Former president George W. Bush isn’t exactly doing Mitt Romney any favors on the messaging front. As the current face of the Republican party, Mitt’s single biggest challenge has been distancing himself from his image as a business tycoon who got rich by outsourcing American jobs and then keeping big chunks of his fortune in Swiss bank accounts and invested in the Cayman Islands.
On election week, George W. will rub the sketchy Cayman Islands playboy image right in Mitt’s face.
BuzzFeed points out that W. will give the keynote address to the Cayman Islands Alternative Investment Summit, which goes down on Grand Cayman Island November 1-2, less than a week before the presidential election. The other keynote speaker will be the UK’s most famous billionaire playboy, Virgin’s Richard Branson, who owns his very own island not so far from Grand Cayman.
The Summit’s site says the event “will bring together the world’s leading institutional investors, fund managers, academics, economists and regulators in the Cayman Islands—the world’s leading domicile for investment funds—to discuss and debate the fundamentals of a vibrant future for the alternative investments industry.”
To most Americans, this is a pretty simple equation: “Cayman Islands” + “alternative investments” = “sketchy.”
George W’s Cayman keynote is just the latest in a long string of reminders about Romney’s ultra-rich status and possibly sketchy behavior— and he’s not getting a lot of help from the people around him.
Just last week former GOP candidate Tim Pawlenty left Rommey’s campaign in a high-profile departure to become a lobbyist for the banking industry, and promptly said that banks should just be allowed to regulate themselves. Last week Romney released his 2011 tax returns which showed him paying a 14% tax rate, and if the hackers who claim to have stolen his earlier records weren’t bluffing and haven’t been paid a ransom, they may release even more of Romney’s returns tomorrow.
Accidental or not, somehow the messaging around Mitt’s millions seem to be the most consistent the GOP is able to construct around Romney.