Mitt Romney scored three big primary wins Tuesday night, widening his lead over his remaining rivals in the GOP presidential nominating contest, including his closest competitor Rick Santorum. With victories in Maryland, Wisconsin and the Washington, D.C., Romney has become one step closer to securing the GOP nomination and appears on track to amassing the delegates he needs to be his party's nominee.
As the GOP primary season enters its fourth month, Romney has picked up several key endorsements over the past few weeks, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former president George H.W. Bush and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).
One key constituency that has remained faithful to Romney throughout this grueling nominating contest has been Wall Street, especially those in the private equity industry. Billionaire Wilbur Ross, the founder and chairman of the private equity firm WL Ross & Co., supports Romney's candidacy and says the American people will have a better sense of the true Romney once he becomes the nominee. Romney has been chastised for the deals his former company, Bain Capital, a private equity firm based in Boston, completed over the last 20 years. Some of the companies Bane acquired and sold eventually went bankrupt, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs. Ross, who himself as been called a "vulture" and "Mr. Distress," says the private equity industry should not be blamed for high unemployment and the economic downturn.
"There's not a bank in the country that failed because of private equity — not one," he says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. "The economy can't function without Wall Street. That's a fact."
Ross attributes the backlash against wealthy Americans and multinational corporations to the White House's implicit support of the Occupy Wall Street cause.
"I frankly blame the administration for helping whip up that frenzy," he says. "The president has decided it's difficult to run on his record, so he's running against the Congress, he's running against Wall Street, running against wealthy people. I think playing the class division card is going to come back and haunt our whole society."
The septuagenarian investor also finds fault with the regulation passed by Congress to reform the U.S. banking system. Ross refers to the Dodd-Frank Act as "at best a very generalized blueprint" that addresses regulators' concerns, and he worries that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was established as part of Dodd-Frank, will have unforeseen consequences for Wall Street and Main Street.
"I think the regulatory uncertainty and the growing fear that this agency (CFPB) will be witch-hunting are definitely impeding bankers' willingness to make loans," he says.