Big day for raising campaign cash in race for the White House
May 18th, 2011
12:31 PM ET
3 years ago

Big day for raising campaign cash in race for the White House

(CNN) – President Barack Obama and two Republicans who hope to replace him, former governors Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, are all separately holding fundraising events Wednesday.

The president will be the main attraction at two gatherings in Boston. According to a Democratic source with knowledge of the fundraisers, the first is a reception at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts and the second is a dinner at a private residence. There will be approximately 900 people at the reception and 130 at the dinner.

While the president is the headliner for the events, he might share the spotlight with two people also attending the reception: All-star professional basketball player Ray Allen, who plays for the Boston Celtics, and Celtic's legend Bill Russell.

Tickets for the two events range from $200 to the legal maximum limit of $35,800 that an individual can contribute for both the primary and the general election. The money raised will go to the Obama Victory Fund, with the proceeds being shared by both the president's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

This is the second night of fundraising this week for Obama. The president headlined two fundraisers in the nation's capital on Monday night.

The president announced on April 4 that he was setting up his re-election campaign. A week later he personally kicked off his fundraising drive by headlining three events in his hometown of Chicago. He was also the main attraction at fundraisers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and last week, Austin, Texas.

Obama shattered all records by raising nearly $750 million in his bid for the White House in 2008.

Romney Wednesday holds a fundraiser in Austin, Texas, as part of a two day swing through the Lone Star state. A source close to the Romney campaign confirms the event, and says that the focus right now for the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate is on fundraising.

Romney aides said the campaign brought in $10.25 million at a day long phone bank fundraising event Monday in Las Vegas. Approximately 800 participants in the eight hour "Call Day" phoned donors across the country.

"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Governor Romney's campaign," Finance Chairman Spencer Zwick said in a statement.

Romney has been touring the country meeting with donors and fundraisers as he hopes to bring in an impressive haul for this quarter to show his strength as a candidate.

Romney raised $65.1 million in contributions for his 2008 bid for the GOP nomination. In addition he loaned his campaign $42.3 million from his personal funds.

Meanwhile Pawlenty will be the main attraction Wednesday night at a fundraiser in Minneapolis. A source with knowledge of the event says several hundred longtime supporters are expected to attend, with tickets ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.

While most of the money Pawlenty's raising is for the primaries, some of it is for the general election. Romney's team says it's only fundraising for the primaries.

"We are raising it because we believe we'll be the nominee and want to be ready for the Democrats." says Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant.

While perfectly legal, raising general election funds helps boost the overall fundraising figures for a candidate. For this election cycle, the Federal Election Commission is allowing individuals to contribute $2,500 to a candidate for the primaries, with another $2,500 to the same candidate for the general election.

Both Romney and Pawlenty have set up presidential exploratory committees with the Federal Election Commission, but neither has yet officially declared their candidacy for the White House.

–CNN Senior Political Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brually honest real deal)

    Wow, the campaigner-in-chief is now trolling for money at private dinners for 130 elitest Boston radicals. Will we ever see the list of attendees and all the amount they donated to the Obama Disaster Fund?

    May 18, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS

    Romney aides said the campaign brought in $10.25 million at a day long phone bank fundraising event Monday in Las Vegas.
    -------------------------------------------------–
    I want to see who the donors are. The President raised 750 million for the 08 campaign. I can see him surpassing that amount this time around.

    May 18, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Abiding Lib

    You go ,Mr. President! You can multi-task like no one else. You are unstoppable; no Republican can hold a candle to you. Wish I could attend one of these events...

    May 18, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Marko

    Here comes all the money and there goes the American people.

    May 18, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. gt

    this is why were in the shape we are now...both parties suck up to who has the money,,,rep. big business,,, dems trial lawyers... both suck..

    May 18, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "We are raising it because we believe we'll be the nominee and want to be ready for the Democrats." says Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant."

    So, who exactly is running on the Pawlenty ticket? Alex Conant ... or Tim Pawleny ... or both?

    May 18, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. R

    @ gt
    Couldn't agree with you more. The sad thing is that there are still plenty of people on both sides that will continue throwing their money at their respective parties and will see nothing come from it. It's bad enough I see so much of my money taken away for taxes. I'm not about to give them one more dime willingly.

    May 18, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Mark

    II think that Pawlenty should choose Santorum as his running mate. They could break new ground as the first visually gay ticket.

    May 18, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama is working and campaigning, can't say that about Republicans because they were on vacation when OBL was killed. Republicans sure weren't available to answer the phone at 3:00 am., they turned it off to enjoy their vacation.

    May 18, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Ubama

    I still can't believe there are zombies like the Abiding Lib.... Lib drink the Kool-Aid your master obama commands you.

    May 18, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Palin Power

    At the end of the day, regardless of how much money the rest of these goons raise, Sarah Palin will rise head and shoulders above the rest of them and become our next and Greatest President. This country and the whole world needs her to be our great leader! Palin is the Messiah and Savior of the whole universe.

    May 18, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Dot

    Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the brually honest real deal)

    Wow, the campaigner-in-chief is now trolling for money at private dinners for 130 elitest Boston radicals
    -----------------------------------------–

    Which "radicals" are you talking about? Ray Allen of the Celtics or Bill Russell of the Celtics???? You sure have a broad definition of "radicals".

    May 18, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    See? If you do not have an active fund raising machine already in place by this point in time, it is too late to enter the race.

    May 18, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Q and A

    Yet...

    "He actually didn't raise (that amount)," Paul said. "I think he got $10 million in commitment. When our chart runs on the (website) ticker, it means the money's in the bank."

    If Ron Paul's guess is correct, then Mitt Romney and his 10.25 Millions worth of donations was a lie, and Romney collected a bunch of non-binding promises, so Romney has had the media hyping thin air, and this would explain why Romney's website traffic has been so non-existent: his entire campaign and his fundraiser may be a total sham.

    May 18, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |