Even in a down month, the primary super PAC supporting Mitt Romney almost tripled the fund-raising total of the one backing President Obama.
Restore Our Future received $4.6 million in contributions during April, according to a report filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission. The super PAC’s haul was its lowest this year, down from $8.7 million in March, but still easily outstripped the $1.6 million raised by Priorities USA Action. The pro-Obama super PAC raised $2.4 million in March.
Restore Our Future has $8.2 million cash on hand, even after spending $1.7 million in April on advertising. Most of the spending, $1.2 million, was devoted to pro-Romney ads for the primaries of Rhode Island, New York, and especially Pennsylvania, the FEC filing showed. The rest targeted Rick Santorum, Romney’s former primary opponent who dropped out of the race April 10.
The largest gift to Restore Our Future was $1 million from John B. Kleinheinz, a Texas hedge fund manager. Kleinheinz has been a generous Republican donor—$1.8 million since 2000—but had never given to a super PAC. The news website Politico reported that seven years ago, Kleinheinz commandeered the rented SUV of a photographer he accused of trespassing, steered the vehicle toward a pond, and jumped out just before it hit the water.
Four other donors gave $250,000 apiece and six made $100,000 contributions to Restore Our Future. Combined with Kleinheinz, those 11 donors exceeded the total gifts to Priorities USA Action by $1 million. — CALLUM BORCHERS
Romney fund-raiser set for home of Cheney
Embracing perhaps the most polarizing figure in the Bush administration, Mitt Romney will hold a fund-raiser at the Jackson Hole, Wyo., home of Dick Cheney this summer.
The Romney campaign confirmed Monday that it sent a save-the-date e-mail to supporters advertising the “memorable event’’ in a “beautiful summer destination’’ on July 12.
Cheney, who had a heart transplant in March, retains clout and cachet within the Republican Party but also has detractors. The former vice president unapologetically advocates severe interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which is widely categorized as torture.
Cheney and President George W. Bush have endorsed Romney, and the presumptive GOP nominee has added Bush aides, including Ed Gillespie, to his campaign team. But Romney has appeared wary of associating too closely with Bush and Cheney, and the last Republican team to win the White House has seemed unsure whether prominent support would help or harm Romney’s cause.
Bush’s endorsement, for instance, came after protracted silence and was delivered unceremoniously last week when he answered a reporter’s question while stepping onto an elevator.
Nevertheless, Romney has praised what he characterizes as the business-friendly climate of the Bush years. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi said last month that the GOP’s 2012 economic platform would be virtually identical to Bush’s, “just updated.’’
And Romney has expressed a favorable view of Cheney, in particular, saying the former vice president possesses the qualities he will look for in a running mate.
“Whether you agree or disagree with him, this is a man of wisdom and judgment, and he could have been president of the United States,’’ Romney said of Cheney at a campaign event in September. “That’s the kind of person I’d like to have—a person of wisdom and judgment.’’
In other fund-raising news, Romney is set to raise about $10 million during a swing through New York and Connecticut.
Romney’s top finance aide told donors in New York City on Monday that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was set to raise at least that—and possibly substantially more—during more than a dozen events over two days this week.
Romney’s fund-raising has skyrocketed since he started raising money with the Republican National Committee. With the party, Romney raised $40.1 million in April. That’s nearly as much as the $43.6 million that President Obama and the Democratic Party raised together last month. — GLOBE STAFF AND WIRES
President will address Air Force graduates
WASHINGTON—President Obama plans to deliver the commencement address to the Air Force Academy, his fourth service academy graduation speech in four years.
The president will travel to Colorado Springs on Wednesday, two days after completing a NATO summit in Chicago where the United States and its allies firmed up plans for eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.Continued...