Romney Rakes in Campaign Cash as Health Care Battle Rages On
Supporters listen to President Obama speak at a campaign event Thursday in Maumee, Ohio. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Mitt Romney, the $100 million dollar man.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee and the Republican National Committee are expected to announce Friday a combined June haul of $100 million, nearly $5 million of that coming in the 24 hours following the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care.
RNC political director Rick Wiley taunted President Obama’s top political aide Thursday with the news:
.@messina2012, check this out bro, we raised north of $100 million in June.I’m assuming u & Axe will need beers 2night bro
— Rick Wiley (@rick_wiley) July 5, 2012
David Axelrod offered his congratulations and maintained that the Obama campaign always thought it would be outspent by the Republicans.
As the press examines the horse race, the debate right now is over who might raise more money, and Republicans surely are enjoying the appearance of their financial advantage at the close of the second quarter.
But with the monthly jobs numbers out Friday morning putting a new frame on the contest, will money really matter? Both men will have plenty to spend on television ads trashing the other as wrong for the economy. It will undoubtedly be the most expensive election in history. Both men will be aided by outside groups dumping millions into their race and down-ticket elections to influence the Nov. 6 result.
Romney’s fundraising is not quite the $150 million Mr. Obama raised in September 2008, National Journal’s Major Garrett told Judy Woodruff on Thursday’s NewsHour, but it’s still big bucks.
“Republicans are gaining,” Garrett said, thanks in part to a boost in the small-dollar donations that have helped the president’s team all year. And the health care cash is one reason Romney is keeping up his push on the individual mandate qualifying as a tax.
Judy tackled that issue in her segment, which you can watch here or below.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell penned a Washington Times op-ed attacking the president on the tax issue, and promising repeal.
Mr. Obama, meanwhile, told the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati that he considers Romney a flip-flopper on the mandate issue, suggesting that Romney can “switch on a dime,” and saying that “One of the things that you learn as president is that what you say matters and your principles matter.”
“Mr. Romney was one of the biggest promoters of the individual mandate,” the president said in the interview airing Friday. “In Massachusetts, his whole idea was that we shouldn’t have people who can afford to get health insurance to not buy it and then force you or me, or John Q. Public to have to pay for him when he gets sick. That’s irresponsible. That’s exactly what’s included as part of my health care plan.”
The president said Romney “suddenly reversed himself” after six years of saying the mandate was not a tax. “So the question becomes, are you doing that because of politics? Are you abandoning a principle that you fought for, for six years simply because you’re getting pressure for two days from Rush Limbaugh or some critics in Washington?”
The two men may not actually engage directly on the issue until they share a stage during fall debates, but you can be sure it’s not going away anytime soon.
Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz of Daily-Download.com highlighted on the NewsHour Thursday the ways in which politicians have reached out to voters online, particularly on Twitter and through email.
The Message Machine has crowdsourced a collection of emails from both the Obama and Romney campaigns and allows readers to see the slight variations the campaigns make among the emails’ recipients.
Kurtz and Ashburn showed the variations to an Obama email inviting recipients to a fundraiser at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s house.
The Message Machine is a news app still in a preview phase, but it will launch by the end of next week with analysis of more than 6,000 collected emails, mostly from the Obama campaign, a spokesman for the site told Reporter-Producer Katelyn Polantz Thursday.
Politwoops has become a popular message tracker — collecting the tweets that politicians delete in a blog format. Last week, the site had an active day posting erroneous and later deleted tweets about the Supreme Court health care verdict.
Watch the segment here or below.
2012 LINE ITEMS
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker reports that Romney will be adding to his communications team in the coming weeks.
The Washington Post’s take on the Obama campaign bus tour finds Democratic senators in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan standing strong for re-election.
The pro-Obama American Bridge super PAC has a new video capturing Romney’s remarks that he should not have been held responsible for stagnant jobs figures as governor because of outside factors. “If you are going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected, somehow jobs should immediately turn around, well that would be silly,” Romney says in the 2006 clip. “It takes awhile to get things turned around in a recession.”
Politico’s Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin scoop that Romney’s campaign “is considering a major foreign policy offensive at the end of the month that would take him to five countries over three continents” in a shift away from pounding the president on the economy.
The Columbus Dispatch has all the juicy details about a top Ohio Democratic official helping the Obama campaign resigning amid a campaign finance probe.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Brandon Blackwell reports a clash broke out at a rally in Parma, Ohio, where former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were bracketing the president’s bus tour.
USA Today gets the early look at the Republican Party’s plans for a “Super Saturday” of volunteer canvassing and phone banking into swing states.
The pro-Romney Restore Our Future Super PAC is buying $7.2 million worth of ads during coverage of the Olympics. They will run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Telegraph compares the surfacing of Romney Jet Ski images to similar unflattering photos that popped up during Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.
- The New York Times finds No Child Left Behind has basically been gutted by the Obama administration.
Campaign spkswmn @jrpsaki says Pres Obama having eggs, grits and wheat toast at his breakfast with Goodyear workers.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 6, 2012
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) July 5, 2012
Random People On The Street Don’t Know What The Higgs Boson Is For Some Inexplicable Reason bzfd.it/NEsyFm
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) July 6, 2012
OUTSIDE THE LINES
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker raised $7 million in final days of recall race and spent more than everyone in 2010 campaign combined, the Washington Post reports.
Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran will leave his day job at the the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities on Aug. 1 “to spend more time on party business,” the Washington Post’s Anita Kumar reports.
The Hill’s Jennifer Martinez writes that Texas Rep. Ron Paul and his son, freshman Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), “are expected to back a new online manifesto from the Campaign for Liberty that decries government regulation of the Internet.”
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is more seriously ill than initially believed, his office announced.
The Washington Post’s Factchecker straightens out tax semantics.
Anderson Cooper reports on members of Congress getting good mortgage deals.
- The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $2.5 million after the health care ruling.
Katelyn Polantz and Terence Burlij contributed to this report.
ON THE TRAIL
All events are listed in Eastern Time.
President Obama finishes out his bus tour with a visit to Summer Garden Food in Boardman, Ohio at 9:40 a.m., a speech at 10:45 a.m. at a school in Poland, Ohio and a speech at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 1:50 p.m. He will return to Washington to hold a bill signing event for the transportation and student loan measure at the White House with construction workers and college students at 4:55 p.m.
- Mitt Romney has no public events scheduled.
All future events can be found on our Political Calendar:
For more political coverage, visit our politics page.
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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.