Romney shrugs off 'mystery' donor controversy
August 8th, 2011
01:28 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney shrugs off 'mystery' donor controversy

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shrugged off a "mystery" $1 million donor controversy during a media availability Monday, saying the fact the supporter has publicly come forward should settle the matter.

The $1 million donation to a pro-Romney political action committee came from a shell organization established by a former colleague, Edward Conrad. Conrad stepped forward Friday to say he was the source of the funds.

"I think the whole controversy with regards to his contribution certainly sort of disappears when he came forward and said he was the contributor," Romney said Monday. "He's been a long-term business associate and friend of mine, a contributor in the past."

The pro-Romney PAC Restore Our Future accepted the donation from a corporation that appears to have been established solely for the purpose of funneling the one-time gift to support the former Massachusetts governor's reelection campaign. The story was first reported by NBC News.

Edward Conrad, a former official at Bain Capital, the private equity firm where Romney was a founder, said in a letter to the online news site Politico that he had donated the funds and had consulted lawyers to assure his gift was legal.

The discovery set off a firestorm of condemnation about loopholes in campaign finance rules that allow the shadowy movements of funds from big-money donors.

Romney said he did not regret the donation and that he had expected his friend to contribute.

"I sure was hoping he would make a contribution and was confident he would make a contribution," Romney said of Conrad. "He had every campaign in the past."

Conrad said he has requested campaign finance reports be amended to identify he was the donor.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Chris~Albany, NY

    This is why I NEVER follow the speed limit. If these people can so easily skirt the laws why shouldn't I? Just using the speed limit as an overly simplistic comparison.

    August 8, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. John

    America for sale!

    August 8, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Angus001

    Guess where that came from. How about Obama's big oil contributors? Gesh!!!!!! Why doesn't the media cover that?

    August 8, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. ex-sarge

    Well, for one thing in Mitt's world one million dollars is not a lot of money, so of course he can't be concerned about it. Wise up people. Stop electing millionaires and billionaires. To them the middle class makes around 500,000 a year and up.

    August 8, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Jeff Campbell

    I love it – Romney shrugs off the fact that he and his buddies are slimeball cronies, corrupting elections and hidining behid sham companies to evade campaign finance laws.

    August 8, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    This will be money put to good use. Edward Conrad is doing the American taxpayer, worker and next generation a great favor by giving this large contribution for Mitt Romney's campaign. Thank you from the many of us who will benefit from your donation. America needs Mitt Romney's management expertise more every day.

    August 8, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. George Busch

    What does a million dollars buy you in a run for the white house. Anything the contributor wants. We were promised campaign reform and got just the opposite.

    August 8, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. larry

    No surprise here, and the american public will also give him a pass or better yet take his word for it (unlike the current president).So just tell me how can we be ever taken seriously?

    August 8, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. thomas

    I would rather Mitt Romney tell the american public why none of his five sone did any military service !

    30 brave men lost there lives in Afghanistan over the weekend , he said nothing !

    Talk is cheep , writing letters to families of fallen soldiers is not easy.

    August 8, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. Chas in Iowa

    And this statement by Romney is suppose to set us at ease,.....really?
    The way this guy sells out you better get a receipt.

    August 8, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Everyone knows that big business donates to the leading candidates in both parties, so they can wield influence, with either party, depending on who wins.

    That is the fundamental corruption, in our political system, and one that the Supreme Court endorsed. That basically means, our judicial system is the highest level.

    August 8, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Shirley In California

    And I FULLY intend to "shrug" YOU off in 2012. BTW – are your son's still serving their country by lying for you on the campaign trail while others die?

    August 8, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Lisa P

    With friends like that who cares what the American people think? Just brainwash enough of 'em in a couple of key states and Romney can forget all this "democracy" foolishness altogether. Government of the money, by the money and for the money. Voting is overrated - clearly a great guy like Ed Conrad who has nothing better to do with his million dollars than give it to his buddy Mitt deserves more than one vote. 'Cause those political consultants and TV stations need that money a lot more than the sick, the aged, the homeless, the jobless, or any of the other losers these hedge fund thieves and company destroyers stole it from.

    August 8, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "Citizen's United" has provided an aveneue for legalized bribery of our politicians.

    I don't care what anyone says, the SCOTUS made the wrong decision to grant corporations citizenship, or any rights for that matter. How long will it be before corporations start requesting the right to vote? How many votes would a corporation get? Does more money equal more votes? Once they have the right to vote, will they not set up these types of temporary companies just to cast a vote?

    August 8, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Anybody questioning all the $35,000 a plate dinners Obama is having and who is shelling out all that money? Can we get all those names listed here? How many are high level union officials?

    August 8, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. C. Howe Yulikit

    You are a crook Romney. This was a way of getting around the legal contribution limit and you are shameless in "shrugging it off". You'll never be President. Mitty.

    August 8, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. SecedingfromTexas

    "Atlas Shrugged" too. Romney, et al, the epitome of Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism.

    August 8, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |