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Political Notebook

Romney raises $14.2m last quarter, but trails Perry

October 15, 2011

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WASHINGTON - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney raised $14.2 million during the previous fund-raising cycle, his campaign said yesterday, a haul that puts him behind Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

Romney also reported having $14.65 million in cash on hand, slightly less than the $15 million reported by Perry’s campaign.

The fund-raising quarter ended on Sept. 30, although campaigns do not have to file their reports with the Federal Election Commission until tomorrow. Romney is the first to issue a detailed picture of his fund-raising, although Perry’s campaign has said that he expects to report raising $17 million.

The Globe reported two weeks ago, before the final tally was complete, that Romney was on pace to raise between $11 million and $13 million during the quarter.

Romney’s campaign said it collected 55,947 contributions from donors in all 50 states.

During the first six months of the campaign, Romney has raised $32.5 million, which is less than the $35 million he raised during the first six months of his campaign four years ago. During the 2008 campaign he also had also loaned himself $8.8 million. So far, he hasn’t put any of his own money into this campaign.

By comparison, President Obama raised roughly $43 million for his campaign and $27 million for the Democratic National Committee last quarter.

Also yesterday, the Associated Press reported that Jon Huntsman Jr., the former ambassador to China and governor of Utah, is carrying $890,000 in debt for his presidential campaign even after giving his campaign about $2 million of his own money.

— Matt Viser

Cain joins GOP candidates boycotting Nev. caucuses

LAS VEGAS - Former pizza executive Herman Cain is adding his name to the list of Republican contenders boycotting Nevada’s caucuses.

Cain, who has been rising in the polls these past two weeks, will attend Tuesday’s debate in Las Vegas but will not participate in the state’s Jan. 14 caucuses, said Charlie Spano, Cain’s field operations director in New Hampshire.

Spano added that Cain will continue to campaign in Nevada.

Cain is the fifth candidate to boycott the contest, joining Jon Huntsman, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.

The call to persuade Nevada to push back its caucus date three days began Wednesday, when New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner threatened to hold the first-in-the-nation primary in early December to avoid shoehorning it between Iowa’s caucuses, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 3, and Nevada’s contest.

Nevada’s GOP chairwoman, Amy Tarkanian, said New Hampshire has the wrong target, urging the candidates to boycott Florida, which she says sent the presidential calendar in disarray.

Florida Republican leaders decided to jump into the middle of the traditional early contest states and hold their primary on Jan. 31. Nevada followed by moving its original Feb. 18 date up more than a month.

Nevada GOP officials are standing firm. “Any serious GOP contender has to understand that Nevada is a competitive battleground state,’’ said David Gallagher, executive director of the Nevada Republican Party.

— Associated Press

Lieberman defends Romney on Mormon faith

WASHINGTON - Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut came to the defense of Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith yesterday, calling for Americans to embrace the Founding Fathers’ ideals of religious freedom and reject any “sectarian religious tests’’ for office.

Romney should be judged on his qualifications and policies, not by his faith, Lieberman wrote in the Washington Post opinion pages. Lieberman became the first Jewish American to be nominated for a national office in 2000 when Al Gore chose him as his running mate.

“I hope and believe that Americans of all faiths - and of no faith - will not base their votes on the fact that Romney’s Mormon faith seems ‘different,’ ’’ Lieberman wrote.

“Just as Americans rose above differences when John F. Kennedy’s Roman Catholic faith was ‘different’ in 1960, and 16 years later when Jimmy Carter’s Christian evangelical faith was ‘different,’ and again in 2000 when my Jewish faith was ‘different,’ Romney must be judged on his personal qualities, experience and ideas for America’s future.’’

Lieberman, a former Democrat, is retiring next year as an independent. His column comes a week after Pastor Robert Jeffress, a supporter of Governor Rick Perry of Texas, called Mormonism a cult.

Romney and others have criticized Perry for his affiliation with Jeffress, who had made similar comments when Romney ran for the Republican nomination four years ago.

Perry later said he disagrees with Jeffress, but stopped short of disavowing him.

— Tracy Jan