Video: Clinton, Romney tops in campaign cash

updated 4/2/2007 8:46:37 PM ET 2007-04-03T00:46:37

Republican Mitt Romney reported Monday he had raised $23 million for his presidential campaign during the first three months of the year, shaking up the GOP field. Sen. John McCain of Arizona lagged with $12.5 million raised.

McCain, at one point considered the Republican to beat, acknowledged he had “hoped to do better” in the first quarter of the year, although his campaign manager, Terry Nelson, said in a statement: “Fundraising in the first quarter is no more important than fundraising throughout the entire primary election campaign.”

Meanwhile, the current leader in Republican presidential surveys, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said his donations totaled $15 million — including more than $10 million raised during March alone.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a conservative darling but longshot GOP candidate, lagged far behind, reporting receipts of less than $2 million, including a $575,000 transfer from his Senate campaign account.

On their own, the Romney, Giuliani and McCain totals blew away past party presidential fundraising standards, but Romney’s figure put the former Massachusetts governor in competition with Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic front-runner. The New York senator on Sunday reported raising $26 million between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Clinton refused to reveal how much of that was for a potential general election campaign — raising the prospect that she and Romney may have raised virtually the same for their respective primary races.

All of the money the former Massachusetts governor raised was for the GOP primary. Video: Russert analysis

“Facing opponents in an extremely competitive fundraising field who enjoy universal name identification and the clear advantage of existing networks of contributors, Governor Romney’s fundraising totals are indicative of the extraordinary success the campaign has had at building an organization and stirring excitement among grassroots activists responding to his message,” said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden.

Romney was a venture capitalist whose only public service experience was running the 2002 Winter Olympics before he was elected to a single term as governor later that year.

Giuliani, who conversely had moved from politics to private business in recent years, said he has raised nearly $17 million since he formed his presidential exploratory committee in November. He also had $11 million cash on hand as of Saturday, the end of the first quarter.

Guiliani camp pleased
In a statement, Mike DuHaime, Giuliani’s campaign manager, said the campaign was thrilled with the total, despite what he called a “late start” to fundraising. The ex-mayor held his first major fundraiser in New York in December. Other top rivals didn’t do so until January or later. Video: Romney’s big plans for ‘08

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

McCain’s campaign released its fundraising totals while the senator was on a fact-finding mission in Iraq.

McCain tried to lower expectation last week, saying he didn’t like to raise money, had gotten off to a late start and was “going to pay a price for it.”

GOP has expressed financial worries
Republicans in Washington have privately said that McCain’s rate of spending has been alarming, even as Giuliani has opened a wide lead in national popularity polls.

Only $48,000 of the money McCain raised was for a potential general election race, while all but $100,000 of the money Giuliani raised was for a primary campaign.

In the Democratic race, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has yet to release his total, touching off speculation of an announcement equivalent to the figure reported by Clinton.

Among the other Democratic candidates, aides to former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said his $14 million in new contributions included $1 million for the general election.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said he had raised $6 million and had more than $5 million cash on hand.

Aides to Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd said he raised more than $4 million and transferred nearly $5 million from his Senate campaign, for a total of $9 million in receipts and $7.5 million cash on hand. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden lagged behind, with his staff reporting that he had total receipts of nearly $4 million, nearly half of which was transferred from his Senate campaign account.

Unexpected loss for Romney
Romney’s total included an unexpected asterisk: a $2.35 million loan from the candidate himself. In January, the Republican stunned the field by raising $6.5 million on a single day in which he invited his supporters to Boston and asked them to call their professional and social circles for donations.

At that time, the millionaire venture capitalist said “it would be akin to a nightmare” if he donated to his campaign, although he reserved that right. On Monday, a senior adviser said Romney ended up loaning the funds as “seed money” for his campaign. The adviser said Romney had done so before making his “nightmare” comment.

The prior records for first-quarter fundraising were held by Republican Phil Gramm of Texas and Democrat Al Gore of Tennessee. Gramm raised $8.7 million in 1995, while Gore raised $8.9 million in 1999. Gramm dropped out race before New Hampshire’s 1996 primary, while Gore went on to win the 2000 Democratic nomination.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments