Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Charles Schwab rips into Obama: "He doesn't care"

Posted by on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Charles Schwab speaks in Channelside
  • Charles Schwab speaks in Channelside
Barack Obama's problems with the business establishment are well known, so it's not a surprise that business icon Charles Schwab supports Mitt Romney, and has serious issues with the president — as he made explicit during a biting speech in Tampa on Wednesday morning.

This week, Schwab traveled cross country to Florida where he is holding a series of meet and greets with small business people to tout why he believes re-electing the president would be a "disaster" for the country.

"He doesn't speak up to people who have contributed to this country in our exceptionalism, our fantastic people, people who have innovated the jobs," said Schwab to a group of about 40 people who gathered at Tinatapas in the Channelside district.

The Charles Schwab corporation is a brokerage company that has more than $1.9 trillion in assets. Schwab, 75, said he has been politically neutral throughout his business career but now, he must speak out in support of the Romney-Ryan ticket.

"The last four years have been a disaster, and another four years of the same kind of recipe ... I don't think my grandkids — I have 12 — I don't think they're going to have a chance."

Several mainstream media critics accused President Obama of failing to lay out an agenda for why he should be re-elected for four more years, and you can safely say that Charles Schwab feels the same. Decrying the anemic economic growth in the country, the business icon said with despair that it will not turn around if Obama is re-elected.

He said the president has been reliant on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to prop up the economy, but the fed head has never run a small business, so he doesn't know how to go about it.

He also said he didn't believe the president wants to improve the economy. "He doesn't care," he lamented at one point.

Schwab was introduced by state Republican Rep. Jamie Grant. He said one of the president's "most telling statements" during Tuesday night's debate was his mandate that requires automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025. The move thrilled environmentalists, but has turned off Republicans like Romney.

"As if that's somehow free to the consumer," Grant said. The measure is expected to raise the price of those new cars, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said it will save Americans trillions of dollars in fuel costs, resulting in an average savings of more than $8,000 a vehicle by 2025.

"That is a tax to us as consumers. They just call it a price increase," Grant said.

Schwab's speech was preceded by a roundtable of officials discussing small businesses.

Among the speakers was former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, who — though nominally a Democrat — consistently endorses Republicans for president (at least since 2000, when this reporter came to Tampa).

Sounding like he did when he endorsed Charlie Crist's independent run for Senate two years ago, Greco bemoaned the partisan nature of our politics. But he said if one were to look at the resumes of Romney and Obama to choose our leader, there'd be "no contest" in favor of the Republican. "I don't get it," he added.

Small business was represented by Alan J. Wiessner from Integra Business Systems, a business and technology company based out of Safety Harbor. He complained that "ObamaCare" led to too much uncertainty for his business, "I believe if they start taking over health care, they're not going to stop there. They're going into other areas."

Schwab was scheduled to make appearances in Orlando and Leesburg later on Wednesday.

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