Despite Romney’s $100K Boeing Stock Holdings, Spokesman Denies Possible Conflict Of Interest In NLRB Criticisms

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"Despite Romney’s $100K Boeing Stock Holdings, Spokesman Denies Possible Conflict Of Interest In NLRB Criticisms"

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Florida.

As Mitt Romney steps up his attacks on the National Labor Relations Board for its decision to block Boeing from retaliating against striking workers by building a new plant in South Carolina, a new report from Bloomberg notes that the former Massachusetts governor owns a significant amount of stock in the Seattle-based aerospace corporation.

According to his recently-released personal financial disclosure form, Romney owns up to $100,000 in Boeing stock. Though Romney’s personal assets, which total between $190 million and $250 million, are managed by a blind trust which he does not control, its contents are listed on the Massachusetts Republican’s disclosure forms and are easy for anyone to find with a simple Google search.

Given the potential for a conflict of interest, ThinkProgress spoke with Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom about the Boeing matter. Ferhnstrom denied any possibility of impropriety, telling ThinkProgress that “[Romney’s] personal investments are all in a blind trust. Those are investment decisions that are made by a trustee.” Fehrnstrom sidestepped the fact Romney doesn’t have to manage his own investments to know what’s in them, maintaining simply that there was “no” conflict of interest.

KEYES: One of the companies that [Romney] is actually largely invested in is Boeing. Do you think there’s a conflict of interest, given how outspoken he’s been about the NLRB decision in South Carolina?

FEHRNSTROM: […] His personal investments are all in a blind trust. Those are investment decisions that are made by a trustee.

KEYES: But they’re easily Google-able. He can look up what’s in them.

FEHRNSTROM: What I will say about Boeing and the ruling of the NLRB with respect to the South Carolina plant is that this is another example of how the Obama administration is depressing job creation in this country and discarding the rule of law. […]

KEYES: So no conflict of interest on Romney’s end here?

FEHRNSTROM: No. All of his investments are in a blind trust. He does not personally manage those. Those are managed by a trustee.

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