GOP contenders line up for Romney’s 2012 fundraising machine
Seems that one thing Mitt Romney was able to do well in 2012 was raise money. His fundraising ability was top-notch and now 2016 Republican contenders are attempting to court the same machine for their respective candidacies.
Report from CBS News, emphasis mine:
Three years before the next presidential election, several prospective Republican White House contenders are quietly courting senior members of Mitt Romney’s money machine.
For the candidates, Romney’s team represents a well-connected group of influential donors who can quickly generate – or divert elsewhere – the financial resources that have become the lifeblood of modern presidential politics. The former Republican presidential nominee had questionable political skills, but his fundraising operation was considered an overwhelming success.
Half a dozen Republican leaders weighing presidential bids are expected to attend a Sept. 23 fundraiser at the home of senior Romney donor Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets. The attendees, who include Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, will also attend a Washington fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad the next day. The Washington event was organized, in part, by Lisa Spies, the wife of the pro-Romney super PAC founder, who helped raise more than $23 million last year as head of the Romney campaign’s women’s outreach program.
It’s unclear how much influence Romney maintains over his former fundraising network, but he addressed the 2016 election last month at a New Hampshire Republican Party fundraiser, calling on his party to “stay smart,” in part, by backing candidates who can win.
“My guess is that every one of the contenders would be better than whoever the Democrats put up,” Romney said. “But there will only be one or perhaps two who actually could win the election in November.”
While Romney didn’t name names, donors privately suggest that they’d likely avoid conservative firebrands like Paul or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, or those like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who have been critical of Romney’s campaign. Romney’s network has shown an early interest in Rubio in particular.
With Rubio the early favorite among Romney’s big donors, candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will likely be more reliant on grassroots fundraising during the primaries versus the high-dollar donations from party bigwigs.
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