Romney greets a future voter in New Hampshire.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mike Huckabee had a surprisingly strong showing in the Iowa straw poll last month and Fred Thompson finds himself second in most national polls, but according to rival Mitt Romney, it's all about the money.
The former Massachusetts governor told the Associated Press Friday the two Republican White House hopefuls each need to raise $20 million this quarter to be considered a first-tier candidate.
"If Huckabee raises $20 million this quarter, like we did in the [first] quarter, then he'll become a front-tier candidate," Romney said. "And I think from Thompson's standpoint, I think he certainly has to look at $20 million as sort of the - this is, if you will, the low hanging-fruit quarter for him."
Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, had raised $1.3 million for his presidential bid by the end of June, according to the latest FEC filing. Thompson, a former Tennessee senator who officially jumped in the race Thursday raised $3.4 million in the month of June.
Meanwhile, Romney has raised approximately $35 million so far this campaign season and has loaned himself an additional $8 million.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney