BY: Joel Gehrke
October 22, 2012 | 12:00 am
Mitt Romney has criticized President Obama for giving green energy subsidies to campaign donors, but a new report out ahead of the debate tonight shows that this White House’s crony capitalism has a foreign policy angle.
HillStone International won a coveted government contract in part because the company has “the little brother of the vice president as a partner,” as David Richter, president of HillStone’s parent company explained to investors in a recent meeting reported on by Fox Business today.
“Since November 2010, James Biden has been the executive vice president of Hill International’s housing subsidiary despite little if any documented work history in residential construction,” Fox explains. “And if the company’s projections are accurate, both Hill and Biden are on the verge of a huge payday, beneficiaries, some analysts believe, of James Biden’s connections to the Obama Administration through his older brother.”
In the Fox report, a former Hill executive who worked on getting the project had this to say about HillStone: “You have to realize that these guys are relentless businessmen and they have the right connections.”
Romney has already proven himself willing to go after Obama for crony capitalism, as he did during the first debate. “[T]he place you put your money makes a pretty clear indication of where your heart is,” Romney said. “Ninety billion dollars. And these businesses, many of them have gone out of business. I think about half of them — of the ones that have been invested in have gone out of business. A number of them happen to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.” The housing contract in Iraq is expected to generate $1.5 billion for James Biden’s HillStone, according to Fox, so the report could pave the way for an awkward moment for the president in tonight’s debate on foreign policy.