The Capitol ColumnÂ | Jonathan Wong
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney held a series of three lavish campaign fundraisers at the homes of several prominent businessmen and a former ambassador in the Hamptons this weekend.Â According to theÂ New York Times, Mr. Romney is expected to raise approximately $4 million guests who were willing to pay up to $50,000 per plate to hear the Republican presidential hopeful speak.
The line of expensive cars stretched 30 deep as donors arrived throughout the day to attend the events: a luncheon at the home of Revlon chairman Ronald O. Perelman, and events at the homes of industrialist David Koch and former US Ambassador to Brazil Clifford Sobel.
The three events, which seemed to reinforce Mr. Romneyâ€™s image of exclusive privilege, drew some protestors, including a crowd of 200 outside of Mr. Kochâ€™s house. Most of the protestors decried the influence of corporate campaign dollars on the Republican campaign and chanted slogans such as â€œWe got sold out, the banks got bailed out!â€
Mr. Romney is not alone in hosting campaign fundraisers at the homes of the rich and influential. The Obama campaigns has held high-profile fundraisers at the homes of Hollywood figures, including a much-publicized gala at the home of actor George Clooney, which netted Mr. Obama nearly $15 million,Â according to theÂ Los Angeles Times.
However, it appears that Mr. Romney and his supporters are winning the fundraising battle. In April, Mr. Romney, coming off a contentious primary nomination battle, and the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $40 million. This matched the total raised by the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Â By May, the Romney campaign and the RNC raised $76.8 million, compared to $60 million by the Obama campaign and the DNC,Â according to theÂ Washington Post. In June, Mr. Romney raised $106 million. Although the Obama campaign has not released its June fundraising totals as of July 9, the trend appears to show that Mr. Romney will not suffer the same fate as John McCain did in 2008, when he was outspent by Mr. Obama three to one.
Additionally, theÂ Citizens UnitedÂ ruling has unleashed the power of super PACs to raise even greater amounts of candidates. In this arena, Mr. Romney has a distinct advantage.Â TheÂ Washington PostÂ reportsÂ that American Crossroads, a GOP-aligned super PAC, has $25.5 million on hand. Priorities USA Action, a Democratic-aligned super PAC, has $4.7 million ready to spend.
The financial firepower of these GOP-aligned groups is a cause for concern by President Obamaâ€™s campaign. Recent fundraising emails that being sent out to Mr. Obamaâ€™s supporters highlight this fact. In one email, Mr. Obama states â€œIâ€™m not just talking about the super PACs and anonymous outside groups â€” Iâ€™m talking about the Romney campaign itself.â€
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