WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congressman Duncan Hunter, R-California, who is running for President, called on Mitt Romney, another GOP candidate, to take a public stance on the proposed partnership between the private equity firm Romney founded and a Chinese-based company.
Before running for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney was the CEO and founder of Bain Capital Partners, a highly successful venture capital and investment firm based in Boston which currently manages more than $50 billion in assets, according to the company's website.
Last month, Bain Capital and China's Huawei Technology purchased 3Com in a deal valued at $2.2 billion. The deal gave the Chinese company a minority stake in 3Com, an internet security company.
Hunter says that 3Com has contracts with the U.S. Dept. of Defense. However, Bain Capital tells CNN 3Com does not contract with the U.S. government directly, and the Chinese company will not have access to sensitive U.S.-origin technology or U.S. government sales as a result of this transaction.
In a letter addressed to Romney, provided to CNN by Hunter's campaign, Hunter claims the Chinese company has ties to Saddam Hussein and the Taliban and asks Romney to come forward with a "clear statement" in opposition to the deal sealed last October.
The Bain Capital deal in question "can only be characterized as irresponsible," Hunter said in a written statement.
In September, other Republicans in the House called on the Bush administration to block the merger and proposed a resolution that says the deal "threatens the national security of the United States and should not be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States."
Romney's campaign provided CNN the following statement in response to the request from Hunter, "Governor Romney is no longer involved in Bain Capital and their investment decisions."
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- CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron