Romney, RNC Raise $101.3 Million in July

BY Christina Bellantoni and Terence Burlij  August 6, 2012 at 9:05 AM EST

Mitt Romney; photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mitt Romney speaks at campaign event with Republican governors last week in Basalt, Colo. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

This post was updated at 10:25 a.m. ET to include the July fundraising numbers for President Obama and the Democratic National Committee.

The Morning Line

Now we know the numbers prompting President Obama’s team in Chicago to send those scared-sounding emails asking supporters for ever-more cash.

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee announced early Monday that they raked in more than $101.3 million in July’s 31 days, and together with state party efforts had $185.9 million in the bank at the end of the month.

The July haul was slightly less than the $106 million raised by the Romney campaign and the RNC in June, when they bested the president and the Democratic National Committee by $35 million.

Hours later the president announced on Twitter that the campaign and the DNC hauled in $75 million in July from more than 760,000 donors, marking the third straight month the Democrats were outraised by the Republicans.

We also know that the president’s re-election campaign has burned through “more campaign cash more quickly than any incumbent in recent history,” as the New York Times put it on Sunday’s front page.

The totals include $400 million in spending in the first six months of the year, money that has funded hundreds of field offices in battleground states, salaries for campaign operatives, voter registration efforts and a sophisticated online operation that asks donors for more money.

The paper’s Nicholas Confessore and Jo Craven McGinty talked with a top Obama fundraiser who told them: “There is a lot of worry that Romney’s folks are raising so much more….I just don’t think there’s a lot of high-dollar money left on the table.”

The Washington Post’s Dan Eggen looked at Team Obama’s “sky is falling” email messages over the weekend and quotes strategists warning that the “campaigns must be careful to avoid alienating their most devoted followers with an endless tide of fundraising e-mails.”

The Romney campaign said in a press release that more than 600,000 of the July donations were for $250 or less, or 94.13 percent of the overall sum. Team Romney also claimed the funds came from independents, Democrats and Republicans in all 50 states.

The news comes as the format and speaker lineup for the Republican National Convention begins to take shape.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Richard Danielson has the details on the seven GOP officials to be announced on Monday:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are among seven headline speakers announced today for the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

The first look at featured speakers also includes South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

As Romney prepares to unveil his vice presidential selection, it’s difficult not to read between the lines and consider that Haley and Martinez are out of the running. Not on that list, of course, are the men who are considered to be still in the mix: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

In a weekend blitz, Team Romney released two new television ads. One focused on Friday’s jobs report. (The NewsHour examined the report in a segment you can watch here.)

“In July, unemployment went up again,” a narrator intones. “Under Obama’s economy, it’s just not getting better… Mitt Romney has a plan for restoring the middle class … a plan that works for America.”

Watch the spot here or below:

The other ad attacks Mr. Obama for not visiting Israel since taking office and lays in footage from Romney’s trip abroad. “We speak the same language of freedom, and justice,” Romney says in the spot.

Watch it here or below.

GOP GOES AFTER REID

As Romney goes on the offensive against the president, allies of the GOP hopeful are targeting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has refused to back down from his accusation that the former Massachusetts governor did not pay taxes over a 10-year period.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., charged that Reid was “making things up” to shift attention away from a real debate on the issues.

“I just cannot believe that the majority leader of the United States Senate would take the floor twice, make accusations that are absolutely unfounded, in my view, and quite frankly making things up to divert the real campaign away from the real issues,” Graham said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, called Reid a “dirty liar” during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I’m not going to respond to a dirty liar who hasn’t filed a single page of tax returns himself [and] complains about people with money but lives in the Ritz-Carlton here down the street,” Priebus said. “And the fact that we’re going to spend any time talking about it is ridiculous.”

Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson responded Sunday that his boss has said he has “an extremely credible source” who told him about Romney’s taxes. “It’s clear Mitt Romney is hiding something, and the only way for him to clear this up is to be straight with the American people and release his tax returns,” Jentleson added.

That was a common refrain from Democrats across the Sunday talk shows.

“We could put this to rest tomorrow. Mitt Romney can go to Kinko’s, photocopy his tax returns. There are several hundred pages. He could hand them out to people like CNN and to reporters all over the country, and we wouldn’t talk about this tomorrow,” Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs told CNN. “We wouldn’t say, ‘Is he paying taxes? What’s he paying?’ The whole world would know what loopholes he’s taking advantage of.”

