A video has surfaced showing GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacking blind trusts in 1994.
“The blind trust is an age-old ruse, if you will,” he said in 1994.
“You can always tell a blind trust what it can and cannot do,” he added.
The video is significant because in the recent CNN debate, he defended his Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock purchases by saying they were in a blind trust and wasn’t responsible for them.
“My investments for the last ten years have been in a blind trust, managed by a trustee” he said.
“Secondly, the investments they made…have been in mutual funds and bonds,” he added, claiming he didn’t own any stock in either of the mortgage giants.
He then went after Gingrich for also having mutual funds that invested in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
But with the release of the video from 1994, one has to ask: Was Romney engaging in “an age-old ruse?”
The National Journal – among others – have since reported that assets involved were not in a blind trust at all:
Yet, according to Romney’s financial disclosure forms, not all of his mutual funds were part of a blind trust. The Boston Globe reported in September that Romney owned between $250,001 and $500,000 in a mutual fund called the Government Obligation Fund that invests in debt notes of various government entities, including mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and he made between $15,001 and $50,000 in interest from those investments.
Since those assets were considered a charitable trust rather than a blind trust, Romney could have reviewed them himself.
Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul said that the fund was managed by a trustee for Romney, not by the candidate himself, and that the asset has since been sold.
The Journal also reports that Romney attacked Ted Kennedy over blind trusts in 1994:
“The blind trust is an age-old ruse. You give a blind trust rules. You can say to a blind trust, don’t invest in properties which would be in conflict of interest or where the seller might think they’re going to get an advantage from me.” Romney told The Boston Globe in 1994. “‘A United States senator has an obligation to tell its blind trust what it cannot and can invest in,” he later told the Associated Press.
John Hayward writes at Human Events:
“…Advancing a position that is radically different from something he was documented saying in the past, without explaining that either he’s had a sincere change of opinion, or the rules surrounding blind trust have changed in such a way that he feels differently about them now? That’s not going to cut it. Not against Obama and the massed legions of the mainstream press.”
Nor will the explanation cut it with conservatives who do not want such a candidate forced upon them by the party establishment.
More on Mitt Romney at modenook.com here .
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