POLITICS -- May 16, 2011 at 6:30 PM ET
Romney Raises $10 Million in One Day
Mitt Romney fund-raising in Las Vegas. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
The all-but-formally announced presidential candidate Mitt Romney raised $10.25 million in campaign cash Monday, according to his campaign, via an 800-person phone bank operation headquartered in Las Vegas that he promoted in a telephone call and Facebook video event Monday.
"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for Governor Romney's campaign," said Romney finance chairman Spencer Zwick. "The results are a strong indication of the national enthusiasm for Governor Romney and his pro-jobs platform. As today's event makes clear, Governor Romney will have the resources to be competitive and to spread his jobs and economy message."
Romney has not officially entered the race but has opened a campaign account with the Federal Election Commission and formed a so-called exploratory committee. The big fund-raising haul on Monday will certainly get the attention of his opponents and could help him convince some Republican donors currently staying on the sidelines that he has the fund-raising power to compete with President Obama's plan to raise $1 billion for his re-election campaign.
Romney also used the fund-raising day to take swipes at President Obama and explain why he would be a better steward of the economy. Romney argued that President Obama's focus on Wall Street reform, health care reform and other issues caused uncertainty for businesses interests, and that had hurt the economic recovery.
"The economy is not (Obama's) strong suit," Romney said in a live video broadcast on his Facebook page during the fund-raising event. "He will be replaced by someone who understands the economy," Romney added.
Romney also addressed how he would manage the national debt: cut spending on discretionary measures and entitlements, and not cut any money from the Department of Defense. Romney said he wants to cut waste from the Pentagon budget and use it to increase the size of the military.
One of Romney's possible Republican opponents, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, said in February during a speech to conservative activists that everything must be on the table.
"Not even the first and most important mission of government, our national defense, can get a free pass," he said. "I served in two administrations that practiced and validated the policy of peace through strength. It has served America and the world with irrefutable success. But if our nation goes over a financial Niagara, we won't have much strength and, eventually, we won't have peace. We are currently borrowing the entire defense budget from foreign investors. Within a few years, we will be spending more on interest payments than on national security. That is not, as our military friends say, a 'robust strategy,'" Daniels said.