GOP Senate candidate McCormick says he’s ‘prospecting with really wealthy people’

Dave McCormick

Wealthy Connecticut former hedge fund executive Dave McCormick, who has been endorsed by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania to challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Casey this November, has backed a series of policies that would help very rich individuals and hurt working families. On Jan. 22, he indicated that he is spending half of his time fundraising with out-of-state rich people.

In a discussion at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire titled “View from the Top with Dave McCormick, U.S. Senate Candidate,” the millionaire former CEO of Bridgewater Associates and unsuccessful 2022 Senate primary candidate told students: “I’m spending half my time with donors. Essentially, it’s going to be the most expensive race in the country.”

In an audio recording of the event, posted by Heartland Signal, he said: “I’m nationalizing the race. if you vote for me you’re voting for winning the Senate, blah blah blah. So I’m everywhere, prospecting mostly with really wealthy people, where you will all be in 20 years, or many of you. And I’m also spending half my time in Pennsylvania, where the median income is $55,000 to $60,000.”

His campaign has said it raised $6.4 million in the last quarter of 2023, including $1 million of McCormick’s own money.

The only policy issues mentioned in the agenda section of McCormick’s campaign site are his plans to counter the influence of China, where his old investment firm invested more than $1 billion during his tenure.

In remarks at last year’s annual Pennsylvania Society reception, an event attended by Pennsylvania politicians and business leaders in New York City, heard in a recording obtained by the Pennsylvania Capital-Star in December, McCormick argued that wealthy business executives are not greedy price-gougers and that their taxes should be cut permanently. “We need to make this a more business-friendly commonwealth and more business-friendly country,” he said, according to the Capital-Star. “We need to make permanent the Tax [Cuts] and Jobs Act. We need to get rid of this onerous red tape and regulation which has gotten a lot worse under the Biden administration.”

The 2017 tax law in question, signed by President Donald Trump, slashed tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and large corporations while actually raising them for 10 million American families. For top earners like McCormick, whose 2022 salary exceeded $22 million, the law dropped his tax rate from 39.6% to 37%, likely saving him hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. The individual cuts are set to expire in 2025; making them permanent would add an estimated $3.5 trillion to the national debt through 2033, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

In October 2023, McCormick said he opposed President Joe Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which boosted climate investments and reduced health care costs. Though the law has lowered prescription drug prices and the cost of insulin for Pennsylvanians on Medicare, McCormick implied he would like to scrap most or all of it along with Biden’s bipartisan 2021 infrastructure investments: “We’ve got to roll that back. … So the big Biden legislation was a terrible mistake. The Green New Bill, all these things were disasters. And so we’ve got to roll that back.” 

Biden has not signed a “Green New Bill,” but the infrastructure law has already provided funds to help Pennsylvania families afford air conditioning and heating bills, repair the commonwealth’s unsafe bridges, and improve water infrastructure in Pennsylvania.

McCormick said in March 2023 that the public education system is not doing enough to teach kids that America is exceptional, “And that’s why we’ve got to break the back of our teachers’ unions and our public school system and give kids choice and get parents more involved.” 

He has come under fire for actually living in Connecticut, rather than in Pennsylvania, according to tax records. Although he calls himself “a Pennsylvania job creator and a business leader,” a Jan. 9 HuffPost report found that his firm cut hundreds of jobs after accepting Connecticut state funds to boost hiring. 

Though he claimed in a January 2022 radio interview never to have outsourced jobs, he boasted in a 2005 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review interview that his experience helping companies move jobs offshore would help him in the role to which he had just been appointed, as undersecretary of commerce for export administration in the George W. Bush administration.