Washington (CNN) – Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, offered support Monday for embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who he praised for trying to build a bridge between the GOP establishment and the libertarian-minded activists who supported Paul's presidential bid.
"Generally, the Republican leadership [doesn't] want to have anything to do with me and don't want to have anything to do with the Ron Paul people," Paul said in an interview on CNN's American Morning. "They should be looking to us and saying, 'You know, why don't we help these young people who are so anxious and interested in what I'm talking about? Maybe they can be and sure should be in the Republican Party instead of being excluded.' He's reached out."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney flexed his political fund-raising muscles Monday by announcing that he had raised more than $20 million in the first three months of 2007, the largest amount declared so far by a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
But Romney and all other presidential hopefuls trail Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the "fund-raising primary" as the New York Democrat collected $26 million in contributions to add to an additional $10 million she transferred from a Senate account to her presidential committee, her committee reported.
Clinton's fund-raising prowess can be attributed to a fine-tuned political machine and national fund-raising network honed during her husband's years in the White House and broadened during her first term in the Senate.
On the Democratic side, according to their campaigns, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards raised $14 million; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson raised $6 million; Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd raised $4 million; and Sen. Joe Biden, raised between $1 million and $2 million.
For the Republicans, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani raised $14 million; Sen. John McCain has raised $12.5 million; Sen. Sam Brownback has raised $1.3 million; and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee raised $500,000, according to their campaigns.
The initial fund-raising deadlines are generally considered to be an early indicator of a candidate's viability. But given the fund-raising options available to the candidates - such as raising money for both the primary and general elections - it is difficult to compare these figures until the campaigns file detailed financial reports to the Federal Election Commission. The campaigns have released rough estimates of their fundraising, but the complete reports are not due until April 15.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raised more than $20 million for his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, the largest number posted by a Republican so far in the first quarter of 2007, his campaign announced Monday.
Romney raised $20.63 million in primary contributions, and he also loaned his campaign $2.35 million, while transferring an additional $20,000 from his 1994 Senate account. In total, Romney's campaign posted $23 million for the quarter. Unlike some presidential candidates, Romney chose to only raise money for the primary.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton raised $26 million and transferred an additional $10 million from her Senate war chest to post $36 million in the first quarter of the 2008 fundraising cycle, the New York Democrat's presidential campaign announced Sunday.
"We are completely overwhelmed and gratified by the historic support," Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle told reporters in a conference call Sunday afternoon.
Senior campaign aides noted that Clinton, a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, had raised the $26 million in a 10-week period but still publicly claimed their goal for the year remains at $75 million. Political analysts suggest the fundraising figure for Clinton and a handful of other presidential contenders is more likely to be in the $100 million range for the year.
The Clinton aides did not release how much money the New York senator currently has in the bank or how much of the $26 million raised can be used in the Democratic primary and how much of it is earmarked for the general election campaign, should Sen. Clinton win the party's nomination. Those figures will be released on or about April 15. The campaign did say that of the $26 million raised, $4.2 million was contributed through the Internet.
The first quarter of the 2008 fundraising cycle is considered by many to be a reliable benchmark to assess a candidate's viability. The quarter closed on Saturday at midnight.
It is likely that Clinton will lead the Democratic field in fundraising this quarter, as her fine-tuned political machine, honed during her husband's years in the White House, kicked into high gear. Former President Bill Clinton played a high-profile role in the senator's presidential campaign in the first 10 weeks by headlining fundraisers and reaching out to key party activists.
Although Clinton is raising funds for both the primary and the general, which no previous presidential candidate has ever done, her total first quarter haul for the primary is still likely to far outpace what the frontrunners in either party raised at the comparable points in 1999 and 2003. In 1999, then-Gov. George W. Bush lead the GOP field by raising $7.6 million in the first quarter, while then-Vice President Al Gore lead the Democratic field with $8.9 million. In 2003, Sen. John Edwards raised about $7.4 million in contributions in the first quarter, enough to lead the Democratic field. President Bush did not begin raising money for his re-election bid until later in the year.
By early afternoon, the only other Democrat to release a first quarter fundraising estimate was Sen. Joe Biden. An aide to the Delaware Democrat tells CNN that they expect the campaign to post between $3 million and $4 million in the first three months with about $1.9 million of that being transferred from his Senate campaign account. The aide noted that they think Biden, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, can be competitive if they are able to raise $25 million for the primary. Biden is registering in the single digits in the national polls.
In the Republican presidential primary, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told CNN he expected to raise $500,000 in the first quarter and show $300,000 in the bank.