For Romney, Fundraising Comes First

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Larry Marano / WireImage / Getty Images

Mitt Romney attends Juntos Con Romney Rally at Miami-Dade County Fair and Exhibition on Sept. 19, 2012 in Miami, Florida

Miami

It’s nearing 9 p.m. and lightning forks across the sky, but inside a cavernous concrete expo hall, a mostly Hispanic crowd is chanting Mitt Romney’s name. Although Romney trails Barack Obama by more than two-to-one among Latinos, Miami — known for its conservative Cuban population — is friendly territory. The crowd waves “Juntos con Romney” signs and drops his name into salsa tunes. When Romney takes the stage with his Spanish-speaking son Craig, he looks gratified by the outpouring of support. “What a Miami welcome!” he shouts. “Juntos con Romney!”

If Romney is thrilled by the crowd, that may be because he hasn’t been around many lately. The Wednesday night gathering in Miami was his first campaign rally since Friday – an eternity at this phase in the campaign. By mid-September, presidential candidates commonly cram as much voter contact as possible into each day. But with just seven weeks until Nov. 6, Romney’s skimpy public schedule is presenting an interesting test of how much retail politics still matters in the age of super PACs.

(PHOTOS: On the Trail with Romney)

To be sure, Romney has been both busy and visible to voters. He spoke to Latino business leaders Monday in Los Angeles, held a hastily convened press conference that evening to respond to the Mother Jones video roiling his campaign, taped an interview with Fox News Tuesday and attended a Univision candidate forum here before the Wednesday night Miami rally. But the bulk of week has been devoted to a fundraising. And Wednesday’s stop in Florida was his first in a battleground state since last Friday.

Since the Republican convention, Romney’s retail campaign has been superseded by the constant search for cash. As he hopscotches the country, he has anchored his agenda with visits to ritzy enclaves of rich donors, rather than camping out in electoral battlegrounds as his predecessors have done. Tuesday, for example, took him from Orange County, Calif., to a fundraiser in Salt Lake City, and on to Texas, where he held another in a hotel ballroom on the outskirts of downtown Dallas. None of those three states are up for grabs on Nov. 6.

Such itineraries have led some pundits to question whether the time he’s spent pitching donors behind closed doors might be better spent in the handful of swing states expected to tip the presidential race — or trying to boost his numbers in battlegrounds like Pennsylvania or Michigan, where he has sagged in the polls. Speaking to TIME last week, a senior adviser to Romney defended the frequency of Romney’s public events, noting that President Obama was able to stockpile money while Romney was busy clinching the Republican nomination. For the first time since the advent of public financing for presidential campaigns in the 1970s, the adviser said, neither candidate was taking public money — creating an arms race that required a heavy slate of finance events.

(MORE: Amid Video Controversy, Romney Punches Back)

That need was born out by a report Tuesday night on the website of the conservative magazine National Review, which revealed Romney had drawn a $20 million line of credit last month against his campaign contributions earmarked for the general election and unavailable to him until after he formally became the GOP nominee. It’s a “balancing act,” the adviser said, one that will tilt heavier toward rallies and public events going forward.

Romney’s campaign has not said so, but the schedule may reflect a calculation that it simply makes sense to play to the candidate’s strengths. Romney is often stiff and scripted on the hustings. His triumph in the Republican primary owed more to his war chest and organization than to his dynamism on the stump. He may not be the best medium for his message. But behind closed doors he is a skilled salesman. The video unearthed by Mother Jones reveals a candid, funny and freewheeling (in hindsight, perhaps dangerously so) candidate. There’s a reason Romney is such a prodigious fundraiser. And all that cash can buy TV ad exposure a month of rallies can’t match.

On top of that, some believe the deluge of ads — more than $1 billion are expected to be spilled on the presidential race, with more than half still to come — has rendered retail politics a secondary concern. “It’s too late to do rallies,” Romney bundler John Catsimatidis told reporter Scott Conroy of RealClearPolitics. “I don’t think you can see enough people to make a difference. I think getting on television and telling the people what you’re going to do — spending your time doing that is more important than hitting 50 cities in 50 days.”

(MORE: Promising Change of All Kinds, Romney Campaign Plans More of the Same)

But banking on TV has its risks. The blizzard of advertising in September and October may yield diminishing returns, as the two sides’ attacks cancel out and voters grow weary of the constant negativity. Some political science research suggests TV ads “can be pretty effective early, when candidates are being defined in the electorate,” says Bob Biersack, senior fellow at the Center for Responsive Politics. “As candidates are better defined, they have less effect.” That’s particularly true in an electorate with few persuadable voters. At the same time, focus-grouped ads are a more precise targeting tool than even the best-tailored stump speech.

Romney has made Spanish-language TV ad buys to help close the gap among the Hispanic voting bloc. At the Univision forum Wednesday, he couched his position on illegal immigration in softer terms and stressed — four times in a single answer — that his campaign was “about the 100%.” But for some, it’s no substitute for simple voter contact. “It’s very important,” says Ed Del Pozo, a Romney supporter who owns a chimney business he says has suffered during the Obama Administration. “He needs to reach out to the community.”

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Sept. 7-14)

226 comments
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JohnParish
JohnParish

Help support the change in the way election campaign funds

are raised.  Stop the Super Pacs from

steering the candidates and ruling the government. 

Come march on Congress and show them that the American

Population do not want candidates to be persuaded by these Super Pacs any more.

Visit www.indiegogo.com/SuperPac

and help raise the awareness of this problem.

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JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

Money means power. Concentrated wealth at the top means extraordinary power at the top. The reason Romney pays a rate of only 14 percent on $13 million of income in 2011 -- a lower rate than many in the middle class -- is because he exploits a loophole that allows private equity managers to treat their income as capital gains, taxed at only 15 percent.

And that loophole exists solely because private equity and hedge fund managers have so much political clout -- as a result of their huge fortunes and the money they've donated to political candidates -- that neither party will remove it.

In other words, everything America is learning about Mitt Romney -- his tax returns, his years at Bain Capital, the video of his speech to high-end donors in which he belittles half of America, his gaffes, the budget policies he promotes -- repeat and reenforce the same underlying reality.

So much wealth and power have accumulated at the top of America that our economy and our democracy are seriously threatened. Romney not only represents this problem. He is the living embodiment of it.

ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley

JS
JS

This article is pointless and totally partisan. What do you think Hussein Obama has been doing the last 3.5 years. Fund raising and campaigning all the time. He has been AWOL on all major issues facing this country - Deficit, Job Creation, Budget, etc. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

Humpty Romney stood on his stump 

Humpty Romney took a big dump 

All the Koch's money 

And all Fox's lies  

Simply could not make Romney's polls rise.

Chosun1
Chosun1

Obama's 2008 patches amp; their prices:

University of California$1,648,685Goldman Sachs $1,013,091Harvard University $878,164Microsoft Corp $852,167Google Inc $814,540JPMorgan Chase amp; Co $808,799Citigroup Inc $736,771Time Warner $624,618Sidley Austin LLP $600,298Stanford University $595,716National Amusements Inc $563,798WilmerHale LLP $550,668Columbia University $547,852Skadden, Arps et al $543,539UBS AG $532,674IBM Corp $532,372General Electric $529,855US Government $513,308Morgan Stanley $512,232Latham amp; Watkins $503,295

The Obama administration was bought for you today by the education elite (all of the ivory tower types listed), the monied elite (the bankers amp; lawyers) and the government elite (US Govt).  It's too early to see what the final 2012 patches will be but preliminary results look like he's mostly keeping the ivory tower and government elite but losing the financial sector to Romney:  See http://www.opensecrets.org/pre... and http://www.opensecrets.org/pre...

Jardin J
Jardin J

The caption should have read "For Mitt Romney: Money Comes First" 

That would have been more inclusive and more accurate. 

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

Shake the political environment up, Romney, or you are assured of losing this election.  Release your tax returns and thereby prove your openness, your trust of the American people and your truthfulness. (Sort of like Nixon's Checkers speech). (You owe it to the Republican party and to the voters.)

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

http://taxfoundation.org:81/article/states-vary-wi...  

The map on page 1 and the table below show the percentage of tax filers in

each state who have no income tax liability as well as the state's rank

among the other 50 states. Nine of the ten states with the largest

percentage of nonpayers are in the South and Southwest. In Mississippi,

45 percent of federal tax returns remit nothing or receive money with

their federal tax returns; that is the highest percentage nationally.

Georgia is next at 41 percent, followed by Arkansas at 41 percent, and

Alabama, South Carolina, and New Mexico at 40 percent. 

 Guess who's waving goodbye to the "Red States"!

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

Obama only needs to do one thing to look absolutely, flawlessly, incomparably STELLAR as a president.....

Stand within 10 feet of Romney.

dawnkucera
dawnkucera

The thing that bothered me the most on that tape was seeing the wait staff serving the dinner. They were probably working a second job and making minimum wage, if that. Maybe they didn't make enough to pay taxes.  Romney was dissing them, and I would bet bucks to beans that neither Romney nor those guests even SAW those people.

   Whoever made that tape deserves a medal.  If he/she is ever discovered and gets fired over it, I would contribute to a fund.  This is the 5 minutes that sunk a presidential campaign. 

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

James Poniewozik writes in the Time entertainment section, but has a fine sense of politics.  He had an article on the very issue you raise.  You might want to check it out, he's a great writer.

The help amongst these people are just part of the furniture, the wall paper.

dawnkucera
dawnkucera

I agree, I love James P.  For sometime, I just thought of him as the TV guy.  But as I read him more, I realized he went a lot deeper than that. Will definitely look for him when my new issue arrives. In other posts, I've been saying the wait staff was noticed about as much as the drapes - same thought. 

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 Yes.  It was as sleezy as anything I have ever seen.

When I was in my junior year in high school, my parents -- both of them taught in the public school system -- decided that the woman who taught chemistry and physics in my school was incompetent, and they determined to send me to a private school for my last two years.  My family was DEFINITELY middle class, and I found myself in school with hoards of extra-privileged  boys (one of whom was Chip Carter, the president's son -- who was possibly the only person on the planet who could make his father seem like an intellectual).

The pictures/stories of Romney in his private school days reminds me of so  MANY of the boys with whom I was in school: priviliged, insincere, unconcerned, unaware, arrogant, entitled -- and sociopathic screwups.  That he could be in a room full of "servants", be oblivious of them, and speak so condescendingly about the lives they must live did not surprise me a bit.  That is the life to which he was born.  He simply filled me with disgust.

This is a very poor excuse for a human being, and he would be a poor excuse for a president.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Last night Lawrence O'Donnell played part of the tape from that fund raiser where someone in the audience asked a question that was really derogatory and O'Donnell really took them to task for it.

I didn't take notes because I was sure I would be able to find it on the web today. Unfortunately not. When I have some time, I plan to listen to the whole tape of the fund raiser because when I hear the question again, I'm sure more will come back to me. It was really classist, subtley racist, and ugly.

The people who were paying 50,000 per plate were as bad as Romney, if not worse.

dawnkucera
dawnkucera

Hey Ivy,

  I just saw something that said the Mother Jones website has published the whole video. MotherJones.com, I think. 

dawnkucera
dawnkucera

Thanks for the testimonial. I am glad I wasn't the only one to pick up on that. 

dawnkucera
dawnkucera

That's a great list - but you  forgot some of his fellow Republican candidates - they are deserting him in droves, worried about being pulled into defeat with him.  This is the kind of coattails they don't want to be riding! 

About the only segment left are his fellow rich folks , - but hey,  he's still got 7 weeks left to pull that off.  With his talent for insulting, I'm sure he will find a way.  :+)

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

To date, Team Romney and the Republican Party have managed to alienate:

- women who rely upon Planned Parenthood for their preventative health care needs

 - any citizen whose health care coverage was made possible by the ACA

 - families living in poverty and anyone else dependent upon food stamps to make ends meet 

- students -

intellectuals 

- senior citizens dependent upon Medicare and Social Security 

- military veterans who depend on federal financial assistance 

- gays 

- Muslim Americans 

- Latinos 

- union workers in the private sector 

- teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, and other workers in the public sector 

- middle class families needing federally-backed financial assistance to send their kids to college

... next??

EstebanV111
EstebanV111

Great article.

 

Hi. I am Esteban Vargas and I teach music in Peru, my students

and myself are helping streets dogs, this dogs don´t count with anyone to help,

so we realize we have to do something by ourselves and then after seen the

success and great help that a society can provide we decide to create the

"Street´s Dogs Helping League", we know that If we just have a

fraction of the success of these campaigns we will be able to help and rescue

many more dogs that we ever do before, and this inspire us to go ahead.

Streets dogs

help http://www.indiegogo.com/stred...

Streets

dogs help http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

EstebanV111
EstebanV111

Great article.

 

Hi. I am Esteban Vargas and I teach music in Peru, my students

and myself are helping streets dogs, this dogs don´t count with anyone to help,

so we realize we have to do something by ourselves and then after seen the

success and great help that a society can provide we decide to create the

"Street´s Dogs Helping League", we know that If we just have a

fraction of the success of these campaigns we will be able to help and rescue

many more dogs that we ever do before, and this inspire us to go ahead.

Streets dogs

help 

Streets

dogs help

Kaisar_ga
Kaisar_ga

Mitt is like water --- he would take the shape, color and

form of a container he is in.

 

He was for health care now against it.

He was for abortion now he is against it.

He was anti-immigrants now he is their best friend.

He was for 53% of American now he is for 100%.

He wants your vote and support but he does not trust you and

his own country --that is why he keeps his money foreign banks

He asked you to pay taxes and take responsibility --but he

hide his money so he wont have to pay taxes and take responsibility-- how many American do you know have IRA account for 100 million in a foreign banks

He was open to disclose his tax return during his bit for

Senate seat  --not mentioning he gave 20+

years of tax returns to Mccain in 2008 for possible VP position ---now he is

against it.

 

I have been following politics since Ronald Reagan -- I

never seen anyone as flaky as Mitt.

 

I bet he will switch all these positions including claim himself as a Gay man if he thinks

that will allow him to win the White House.

 

It also beg the question about the GOP voters who are

supporting him--- do they even know which Mitt they are supporting ? Either these GOP

voters are blind and deaf or they are just as flaky as their leader Mitt.

The biggest culprits are the Media -- they often asked child-ball (worse than softball) questions--- every now and then they will ask a tough question -- but failed to do follow-up questions.

Moreover, they are keep bringing the looser to their shows for interviews, i.e, Newt Gingrich, Michael Buchman and John McCain are example of few. 

I believe these individuals are responsible for dividing the country to Blue state and Red state -- Black vs White--- Hispanic vs Non-Hispanic --What nest -- are you guys help to start a war among us?

Cane Pazzo
Cane Pazzo

Romney just loves MONEY!  He's obsessed with Money.  He likes fund raisers because he is always in friendly territory.  He can't stand to have to answer difficult questions.  Mainly because he has no credible answers.

George W. Bush was an embarrassment.  This fool is beyond the pale.  Without all his father's connections he would be flipping burgers at McDonald's today.

Solus5
Solus5

And Obama decides to meet with David Letterman instead of Israel's Prime Minister because, as Wolfe Blitzer says, it would get him more votes.. Then it's off the J.Lo's fundraiser...

Who can blame the guy.. Benjamin N. makes BO look like a amateur every time they get together.. To BO, it's more about getting votes and raising money with Hollywood stars than it is meeting with ally leaders; especially those in the middle east.. But then, hey, BO knows all right... I hope he's spending lots of nights at a Holiday Inn Express because he sure hasn't been to any security meetings or economic counsel meetings in a while..  

And, by the way.. Where are all the stories on Carney finally admitting that the death of our ambassador was a terrorist attack planned 3 days before the event.. And the 2 ex-seals were actually CIA operatives there to get back guns that fell into the hands of Al-Qaeda.. And how that the ambassador feared for his life because he felt he was on a the Al-Qaeda hit list... Where is it CNN?  Is that not news? 

