GOP Senate candidate Dave McCormick says he’s fine with outsourcing factory jobs

David McCormick

Dave McCormick, the Connecticut former hedge fund CEO running as a Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, said during a January campaign appearance that he is fine with outsourcing American jobs as long as they are not in industries he considers important.

McCormick is the Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s endorsed candidate to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in November. 

In audio posted on Feb. 7 by the progressive news site Heartland Signal, McCormick told students at Penn State University that the United States had erred in outsourcing some jobs since the 1990s, but said subsidizing industries to keep jobs here would undermine capitalism.

“There are certain industries that should be here at home or in the hands of our closest allies,” he said, using an analogy of American trade as a series of concentric circles. “At the center, or the first ring: pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, probably steel … things that are critical to our national security.”

“I don’t really care if we’re not manufacturing T-shirts, or rugs, or a variety of other things that aren’t critical to our economy. I don’t really care if those jobs are elsewhere,” McCormick said.

Pennsylvania was for a long time a major hub of the textile-manufacturing industry, and Drexel University in Philadelphia is home to the Center for Function Fabrics, which conducts research and provides resources intended to bolster the fabrics industry in and around Pennsylvania.

The campaign site for McCormick, who reportedly still lives in a $16 million mansion in Westport, Connecticut, says, “He’s a Pennsylvania job creator and a business leader.”

But he has a history of accepting government subsidies, overstating his record on job creation, and encouraging outsourcing.

A Jan. 9 HuffPost report noted that during his tenure as a top executive at Bridgewater Associations, the investment firm accepted $52 million in state economic development subsidies based on a promise to keep 1,402 jobs and add 750 new ones over the next five years. Instead, the firm laid off more than 400 employees. 

According to McCormick’s April 2022 financial disclosure, his annual compensation as Bridgewater CEO exceeded $22 million.

McCormick unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania’s other Senate seat in 2022, losing narrowly in the primary to television personality Mehmet Oz. 

In that campaign, McCormick inaccurately claimed that he had created 1,000 jobs in Pittsburgh between 1999 and 2004, when he led a software company called FreeMarkets. His campaign later walked that claim back, saying he had created 600 jobs in Pittsburgh and 1,000 at the company as a whole.

McCormick said in a January 2022 radio interview that he had never been involved in the outsourcing of jobs to China or any other country, as primary opponents had claimed

This contradicted comments he made in a 2005 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review interview. Days after McCormick became undersecretary of commerce for export administration in President George W. Bush’s administration, the newspaper published a story that said, “McCormick said his experience as a corporate CEO helping companies to move work offshore, and as a platoon leader in the Army during the first Gulf War, will serve him well in his new post.”

Pennsylvania’s other U.S. senator, Democrat John Fetterman, mocked McCormick’s latest remarks in a tweet on Feb. 8: “SCOOP: Centimillionaire Connecticut resident announces he’s indifferent to outsourcing American jobs. ‘What’s the big deal? There are plenty of open jobs,’ said McCormick incredulously. ‘In fact, I fired my Aspen sommelier last week.’”