General Electric president Jeffry Immelt has privately switched his support from Barack Obama to Mitt Romney. According to Charles Gasperino writing for the New York Post, Immelt, a Republican, thought he could moderate Obama’s anti-business views but has become very disenchanted with the President. A GE spokesman said the idea is ludicrous. Evidence would say otherwise.
In Immelt’s annual letter to stockholders he wrote:
“We live in a tough era in which the public discourse, in general, is negative . . . American companies, particularly big companies, are vilified,” when “we need to work together to find a better way.”
GE executives contributed more than 300% more to Obama than to McCain in the 2008 campaign. This time around those GE executives have contributed twice as much to Romney than they have to Obama.
There are things about manufacturing that the guy on the production line knows better than the president of the company. There are things a well informed voter knows about a presidential candidate that a man who shakes hands with him does not. If Jeffrey Immelt is disappointed it’s because he was too busy managing GE to see what was obvious from the start to Joe the Plumber.
If Gasperino is correct, it bodes well for the 2012 election. For if GE, of all companies, has had a change of heart, certainly others have as well.