Romney holds London fundraiser, meets British officials
July 6th, 2011
04:47 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney holds London fundraiser, meets British officials

Washington (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney held a major fundraiser Wednesday night at the prestigious Dartmouth House in London, England, where he became the first presidential candidate this political cycle to campaign abroad.

Romney met with British Secretary of State for Defense Liam Fox and former Prime Minister Tony Blair before the fundraiser, said a source familiar with the meetings.

Romney, who experts say has the strongest donor network, brought in $18.25 million in total receipts for the second quarter ending June 30, according to his campaign. The money raised at the London event will give him a head start toward what he hopes will be an impressive haul for the current quarter, which began July 1.

According to its website, Dartmouth House is an elegant mansion ideal for weddings, cocktail parties and business functions. It has Louis XIV walnut paneling and can host up to 350 guests.

A copy of the invitation, first obtained by the Boston Globe, lists a suggested contribution of $2,500, meaning the campaign could bring in as much as $875,000.

Among the event's co-chairs were: Louis Bacon, a hedge fund manager; Raj Bhattacharyya, managing director at Deutsche Bank; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and Dwight Poler, an executive with Bain's Capital, the firm Romney used to work for.

The Romney campaign refused to discuss details of the fundraiser, calling it a private event.

"There is a lot of interest in this election among Americans living abroad who like everyone else are worried about what the weak economy and lack of jobs means for our status in the world," campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said in a statement. "They want to know if we are going to lead the world economically or become something less."

Only U.S. citizens or green card holders can contribute to an American presidential campaign.

"It's not surprising that he's going there. There are significant funds that can be raised there," Republican consultant Doug Heye, who is not affiliated with any presidential campaign, told CNN. "He could have an impressive haul. It's a donor community that basically has not been touched since 2008."

Not only does London hold a lot of potential cash from Americans working in the banking and financial industries, but the event could also draw citizens working in other European countries.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani visited London in September 2007 as the first presidential candidate to travel abroad for a fundraiser. Barack Obama and John McCain also traveled across the pond during the 2008 campaign to raise money.

While in London on Thursday, Romney is scheduled to sit down with British National Security Adviser Peter Ricketts. It is also possible Prime Minister David Cameron could drop by the meeting, sources with knowledge of the meeting told CNN.

CNN Coverage Manager Steve Brusk contributed to this story.

You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising • Mitt Romney
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS

    If Romney goes to another country and throws the President under the bus, he can kiss his campaign goodbye.

    July 6, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. MarineVet

    The Magic Mormon Underpants told Mitt to go and get some global corporate contributions in exchange for more taxpayer subsidies, if he's elected.

    July 6, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So let me see. Bill Clinton receives campaign funds raised for him by folks in China and gets slammed for it. Romney goes to the UK for a fundraiser and it is Headline News! Oh, Yeah, that's right. The Roberts Supreme Court has decided that denying anyone (even someone not a US citizen) from being able to donating to a campaign is an abridgement of their freedom of speech.

    July 6, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Do they owe him? Did he send a bunch of jobs there or is he promising to send jobs there? Something smells fishy here, folks.

    July 6, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  5. FM

    He went to where?? To London? Is it not in Europe which he has been bashing all the time? This man has no shame.

    July 6, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Maybe he promised to invalidate the declaration of independence. I don't trust the flip-flopper two feet. Watch the republican thugs. More and more foreign money will be coming to them as they promise to give even more of our country away.

    July 6, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  7. Dreamer96

    We need to change campaign funding laws, these guy are all becoming a bunch of full time prostitutes. God only knows what promises they make to get funding...

    July 6, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  8. The Other Dale

    One does have to say if Obama did something like this, Fox News would be all over it and its commentators would be tearing it apart as another sign of socialism threatening to take over the country. But as long as the money pouring in from China, the UK and elsewhere is helping Conservatives, it's all a-ok evidently!

    July 6, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  9. John

    He gets call out on all his lies here I guess he figures he has a better shot at spewing his bull there...

    July 6, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  10. Winning

    This should not be legal. Not for Romney, not for Obama, not for anybody.

    July 6, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  11. diridi

    GOP guys are going to beg from Foreign lands, clearly represents, they are going to sell this nation for a dime or two.....They already sold to China, by shipping jobs there, and Saudi, by begging Oil from there, and sold this nation long time ago...shame, shame, shame....No wonder, Obama is crying on Education, Oil-Independence, etc., My vote for Obama2012!!!!
    Mitt Romney may be front runner, but hard for GOP ensuing elections....true..true, true...until they rig election like any other third world, or Florida like Bush second term...that would not happen....

    July 6, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  12. lgny

    even if kept strictly legal (only citizens contribute), it still stinks.

    This is an American election, not a British one!

    July 6, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  13. wonderabout

    OK.... let me highlight a couple of key mentions in this article.... "Not only does London hold a lot of potential cash from Americans working in the banking and financial industries, but the event could also draw citizens working in other European countries." – Banking/financial – right! more of the manipulating, heartless, greedy, thieving criminals who have and still are wreaking havoc and taking down countries like they were the floating ducks past them on a cheap carnival shooting game of chance! .... And this hasn't taken place since 2008, somehow I think that statement was meant to give the illusion that this was a long time ago – three years? no.... No matter who it is, Dem, Rep, Ind, Lib, whatever.... stay the hell in this country – and just TRY to lie to us a bit more on how you all are going to serve us "little people" you know the ones on whose backs you are stepping and who are paying the majority of the bills for decades so your rich buddies can add more cash to their – do we ever need election reform!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 6, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. KatR

    Romney is campaigning in the candy store. What Americans have the money to travel and live abroad? The wealthy...that's who. And they'll contribute to his campaign. After all, if they didn't they might not have the money to continue spending their money outside of America.

    July 6, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  15. The Elephant in The Room

    I have a problem with an American Presidential candidate taking money, OVERSEAS, from NON-AMERICANS for their Whitehouse bid.

    If candidate Obama had been 1st in line to do this, can we all imagine the howling from the rabid, rightwing, "TeaPartiers"? But since Guliani started it, I guess it is OK with them, ehh?

    Look what the frigging Supreme Court has started with it corporately-biased judicial activism. OK Libertarians [Henry, oh Henry?] if you have any principles you should be against these Romney efforts.

    July 6, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  16. NoCommentCNN

    Folks the root cause of this comes down to campaign finance laws.
    The people rights for fair representation are being undermined by large campaign donators who pick and choose who will be our representatives. The two major parties pick and finance who they wish to run for office to represent you. Along with that the two major parties allow anyone or any business to contribute an unlimited amount of money to promote your representative's election.
    Why should a billionaire from one state have the right to give money to a candidate in another state? The same goes for corporations, unions, special interest groups, PACs and lobbyists, why should they be allowed to pick and finance your elected representation when they do not even live in your community?
    "We the People" need to have the power of our votes count again without the influence of the wealthy, special interests, PACs, unions and corporate money that cheats the voters of having a true choice.
    I say that NO money can come from anyone other than individuals who live within the voter district the candidate wishes to represent. And those donations need to be restricted to a set maximum level so Billionaires do not pick and choose the winners.

    July 6, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |