Levy: Obama Needs McDonald’s Fundraiser for Wall Street

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

A McDonald's restaurant in New York.

Barack Obama has lost another supporter from private equity.

Paul Levy, a managing director at JLL Partners, voted for Obama in 2008 but now says that if the president were a company, he would not invest in it. Levy told Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle today that when he was invited to one of Obama’s New York fundraisers, he said he would only go if it were held at McDonald’s.

“If he’s busy attacking people with wealth, why does he want to go to fancy restaurants and fancy homes to have these events?” Levy said. “If he wants to go where the people go, I’m happy to go where the people go.”

Levy joins Jonathan Nelson, the billionaire co-founder of Providence Equity Partners, in backing away from Obama’s re-election campaign as it drills into Mitt Romney’s past as a buyout executive and questions his qualifications for the country’s top job.

Levy said he doesn’t want his business turned into a “political endeavor.”

Until the end of Obama’s term — whether it ends in January or four years later — Levy said he hopes the president’s Treasury secretary understands the economy. “Because I don’t think the president does,” he said.

Levy’s firm, whose investments include American Dental Partners and Education Affiliates LLC, manages about $4 billion on behalf of pension funds and endowments, including the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and Harvard University.


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