August 15th, 2007
05:17 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney says stem-cell investments will change

Romney said Wednesday he will change some of his investments.

ATLANTA (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said his investments will change after the Boston Herald reported they included a stake in two companies which conduct embryonic stem cell research.

“My investments have been held in a blind trust, which means I have not directed where they invest nor do I know where they invest,” said the former Massachusetts governor during a swing through Atlanta on Wednesday. “The trustee of the blind trust has said publicly that he will endeavor to make my investments conform with my positions, and I am confident that he will.”

The newspaper reported that among Romney’s vast investments include holdings in Novo Nordisk and Millipore Corp., biomedical firms which use human embryos for disease research.

Romney, who opposes abortion and embryonic stem cell research, is said to be worth at much as $250 million according to a federal financial holdings disclosure recently made public.

Also, sure to draw the ire of his fellow Bay Staters is the disclosure that Romney’s wife, Ann, holds investments as part of a blind trust in the YES network, a broadcast company which airs the hated Yankees’ match-ups.

It was unclear whether Ann Romney’s holdings in the Bronx Bombers’ network will be reviewed. Earlier in the Atlanta event, Romney, referencing the move last season of Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon to New York, told the Georgia crowd that “we all hate Yankees.”

- CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Eagle

    What if those companies also did research into curing cancer? Would HAWK still be against it? Seems to me that HAWK thinks money is bad, and people who get lucky in the market are evil. Are lotto winners bad as well?

    August 16, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    With the former governor, there are questions as to where he stands and how firm he is in that stand. I guess that his "pro-life/anti-abortion" stand is as firm as Jello. People have the right to change their mind, but sometimes the consistancy (or lack of it) do make some people wonder what the candidate is really for.

    As for the blind trust, it could be that he has no control over what so ever. He could also direct those who control it to go to general fields of investments or avoid others. This money could be something that comes back to bite him in the... Well, you get the idea.

    August 16, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    When you earn 250 million dollars it is hard to keep track of it when it is in a blind trust as the person who you entrust to take care of it usually makes it diverse as hell. Issue discovered, taken care of.

    No lying, no cheating, no story.

    I would love to see the same in-depth analysis of Clinton's, Edwards, Barack Hussein Obama, Rudy G and the rest.

    Funny how this capitalistic country now has a group of people that hates people that have earned their money.

    Joe Kennedy was idolized by many even though he made his millions bootlegging, and RIPPING OFF LOWER AND MIDDLE CLASS investors in the stock market.

    Not hard to find that information, you can read it while having a cup of "CHOWDA".

    August 16, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. J.W. Fort Lauderdale FL

    Every word out of his mouth is an excuse or a lie...they all use this "Blind Trust" cover to c.y.a. when they get caught. Another money hungry republican using abortion and stem cell research as bait for conservatives....DONT FALL FOR IT THIS TIME. Plus the whole Morman thing is really scary...I grew up out in western wyoming and if you don't want more intrusion into your private lives you better look at someone else

    August 16, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Seattle Sue Seattle, Wa.


    August 16, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Colin, Milwaukee WI

    So I guess he's changing his blind trust to a "kinda blind trust which now supports my religious convictions I inherited when I announced my Presidential bid" trust?

    I love the stem cell debate. I always ponder how many hypocrits are out there that use their religious belief to hold back medical science, but if they became violently ill (such as Lou Gehrig's disease), they would gladly start treatment if a cure for it came from stem cell research.

    August 16, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Hollis, Asheville, NC

    No story here. many Americans have money in blind trusts. sheesh.

    August 16, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. John, Michigan

    "Blind trust" is what he wants from us but I say keep your mitts off our government.

    August 16, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Nick, Eagle Mountain, UT

    Am I taking crazy pills???

    What is wrong with the people on this board? The only thing you've got on Romney is his religion and his money. THAT'S IT!! And THEN you call him a liar, and a flip flopper?? This is the most ironic piece of media-spun hogwash I've ever heard! When you consider the accusation, he never "flipped flopped"! He never told his supporters he would vote one way and changed his position for the vote. His was a study inspired and thoughtful change of heart. Much unlike the precious John Kerry who could do no wrong, no matter what stance he decided to take from morning to night. You all seem to like to forget things that happened only 4 years prior, or even 7 years when Queen Hillary C voted FOR the Iraq invasion. I guess it's only the GOP side of the arena that can't change their view on an issue.

    August 16, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Van, Houston, TX

    man, enough with bashing his religion. so sick of hearing about it. I don't care what he is as long as the candidates are good for our country. people were up in arms about a catholic becoming president until JFK. and now he's a revered president by many. and I have money in mutual funds and I don't know where the fund mangers invest it so I see no big deal here. only that cnn reported his worth and not any of the other candidates.

    August 16, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. David, Gilbert Arizona

    I wonder how many average Joe right to lifers know all the different companies their 401K dollars are invested in.

    August 16, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. David Johnson, Panama City, FL

    We should all be opposed to the corporate welfare scheme that federal funds for embryonic stem cell research represent. But having said that, making your investor promise investments will align with certain political positions diminishes what is intended in any blind trust arrangement. As part of the 4th estate the Boston Herald should be ashamed of their actions in raising this as an issue. Romney obviously didn't know about the investments and there can be no solution that is good for government policy.

    August 16, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Tom from Massachusetts...your comments are just plain laughable sometimes. I salute you for your neo-con ways! Just remember to not let your kids grow up to be like you...

    August 16, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. David, Salinas, CA

    To Nick fro Eagle Mountain, UT, who writes:

    “What is wrong with the people on this board? The only thing you've got on Romney is his religion and his money. THAT'S IT!! And THEN you call him a liar, and a flip flopper??”

    I agree with you that Romney’s membership in the LDS should not be an issue, any more than McCain’s age, Obama’s race or Clinton’s gender. I’m not religious, but I find the Mormon-bashing on this board offensive and un-American.

    On the other hand, I think Romney’s money SHOULD be an issue, not because he’s rich but because he got rich as a corporate raider doing leveraged buy-outs with junk bonds, bankrupting American companies, firing American workers and shipping American jobs overseas. He also has a variety of very questionable investments and business partners.

    As to Romney’s flip-flops, they’re a matter of public record. (Check out the video links I posted on the YouTube story and you can watch for yourself.). On stem-cells, gay rights, immigration, abortion and a host of other issues, Romney has said one thing to liberal audiences and another to conservative ones. There is such a consistent pattern that it cannot be explained by confusion or changes of heart. Romney is guilty of deliberate pandering, time and time again.

    The main reason I don’t criticize Mitt Romney’s beliefs, is that I don’t believe he believes in anything.

    August 16, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Nick, Eagle Mountain, UT

    Re: David, Salinas, CA

    You're right that money should matter...if it's illegal or unethical. Romney does not fall into either of these camps. I'm not going to pretend to know the history of his millions, but understand this, he has nothing to hide or be ashamed of. We live in a country fed by capitalism and what you're talking about is capitalism and the global economy in action. Whatever companies have been dissolved, there have been more built up and that means more jobs and opportunities created ex. Dominos and Staples.

    As for the so-called "flip-flops" you mentioned, these are not "flip-flops". His stance on stem cell spans from his previous stance on abortion. Which he has explained a million times. His stance on Gay Marriage has never changed. He DID vow not to change the Massachusetts rulings on the issue while in office which he followed through on. I don't call that flip-flopping.

    And referring to the "host" of other issues you mentioned. I'd challenge that. As I've pointed out, Romney has done no flip flopping that hasn't been done by anyone trying to weigh the issues facing us today. He has not vowed a stance on an issue and voted otherwise. And as our country is confronted with differing threats and moral dilemmas, I would HOPE we see a change of course on many issues.

    The issues being raised about his apparent "flip-flopping" are taken out of context, and frankly I think too many people use the term without understanding why they're using it. Specifically the random comments on here with only the caption "Flip Flop" and no intelligent backing.

    August 16, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Randy Anderson Las Vegas, NV

    Twit Romney: Has no Witt! I just cannot control myself, this is too funny! Make up my mind Romney?

    What a Moron; Opps; please have forgiveness, a Mormon! What is a Mormon anyway? And who on God’s green earth is Joseph Smith? (John Doe?);

    I have read somewhere I do recall, and it reads something liken too this. Thou shall not have any Gods before me. Thou shall not have any other book than this book! (Our King James Holy Bible may have been mentioned).

    Who Brigham Young?

    I did hear from someone once, which was said; I do not care how you bring them, just bring then young.

    It fits him well… He has not a snowballs chance in hell of taking our Presidential seat in our upcoming elections. Our most gifted 5 year old would not fail as miserably as he would as commander and Chief!