While Reid’s allegation has not been substantiated, the politics of the argument appear to be on the Democrats’ side, as polls show most Americans believe Romney should put forward additional years of tax returns.

MARK AND DAVID

On Friday’s NewsHour, Mark Shields and David Brooks talked about the dysfunctional Congress, the Tea Party’s role in Texas’ Senate race and the unemployment figures.

Watch the conversation here or below.

TALKING ABOUT SEQUESTRATION

Also on Friday’s NewsHour, Margaret Warner took an in-depth look at the politics of the sequestration battle by talking with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., and former Office of Management and Budget official Gordon Adams.

After the segment aired, Brooks noted that sequestration is supposed to be an enforcement mechanism:

They said to themselves, we’re going to force ourselves to cut a budget deal with each other. And if we don’t do it, we will hit ourselves in the face with a hammer. And that will be so bad, we will do it.

The problem is, suppose you don’t do it. Then you end up hitting yourself in the face with a hammer. And so that’s the basic situation they’re in. The problem is with people who actually have to make policy.

Like, you’re sitting in the Pentagon, you have to plan the next 10 years. It may not hit you next month, but you’re trying to figure out what you are going to cut, what you are not going to cut. You don’t know with any remote idea how much money you’re going to have for the next 10 years.

And so you may have the dumbest possible cuts coming down the line, and therefore you just cannot plan.

Watch Margaret’s piece here or below.

2012 LINE ITEMS

  • Senior White House adviser David Plouffe faces scrutiny for accepting a $100,000 speaking fee from an affiliate of a company that does business with the Iranian government. The Washington Post reports that a South Africa-based telecommunications firm paid Plouffe to give two speeches in Nigeria in December 2010, a month before the strategist joined the administration.

  • The New York Times’ Michael Shear outlines Romney’s options for rolling out his choice of a running mate.

  • The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Finnegan visits Ohio and finds that the Bain attacks seem to have raised questions about Romney among potential voters in the battleground state.

  • The Washington Post front-paged a story on the Obama administration’s lawsuit over Ohio’s voter ID law, which was the subject of a Team Romney legal memo over the weekend.

  • Roll Call’s Janie Lorber finds that lobbyists are not “jazzed” about the conventions this time around.

  • Business Week looks at Bain Capital’s work in Italy, specifically at the firm having bought “a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid.”

  • Former Pennsylvania senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is organizing an event at the convention to rally conservatives for Romney, The Hill reports.

  • Rich Gorka, who told reporters covering Romney to “shove it” during the trip abroad, is taking some time off the trail but will return.

TOP TWEETS

OUTSIDE THE LINES

  • Hari Sreenivasan talked to NASA’s James Hansen about the report being released Monday examining heat events as they are tied to climate change. Watch that conversation here.

  • Hari also chatted with David Pogue about how the entire technology community came together to help him find his lost iPhone.

  • NewsHour online politics production assistant Meena Ganesan collected stories from the PDAs on display Friday at Chick-fil-A’s.

  • In case you were wondering what members of Congress earn, NewsHour coordinating producer Linda J. Scott reports in on the salaries: Rank-and-file members and senators earn $174,000 per year. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes $223,500, while the majority and minority leaders earn $193,400.

  • Colin Powell’s son has political buzz in D.C., according to the Washington Post.

  • Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times looked at the influence of outside money in Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid and found that groups have poured in $15 million to attempt to oust the Democrat.

  • “As they kick off tough reelection battles, the GOP newbies are taking pains to distance themselves from a Capitol that remains toxic, casting themselves as the same insurgent forces that swept to power in 2010. Far from embracing the Congress that they promised to change, the freshmen are taking an ice pick to it,” Politico’s Alex Isenstadt reports

  • Roll Call’s Daniel Newhauser notes that GOP leadership is hoping members facing their constituents back home over the long recess will feel pressured to deal with the farm bill and drought relief when they return.

  • The Post’s Michael Allison Chandler looks at the growing number of women doing forensic science work.

  • Former White House videographer Arun Chaudhary’s book “First Cameraman” takes readers inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

ON THE TRAIL

All events are listed in Eastern Time.

  • President Obama signs the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 in the Oval Office at 1:50 p.m. He also travels to Connecticut for campaign fundraisers in Stamford at 6:55 p.m. and Westport at 8:30 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.

Follow the politics team on Twitter: @cbellantoni, @burlij, @elizsummers, @kpolantz, @indiefilmfan, @tiffanymullon, @dePeystah, @meenaganesan and @abbruns.