The campaign of GOP nominee Mitt Romney hosted a party for its top bundlers Wednesday, on board a yacht flying the ensign of the Cayman Islands.
Romney’s brother Scott spoke at the event, which was held to thank the donors who have brought in the most money for Romney. Fewer than 50 people were in attendance.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell spoke at the event, but declined to comment on it, telling ABC News, “I think Gov. Romney is going to do what he has to to follow the law.”
The optics of the event were tremendously embarrassing for the Romney campaign. While it would be embarrassing for Romney to be holding an event under any flag of convenience, the direct tie to the Cayman Islands is a reminder that Romney has used bank accounts in the Caymans to shield his income from federal taxes.
Additionally, ships are often registered under flags of convenience in order to avoid regulations and taxes; in that way, the Cracker Bay is a perfect synecdoche for the perception that the rich are able to use loopholes to avoid playing by the same rules as typical Americans.
The event may have reminded voters that Romney has refused to release tax returns, and may have invited ridicule from pretty much everyone, but at least attendees were pleased.
“It was a really nice event. These are good supporters,” said Wilbur Ross, a billionaire energy financier whose holdings include the Sago coal mine in West Virginia.
Image Credit: Daniel Cornwall