    August 16, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. DJ Mason, Ohio

    Oh, great. Another politician who listens to his imaginary superpower rather than try to alleviate the suffering of millions of people on the earth.

    Let's be thankful (to our imaginary superpower) that the Howard Hughes Medical Research facilities are among the few places in America to pioneer the use of stem cells that benefit EVERYONE!!!


    August 16, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. David, Salinas, CA

    Nick, Eagle Mountain, UT says:
    “You're right that money should matter…if it's illegal or unethical. Romney does not fall into either of these camps. I'm not going to pretend to know the history of his millions, but understand this, he has nothing to hide or be ashamed of.”

    Nick, how do you know it’s not unethical if you don’t know the history?

    It doesn’t take much effort to find out. You might start with the following reports from the New York Times and the Boston Globe:

    They’re not hit pieces. And it’s clear that Romney is a smart, capable businessman. But he’s also
    a corporate raider – basically Gordon Gekko. I think what Romney did to Ampad was highly unethical. So is owning Sudanese oil stocks. So is bankrupting perfectly viable companies for profit and firing all the workers.

    As to the flip-flops, I’ll stand by my story. Which is more than Romney can do.

    August 16, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  19. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Tom from Massachusetts…your comments are just plain laughable sometimes. I salute you for your neo-con ways! Just remember to not let your kids grow up to be like you…

    Posted By Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL : August 16, 2007 2:00 pm

    Anything concrete you disagree with Evan or is that illegal immigration thing you don't like.

    Don't worry about my children, they sleep well knowing that their dad is a veteran who after being honorably discharged put himself through school, gets up for work every morning to support his wife and family, has never had anything handed to him nor expected it and repects ANYONE that deserves it.

    Funny, don't see you on my list.

    I doubt you can match any of that eh, Mr. Esteves.

    Funny, don't see you on my list.

    August 16, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. Nick, Eagle Mountain, UT

    Re: David, Salinas, CA

    Ok, let me revise my statement, because there's no way I could KNOW it was ethical unless I was part of the deal just like I don't think you could know it was unethical unless involved intimately. But, I don't believe it's unethical because of what we're reading here. Because no one raises an eyebrow to this except people who are anti-capitalism and generally the ones decrying corporate America. These are also usually the ones that don't do or understand business.

    David, do you really claim to understand the deals that he has done? And do you really think Mitt Romney swooped into these companies on his own like a lone-pirate, to plunder? These deals involve groups of investors and they are outlined by laws. Laws, I know, don't always guide us to ethical behavior, but they sure help to keep actions within ethical guidelines. Laws are ofter considered the ethical principles adopted by a society.

    We don't have the time or space to get into a coversation about why in business the buying and selling of companies and the hiring and firing of individuals happens and can happen under the principles of applied ethics, but it can.

    Why do I get paid less than my boss? Because he's more qualified. Why does the owner get to sell the company and fire me? Because he owns the company. If I let kids play on my basketball court, is it unethical for me to tear it down and build a swimming pool?

    It's busines and the way I see it, Mitt has done his business lawfully, and therefore ethically (as far as I have been able to understand) and in so doing has contributed incalculably to to economy.

    August 18, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  21. David, Salinas, CA

    Reply to Nick from Eagle Mountain, UT who writes:

    “David, do you really claim to understand the deals that he has done?”


    “do you really think Mitt Romney swooped into these companies on his own like a lone-pirate, to plunder?”

    No. I think he did so in conjunction with the Bain Capital group.

    “Mitt has done his business lawfully, and therefore ethically”

    Please, Nick.... Legal does not equal ethical. Read about the American Pad & Paper deal and tell me if it hurt American workers. I’m a capitalist, but what Romney and Bain did is unethical and should be illegal.

    Thanks for a respectful dialogue.

    August 18, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Well Tom from Massachusetts, I salute you for your military service. I may not have been in the military, and I guess being a deputy sheriff for Palm Beach County here in Florida who like you had nothing handed to him "doesn't match up to any of that eh" Mr. Dedham, but I do what I can to support this country and my family.

    August 19, 2007 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  23. David, Salinas, CA

    Here’s a quote from Mitt Romney in the Boston Globe from October of 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."

    This is particularly interesting given that Romney’s current blind trust had investments in China Petroleum & Chemical, which has links to the Sudan,. two foreign oil companies with connections to Iran, and gambling companies including MGM and Harrah's.

    August 20, 2007 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
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