Santorum super PAC ramps up
February 10th, 2012
07:38 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum super PAC ramps up

Washington (CNN) – The super PAC backing Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is trying to figure out how to maximize the increased support it has received following the former senator's victories this week.

"We've been working at a speed faster than any other day the super PAC has seen in this election season," Stuart Roy, a spokesman for the PAC, told CNN. He said on Wednesday the group, the Red, White and Blue Fund, didn't make a single fundraising call as potential donors kept contacting them.

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Its major backer, Republican donor Foster Friess, told The New York Times and Bloomberg TV another donor gave the super PAC $1 million, but he didn't give details.

While the PAC didn't confirm that gift, its spokesman said it has seen a rise in both contributions and pledges since Tuesday night.

Roy refused to discuss specific dollar figures.

The group was active in Minnesota and Missouri leading up to Tuesday's votes, running ads in both states.

In the wake of Santorum's surprising sweep Tuesday in all three contests, the organization contacted voters and conducted polls in states with upcoming elections to gauge support for Santorum. It will then use that information to decide where and when to start advertising and possibly conduct other voter outreach on Santorum's behalf.

The PAC is "... mapping out the states where we are going to sink our resources. Just like Tom Coughlin didn't give away his game plan before last Sunday's Super Bowl, neither will we give up the game plan for Super Tuesday," Roy told CNN.

Because of the breadth of Santorum's wins, Roy said the group is engaging in more upcoming states than it previously planned.

"We are taking a hard look at states that may have previously been viewed as completely uphill. For instance, a couple of the southern states are in play since Romney's northeastern politics don't play well there. And although Gingrich may look a bit like Paula Deen, politically he's no Southerner."

The biggest booster to Santorum until now has been the millionaire Friess, a Wyoming investor. Through the end of 2011 he contributed $331,000 to the Red, White and Blue Fund – almost half of the total raised by the PAC.

He told CNN he has also contributed more in the last week or so.

"I definitely have added some more money in, but I've got to keep this low profile. There's a good chance my wife might be watching television and if she finds out how much money I've put in this campaign I could be in big trouble," he told CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" program Wednesday.

Friess has been with Santorum at several stops during the campaign. He was with him in Iowa in the lead-up to the state's caucuses, introduced him at an event in Lee's Summit, Missouri last week and was standing next to him Tuesday night at his victory speech in St. Charles, Missouri.

Friess introduced Santorum when he spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday morning.

Since a super PAC and a campaign cannot coordinate activities, Friess was asked if it was appropriate for him to be such a visible supporter.

"Our lawyers have told us is that it's very, very simple. You just don't talk about the super PAC, so the fact that there is a super PAC is irrelevant to all the other campaign people and by not talking about it is fine. Plus, I have so little control over the super PAC all I did was write a check. In fact Newt [Gingrich] came up to me the other day and made some remark about one of the ads and I said you know I don't even see the ads, so I'm not the hands on guy. I like writing a check and then I turn it over to the guys that make it happen," Friess said. "I'm not allowed to coordinate any of the super PAC and it's pretty cut and dry. It's pretty simple. You just don't talk about the super PAC."

– CNN's Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this story.

– Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN

Also see:

Santorum says opposition to contraception rule doesn't restrict women's rights


Romney meets privately with conservative leaders at CPAC

As Santorum and Romney battle, Paul slams both as liberal

Who's the biggest earmarker of them all?


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Rick Santorum
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Good for Santorum. Let's see how well he practices what he preaches and run a clean campaign.

    February 10, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Is today the day that Mittens drops out? All that money from the Kochs and Rove, and still republicans reject him. At least he has the comfort of going off shore and count his money.

    February 10, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Evidently, there are a lot of rich teavangelicals who agree that women's reproductive rights need to be eliminated. For them, life begins at orgasm, and a fetus should be protected until birth, then after being born, a newborn is on its own. As a child, health, education and welfare are not the GOP's problem.

    February 10, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  4. diridi

    GOP's real problem is GOP itself, and its four clowns. These clowns make no sense, nor do have any idea of this nation and High-Tech Awareness. They use contraceptive as their allegation. Do they know even Catholics use these contraceptives, just like Hindus a very conservative society? GOP is idiotic, and full of thugs. that's all.....

    February 10, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  5. Anonymous

    church FREAK will do down in flames

    February 10, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  6. Jake

    Hmmm, let's see, this man brings a dead baby home to meet the family. If this isn't as bizarre as bizarre can be, I don't know what is. Wait, it just crazy, something a normal minded person wouldn't do. And this nutjob wants to be President? His supporters must also be crazy too.

    February 10, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  7. Switters

    Do you think that the good citizens of Pennsylvania who threw Santorum out with the largest percentage defeat of a sitting Senator in US history – will now turn around and vote for him for president..........

    February 10, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  8. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Do I make the check out to Surpreme Leader Ayatollah Santorum?

    February 10, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Great. Now we will have attack ads from Santy. While he was on the fringe, he was at least not going as negative as the others. He has money going in to his Super-PAC, so he can go nuts like the Newt and Romney.

    February 10, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  10. Larry in Houston

    this thing is getting sort of funny, at this point. IF santorum carrys at least 1 southern state – (especially with a lot of delegates) gingrich may as well drop out. because gingrich is banking on the south, like a clean sweep, in their campaign predictions. so – I guess we'll see.

    February 10, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  11. v_mag

    Scary Clown bucking up to Money Clown.

    The lawyer behind the Citizens United case was on CNN last night and made a fool of himself trying to defend unlimited contributions to campaigns. Right winger Erin lobbed one softball question after another, of course, but the lawyer was totally unconvincing.

    February 10, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Dee

    Santorum and his "Fake Religion Cry". Get out of your "Neanderthal" creeping into Womens Health,and our bedrooms!!! Repubs are Stoneage on Women! Take Mr.Joe Walsh, "He wants to take away Womens Rights,and he does,nt even pay his "Child Support to his ex-wife and Children???? The guy is a "Deadbeat Father" and Tax payers are paying this creeps wages,and health benefits!!!! Boehner,Cantor, McConnel,Walsh,Rubio,ect. "Part of the "Worst Congress in U.S. History! Lets get rid of these "Extremist" in the fall! For Americas Wellbeing!!!

    February 10, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  13. a in austin

    This man has no respect for women as evidenced with the Newt's likeness off Paula Deen? Really? This from a man who married a women who was sleeping and living with an abortion doctor? Hypocrite!

    February 10, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |