Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin raised thousands for both Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008 but this year he’s not hedging his bets: he’s going all or nothing on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The founder of the $13 billion Citadel Investment Group and his hedge-fund manager wife Anne Dias Griffin co-sponsored a $3.3 million Chicago fund-raiser for Romney at Chicago's Pump Room on Thursday.
“There are a number of Barack Obama fund-raiser types from four years ago that have come over now to help with Mitt Romney,” Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford told the Chicago Sun-Times outside fund-raiser. “We’ve had time to see what an Obama White House would be, and it’s not quite what some people thought it would be. People see Romney and say, ‘Here’s a businessman who’s got experience’ … I think we’re finding a number of people willing to pony up.”
Griffin has said in interviews he and his wife, who recently launched Reboot Illinois, a news aggregator web site, believe Romney would be a better steward of the American economy.
Griffin has given more than $1 million to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney SuperPAC, since last December. The Griffins have given another $1 million to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads SuperPAC since last August and have donated to the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.
Griffin told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year that he felt the “ultra-wealthy” like himself (Forbes ranks him as Chicago’s fifth-richest man) have “insufficient influence” in politics.
"Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system more than ever now owe a duty to protect the system that has created the greatest nation on this planet,” he said.