With Reporting By Paul Blumenthal
WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney's routine castigation of the President Obama-"Harvard faculty lounge" nexus has always rung a bit hollow, considering the former Massachusetts governor's own ties to the university.
Romney holds degrees from Harvard's law and business schools. Three of his children have attended Harvard Business School. And Harvard faculty members advise his campaign. He's also been a continuous beneficiary of Harvard faculty donations.
A review of campaign finance records shows that since 2002, Romney has received more than $56,000 in donations from people who either serve as, or are married to, professors at Harvard University. One of those donating (during both Romney's first presidential run and his current White House bid) was Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School who also co-founded the Monitor Group, a consulting firm that came under fire for the work it did on behalf of now-former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The Romney campaign didn't respond to a request for comment. But it stands to reason that if his personal ties to Harvard University haven't compelled him to drop that specific line of attack against Obama, revelations of the donations he's received from the institution's faculty members won't either.
Romney initially chastised Obama for taking on a foreign policy posture that seemed drawn from the mindset of the "Harvard faculty lounge" and not the battlefield. He followed that up this past Thursday during a speech in Florida.
UPDATE: The American Bridge, a Democratic non-government research group, sends over two more anecdotes that further complicate Romney's digs at Obama's Harvard roots. The former Massachusetts Governor has turned to Harvard Business School graduate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman to help trumpet his job creation proposals, even quoting her in the plan itself.
Romney also gave $50,000 to the Harvard Business School in 2003, according to IRS filings -- underscoring either how much he actually values the institution from which he graduated or illustrating how deeply he wanted to maintain good relations with the university at the time.