in $3.6 million, according to Politico. They included a 500-person gala at the Waldorf-Astoria ($2,500 ticket minimum) featuring rocker Jon Bon Jovi and a 1,700-person concert at the New Amsterdam Theater ($250 ticket minimum). Dubbed “Broadway for Barack,” the event was slated to feature James Earl Jones, Neil Patrick Harris, Stockard Channing and others, according to CBS News.
UPDATE: Obama at Lasry fundraiser: Republicans think "all regulations are bad"