Cane Pazzo
Cane Pazzo

Who cares what Blitzer says.  How about thinking for yourself.

paulejb
paulejb

DonQuixotic,

"It is a perfect description of associating security arrangements for Benghazi with Obama."

=====================================

I was under the impression that one Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama was President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief. Was I mistaken?

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

"I respond to a image, you imply thatI don't care about those who died.

=============================

Sure, Ob. You had no idea of the significance of the bloody hand prints on the Benghazi consulates wall.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Paulejb

Fallacy; changing the premise of what I meant and in reply to your original fallacy of meaning that I cringe because of the loss of life as suppose to the childish image of the flag with that back crop.

We're not you, no matter how hard you try. You will and for always be trapped in your inability to rise above yourself.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

Captain Romney Of The GOP

Titanic.  

 

Senate and House Republicans now look at Mitt Romney

and see the second coming of George W. Bush and are  running away from him as fast as they can. They do not mind if

their captain goes down with the ship after having run it into the iceberg, but

they still want to get on the lifeboats.

 

Which suggests an interesting idea:  if the November election were between Romney

and Dubbya, who would you vote for?

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

One of the more poignant passages

in the Declaration of Independence is this: "all experience hath shewn,

that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to

right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed" 

 

It is worth bearing in mind that while the rich keep

clawing away at common people's savings, always digging for people's last 5¢ --

most people suffer those evils to the extent that they can because the

alternative is grave and not to be taken lightly. I would caution the super

wealthy to restrain themselves from pushing people too far, it might just come

to bite them in the rear. 

 

People like Romney, and all of those other robber-barons

with him seem unable to be satiated by any quantity of wealth. So much so that

they are not only willing, but apparently happy to come after working class

people to appropriate their social securities and dignity.

 

With his comments made at the

fundraiser, Romney all but said we wished to return to the days of a landed

aristocracy. 

 

One can readily imagine him as one of the loathsome

characters in a Charles Dickens novels. He has revealed himself as a villain. 

 

Is he also a ‘sufferable evil’?

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

"So your excuse for your inability to provide a serious argument is that somehow we're just not as sharp?"

========================================

Well, I didn't want to state it that harshly, but you have to admit that you people are certainly not the sharpest knives in the draw.

MrObvious
MrObvious

but you have to admit that you people are certainly not the sharpest knives in the draw.

Why would anyone admit to something you write based on your inability to be serious?

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

It is obvious from the performance of the hive on a daily basis from 53_3's vulgar idiocy to your dogmatic obstinance.

MrObvious
MrObvious

The only thing that's obvious is that your low expectations of yourself is your own opiat for the way you escape anything intellectually taxing.

Sorry, but you can't blame fitty or me for your inability to interact like a normal person.

You can escape the troll in you but I think you're to addicted to the idea that you don't have to take responsibility for anything when it's easy to blame someone else.

It's your liquid nature. You're not very sophisticated, only supremely able to pretend you can throw out pretentious words to mask you as exceptional.

paulejb
paulejb

DonQuixotic,

"Still waiting on you to back up that Jewish voters turn out higher than everyone else too."

=================================

"Jeff Greenfield of CNN, speaking a few years ago at the Jewish Theological Seminary, at a program celebrating 350 years of Jews in North America, attempted to explain the phenomenon of high voter turnout among Jews. Greenfield stated that two traits which separate the Jewish community from all others, higher levels of education and affluence, are consistent with high voter turnout. Educated and affluent Americans vote more than those without these characteristics."

http://www.bnaimoshe.org/jewis... 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Thank you.  Now I can feel relieved that the majority of the overwhelmingly support Obama.

paulejb
paulejb

DonQuixotic,

Obama can't afford to lose any of them. Especially in Florida.

paulejb
paulejb

DonQuixotic,

"No. They're red stripes. This is almost as bad as you claiming a raffle for a Dinner with Obama is some way of him comparing himself to Christ's last supper."

===============================

The Last Supper evokes only one image, Don. Are you telling us that is not what Obama was suggesting?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

No.  It was a raffle for a dinner with Obama.  The Last Dinner thing is what you were suggesting.

paulejb
paulejb

DonQuixotic,

No. It was what Obama was suggesting.