February fundraising: Romney and allies lead rivals
March 21st, 2012
09:35 AM ET
2 years ago

February fundraising: Romney and allies lead rivals

(CNN) – Financial disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday show GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the super PAC supporting his candidacy raising millions of dollars more than his rivals, while also outspending fellow candidates nearly two to one.

Romney took in $12 million in February, according to his financial filing, the highest of any GOP presidential candidate. Rick Santorum, who won early-February contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, raised $9 million.

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When combined with money raised by their respective super PACs, Romney and his allies took in a total $18.4 million, compared to the $12 million Santorum and his aligned super PAC raised.

Likewise, spending by Romney and his super PAC was more than double the amount spent by Santorum and his group. Romney and Restore Our Future spent $24.5 million in February, while Santorum and the Red, White and Blue Fund spent just under $11 million.

The largest contributor to Restore Our Future in February was Bob Perry, a builder in Texas who gave the group $3 million February 15. Perry was also a major contributor to "Swift Vets and POWs for Truth," the independent group that ran negative ads against Sen. John Kerry during his bid for president in 2004.

Payday loan company Advance America also contributed $25,000 to the group, the first time the organization has donated to the pro-Romney super PAC. Lenders offering payday loans have come under intense fire from consumer advocates, who say they exploit people by charging high interest rates.

Other candidates in the race stood behind the two frontrunners in both fundraising and spending. Newt Gingrich, who didn't win a single contest in February, raised $2.6 million last month. The super PAC supporting him, Winning our Future, took in $5.7 million, almost all of which came from the family of Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate.

Gingrich and Winning Our Future spent a combined $8.5 million in February.

Gingrich's campaign was also the largest holder of debt for any GOP presidential effort, owing a total $1.5 million. Santorum reported $922,448 in debt in Tuesday's filings. Romney's campaign said they had no outstanding debt.

The largest cash holder going into March was Romney, whose campaign had $7.3 million cash on hand at the end of last month. Santorum reported $2.6 million cash on hand, and Gingrich's campaign said it had $1.5 million.

Meanwhile, the Democrat the GOP candidates are seeking to defeat, President Barack Obama, raised $21.3 million through his campaign in February, and took in a total $45 million when combined with the Democratic National Committee and other fundraising committees.

The super PAC backing Obama, Priorities USA Action, raised $2 million in February, less than the super PACs supporting Romney, Santorum or Gingrich.

Obama's campaign spent $12.6 million in February, and reported having $85 million cash on hand.


Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    When you hear Mitt Romney say "economic freedom", you can substitute the word "greed."

    March 21, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    More wasted money for a clown that will never be president.

    March 21, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Perry was also a major contributor to "Swift Vets and POWs for Truth," the independent group that ran negative ads against Sen. John Kerry
    ----------------------------------------------–
    This is precisely why these campaigns don't want to list their donors. I would not contribute a red cent to a campaign that tells blatant lies and falsehoods about peoples character.

    March 21, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. Just Say No to Flipper

    More proof the 1% neocon elitists are trying to buy the presidency. Less than 200 people have contributed 60-80% of all campaign donations this year. Rmoney by far receives the most from that tiny, tiny group. Open your eyes; it's both shocking and clear what is happening.

    March 21, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Mittens is going to make history this November as having had the most expensive presidential run EVER ...and still losing.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    March 21, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If the trend continues, Mittens will need $100 million to get his 1144 delegates.

    March 21, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Why is Mittens smiling? He does not have to spend his own money to buy the nomination.

    March 21, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. geg

    a vote for pac-man =back to the bush days money scams and greed–i don,t think america would last

    March 21, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Can Mittens launder this campaign money too?

    March 21, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. DemocratRegret

    As of now, Mr. Obama has 85 million in campaign reserves. That would be about 5 times as much as ALL of the Repubs collectively have in reserve. So to all you lemmings criticizing campaign cash fluidity, look no further than the Sovereign one.

    March 21, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Four and The Door

    It's enjoyable watching Mitt Romney's march to the White House. In a very clear and refreshing way it says to all of the political advisers and politicians and lobbyists that when all is said and done The American Voter is In Charge. Politicians can try to play their decisions to this special interest group or that special interest group and try and manipulate and spin but bottom line always is that results are what the American voter wants to see and if you do not deliver they have plenty of choices. Mitt Romney promises something that has been sorely lacking in Washington. Responsible management of our federal government and a capability to deliver as promised.

    March 21, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    At least rich people are buying into Mittens wanting to get the government involved in gasoline pricing. Republican socialism for big oil, Wall Street, big banks, and redistributing the wealth to the rich is socialism the republicans will support. Its medicare, social security, veterans benefits, college loans, consumer protections, affordable health care, and government agencies that they want to eliminate.

    March 21, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes Four, the American voter is definitely in charge of Romney, provided its a corporation owned by one of his favorite plutocrats. Its very telling that individual small donors have formed a far greater percentage of the President's support than Romney's. Its also very telling that the very conservative voters who have been giving lots of small contribution, have NOT been sending them to the Mormon aristocrat.: in other words, the special interests are backing Romney, but the passion is not with him. Passion will send someone to the polls, and ahve them operating phone banks and knocking on doors. Robot boy won't be able to do that. Virtually every state he has won is a blue state.

    March 21, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. thomas

    Candidate Romney, though, sees himself in a role analogous to that of his Republican idol, himself also called to save the US from the depredations of Persia's rogue ayatollahs. Only now, rather than merely saving incarcerated diplomats, this latter-day Reagan has received a higher calling,

    Five sons , no military service . "economic freedom" of the corporate elite.

    March 21, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Four and The Door

    Wire Palladin, S. F.
    At least rich people are buying into Mittens wanting to get the government involved in gasoline pricing. Republican socialism for big oil, Wall Street, big banks, and redistributing the wealth to the rich is socialism the republicans will support...
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Big Oil, Wall Street and Big Banks have thrived because of Obama's generosity. Zero interest rates and bailouts have been very very good indeed. Nut not to the middle class, small businesses or unemployed.

    Mitt Romney is going to cut taxes 20% for every...working...American. He can do this by actually managing the federal government and our federal tax dollars. Obama instead offers revenge against successful people with a tax increase so out-of-control government spending can continue. No thanks. We can do better.

    March 21, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Four and The Door

    It's enjoyable watching Mitt Romney's march to the White House. In a very clear and refreshing way it says to all of the political advisers and politicians and lobbyists that when all is said and done The American Voter is In Charge.
    -------------------------------------------------
    The American Voter is In Charge, Four, which is why when Citizens United as personified by your boy Mittens tries to walk into OUR White House they will find the door locked and barricaded against them...with President Obama and his dog Bo waving at them from the inside!

    March 21, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Larry L

    @DemocratRegret

    "As of now, Mr. Obama has 85 million in campaign reserves. That would be about 5 times as much as ALL of the Repubs collectively have in reserve. So to all you lemmings criticizing campaign cash fluidity, look no further than the Sovereign one."
    --------------------------------------------------------–
    President Obama has his money in reserve because he hasn't started campaigning yet! Duh! That's why it's called "in reserve". Republicans have been hammering each other with negative ads because their candidates are so ridiculous, or so completely radical they've been rejected by the reasonable Republicans. It cost a lot of money to run the Clown Car!

    March 21, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote on page 1:

    Mitt Romney is going to cut taxes 20% for every...working...American. He can do this by actually managing the federal government and our federal tax dollars. Obama instead offers revenge against successful people with a tax increase so out-of-control government spending can continue.
    -------------
    Mitt Romney is making unrealistic, empty promises to you, better known as lies. For argument's sake, we are running a trillion dollar annual deficit. Mitt Romney tells you that he will cut that annual deficit to zero. Fine. What he doesn't tell you is that he will also need to cut another 6 trillion over the next decade to offset the deficit that his cuts will create. And, that's before he increases defense spending, so call it 10 trillion above beyond what Pres. Obama wants to spend.

    March 21, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Worried

    Does anybody else realize that the Mormon church, one of the wealthiest businesses in America,is looking to take us over or is it just me. Have you guys that are voting really looked into that cult?

    March 21, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. DrCole

    @ Rudy NYC
    When you hear Mitt Romney say "economic freedom", you can substitute the word "greed."
    --------
    Sure thing Rudy NYC, because it's very un-American to work hard and try to make the best for your family and for the family generations down the road, or to pay millions of dollars with philanthropy as you strive to make the world a better place while paying for education, food, housing, utilities, clothes, etc for those that are less fortunate. While you're busy saying how much greed Romney has, you really need to look at how much he has given away and where that money goes. Get to know your candidates before you start spouting off words that are made to elicit hate and fear.

    March 21, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Fabjan

    Santorum whines and cries about how Romney always outspends him. He too, would be spending big bucks on his campaign if he only had financial contirbutors who believed in him like Romney does. So if he cannot find enough people to contribute, is that Romney's problem? Maybe it's a hint that his message is not what it ought to be.

    March 21, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Worried

    Does anybody else realize that the Mormon church, one of the wealthiest businesses in America,is looking to take us over or is it just me. Have you guys that are voting really looked into that cult?
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yes. and we'll all be required to wear short-sleeved white shirts, black ties, and ride bikes! Yikes babe! Paranoid much?lol!!

    March 21, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Robert

    Dear "Worried", if you honestly believe the Mormon church is out to "take over" the United States, you are living in a fantasy La La universe with no connection to reality. The Mormon church is no more interested in "taking over" the United States than the Catholic Church was when JFK was in office. Time to get off the drugs and get your feet planted firmly on the ground.

    March 21, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |