Don’t you love it when wealthy conservatives actually say what they think?
As protesters assembled on a beach in advance of Mitt Romney’s evening event at the home of conservative billionaire David Koch, the candidate slipped to East Hampton for his first of three fundraisers on this tony stretch of Long Island.
The line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadsters and one gleaming cherry red Ferrari began queuing outside of Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman’s estate off Montauk Highway long before Romney arrived, as campaign aides and staffers in white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Perelman’s property — the Creeks — checked off names under tight security.
They came with high hopes for the presumed Republican nominee, who is locked in a tight race with President Obama. And some were eager to give the candidate some advice about the next four months.
A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.
“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”
Some of Romney’s wealthy supporters are disillusioned former supporters of Barack Obama.
Sharon Zambrelli voted for Obama in 2008 but has been disappointed with his handling of the economy and leadership style. “I was very disenchanted with the political process and he gave me hope,” she said, but ultimately: “He’s just a politician,” she said, an “emperor with no clothes.”
The Zambrellis scoffed at attempts by the Democrats — who mocked Romney in an ad Sunday as “great for oil billionaires, bad for the middle class” — to wage class warfare. “Would you like to hear about the fundraisers I went to for him?” Sharon Zambrelli said of Obama. “Do you have an hour? … All the ones in the city — it was all of Wall Street.”
“It’s not helping the economy to pit the people who are the engine of the economy against the people who rely on that engine,” Michael Zambrelli said as the couple waited in their SUV for clearance into the Creeks shortly after the candidate’s motorcade flew by and entered the pine-tree lined estate. “He’s basically been biting the hand that fed him in ’08. … I would bet 25% of the people here were supporters of Obama in ’08. And they’re here now.”
Good. If Obama hadn’t pissed off a certain number of his rich former backers, I’d be disappointed.