September 15th, 2008
10:31 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama, McCain big beneficiaries of Wall Street

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Firms in the battered financial sector have been big backers of the candidates."](CNN) - Both Barack Obama and John McCain have strongly benefited from Wall Street this election cycle, an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics reports.

According to the non-partisan research organization, employees of security and investment firms have donated nearly $10 million to Barack Obama this year and close to $7 million to McCain's presidential bid.

McCain has particularly benefited from Merrill Lynch, the global financial services firm whose sale to Bank of America shook Wall Street Monday morning. He has raised nearly $300,000 from Merrill employees this year - more than any other firm.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, has strongly benefited from employees of Lehman Brothers, the financial firm that filed for bankruptcy Monday morning. The Illinois senator has raised approximately $370,000 from Lehman employees this year, more than three times what McCain has raised from employees of the failing firm.

Both McCain and Obama sharply criticized Wall Street practices Monday morning, and are calling for more regulation in the investment industry.

soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Felly

    Americans are now pating the price for voting for Bush 8 yrs ago. Remember the famous saying, stay away from the Bushes. No we have to stay away from the McCannites.

    September 15, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Ian

    Looks like we can't trust either of them. Third Party anyone?

    September 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. ella

    So..... what does this say? and the fact that Obama gets more money than McCain over all, from US companies?

    It says that claiming :"Bush-McCain" is not different from claiming
    back "Bush-Obama," just the same thing!
    More to the point:
    "Bush-Obama": same 4 years of being in the pocket of big corporations! 8 years is enough! No?

    September 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. stephen

    just because employees of a company contribute to a campaign doesn't mean... the company has benefited the campaign... unless it's the company itself making the donation...which i'm pretty sure isn't allowed.

    This is a ridiculous news article. And misleading in it's statements/facts

    September 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    McCain you are so foolish. US economic fundamentals are not 'strong'. Where have you been for the past year? Oh– In one of your seven-ten houses; depending on what the definition of house is. You sir are a moronic, incompetent republican puppet, a dwindling shadow of your former self.

    September 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. pat

    McCain has Wall Street and Obama has Hollywood and the elite. The elite feel like contributing to Obama is the "green" thing to do, like Carbon Footprint Points. McCain/Palin 08 – we don't need anymore celebrities in Washington, like Obama and Oprah. Double O = Double Zero.

    September 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Bill

    I wonder since Senator Barack Obama benefited from the employees of Lehman Brothers will he give back the $370,000 to the employees of the bankrupt company?

    September 15, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Amazed

    Maybe these employees wanted someone (Obama) to really implement change so they could keep their jobs.

    September 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. gc

    Has anyone at CNN noted that Corporate exec and "preferred" investors are recouping mcuh more of their funds than are individual investors AND that IF the REPUBLICAN PRIVATIZATION of Social Security had occurred in 2000, the average S&P Index Fund would have LOST 14%. While the execs that managed the funds made billions.

    Get the REpublicans out of Washington.

    GC in Lubbock

    September 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. C.A. Childs

    Folks, take time to read the article and stop jump to such a false conclusion.
    A company is made up of employees ( except for the 'one man shop'), and these employees are free to distribute their hard earned income in whatever way they choose. Isn't it silly and down right stupid for anyone to imply that both candidates are receiving donation from the companies mentioned?
    The article said 'employees'. not 'company'. Get a grip. This is no news and does not deserve the attention it is given.

    September 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. wait a minute

    Both McCain and Obama took money from lobbyists.
    We should have a law against the power of lobbyists.
    Why do you think Biden's son is resigning from his lobbyist role?
    It smells only fishy, because we have no laws against the access of lobbyists to our elected officials.
    We definitely need the law.

    September 15, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. Darryl

    McCain's ties to K Street began attracting attention, and a month later two of his key operatives were forced to resign after the press revealed that they'd lobbied for the Burmese dictatorship. A top McCain fundraiser, former Congressman Tom Loeffler, also got his walking papers after lobbying McCain on behalf of Saudi Arabia. In the space of ten days, five McCain lobbyists-turned-staffers left his campaign.

    Those who remained included senior adviser Charlie Black–formerly one of the most high-profile Republican lobbyists in Washington, who has represented the likes of Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi, mercenary contractor Blackwater and Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. One could be forgiven for wondering, Was anyone in McCain's inner circle not a lobbyist?

    September 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. mmd

    If Obama is receiving donations from employees, why are you making note of that.

    People read the letter from mccain's counsin posted on huffinton post.

    The cousin states that he does not know what happend to mccain. Also, the cousin says that he lost the family house due to refi.

    Maybe after mccain reads the letter he will at least offer a house to his cousin.

    September 15, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Go Sarah!

    Obama has taken more money from Lehman than anyone.

    Why wont Obama release the names of his campaign advisors, you know, the long list of Lobbyist's names he refuses to release to the public???????

    Quote: WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

    According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

    "He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview. " Unquote.
    Go Sarah! September 15th, 2008 1:20 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Obama has taken more money from Lehman than anyone.

    September 15, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. lisa

    The only loosers not benifiting is us poors. Hey we need to get busy and do something with our lives as well. Only those who are somebody gets something we dont get anything. At lease with Obama he want us to get something. McCain only want those making over 5 Million to profit.

    September 15, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Peter (CA)

    Hey right wingers, they both accepted money from employees. This story is a wash and means pretty much nothing.

    Let's get back to the real issues and see what lies McCain/Palin has spun out today. Yeah, Obama has raised lots of money. He raised a ton after Palin spoke and scared people. Hard working people are sending their hard earned dollars because they see what 8 years of Republican rule has done to this country. They want change....why do you guys keep foaming at the mouth but prefer more of the same??

    September 15, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Sage

    Wall Street, Housing market, jobs being lost and shipped over seas, record gas prices, two wars, Trillions in debt, isolated internationally, our dollar is in the toilet...all thanks to the Bush/McCain (90%) Administration...and they want us to eat 4 more years? * is quite enough!!!! and for all you misguided people who want to blame are the facts. 1) the Dems have had the majority for 2 years, for a mess that has taken 8 to create. 2) the Dem majority is still not enough to override the record fillabusters from the that being said it still falls back to the Repubs and their economic, Foreign affairs and domestic policies.
    with ALL of McCain's can any rational American believe a word from McCain's lips?

    September 15, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Kim J

    So if McCain was actually getting more donations from Wall Street the Dems would be yelling that it was Big Finance buying McCain. But because it is Obama it's just individual contributions from the employees in the mailroom.

    September 15, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Obama/Biden

    CNN for Palin 08-12, Fox News for palin 08-12

    September 15, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Christian for OBAMA

    "I'm a uniter" What a BIG LIE!!!
    "Mission Accomplished" What a BIGGER LIE ... it's STILLLLLL going on.
    "Sarah SOLD the plane on eBay" (McBush lie – even HE believed Sarah)
    "He'll raise taxes" (Lie to instill FEAR)

    Sorry.......where are the Obama lies?
    THERE ARE NONE...he speaks the truth and that is why he WILL win in a landslide.

    I'm pulling for a certain group to sing "Landslide" on election night 😉

    September 15, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Alaska and Arizona POW for Obama/Biden

    CNN, Fox News for Obama/Biden

    September 15, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Beatrice


    First they went after the liberal media, said they couldn’t be trusted, so I didn’t trust the media.

    And then they said you couldn’t trust scientists – it was all theories and opinions – so I didn’t trust science.

    And then they said I shouldn’t trust community organizers, because they don’t really do anything, so I didn’t trust community organizers.

    And then they said I shouldn’t trust eastern elites or those who live in cities, especially if those cities are Washington, so to be safe I didn’t trust anyone east of the Mississippi or west of the Andreas fault.

    And then they said that I shouldn’t trust the people, because 18 million of them cast votes for a guy who has never run anything and has no experience, so I didn’t trust the people.

    And then they said, "… these little facts don’t really matter," so I didn’t trust the little facts.

    And then they said, "You can’t trust the fact-check organizations," so I didn’t trust the fact-check organizations.

    And then … after awhile … there was no one left to trust but them.


    September 15, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Ohio for OBAMA

    i think people are going to vote Obama come November 4th. i don't know why we all are getting so upset us smart people know what the real deal is. an the ones truly for mcpalin god help you. this campaign is for you to think deep down in your heart of hearts an do what right. this is much more than a presidency this is about GODs will an what he want us to do for him.

    September 15, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Joe

    why don't you report the story straight Obama receive money from emplyees not from executive or lobbyist.

    September 15, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Christine

    So what??? People have to work SOMEWHERE. I am a social worker, and I have donated to a presidential campaign. But I am certainly not lobbying on behalf of my employer or my profession.

    If CNN is going to report this information, please point out the distinction between individual contributions and the special interests. Otherwise, this is just irresponsible reporting.

    September 15, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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