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KAI RYSSDAL: Mitt Romney has simplified the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He didn’t do all that well on Tuesday. Today the former governor of Massachusetts pulled the plug. He’s officially suspending his campaign. That means he still controls the delegates he has won. It also means he can stop writing personal checks to float his campaign. Romney wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did without his personal fortune. He’s said to be worth a couple of hundred million dollars. He spent a sizeable chunk of that trying to get to the White House, but now that he’s out, what did a savvy businessman like Romney get for his investment?
Here’s Jeremy Hobson.
JEREMY HOBSON: We know Mitt Romney gave his campaign more than $35 million before any votes had been cast. Soon we’ll know what he gave in January, but let’s say in all he spent more than $40 million. That means he spent more than $10 of his own money per vote. Steve Forbes ran for President in 1996 and 2000. He says between the two races he spent 60 million of his own money.
STEVE FORBES: My kids would say it was too much. Looking at the result, I’d probably say it wasn’t enough since I didn’t win.
But Forbes says he got the issue of the Flat Tax out there, and for that he’s happy. He also gave a little boost to the name recognition of the Forbes Brand.
FORBES: You have it for a while, but then memories fade. New things come up in the news. So the key thing is the ideas, and I think in the case of Mitt Romney, what I think he’s looking for clearly is perhaps another shot in 2012.
KIMBERLY FIELD: I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him make another run.
Kimberly Field co-wrote a book called “Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values and His Vision.” She says he’s achieved what he wanted to in the private sector and is after the top job, nothing less.
FIELD: And I think Mitt Romney the CEO would tell you that when you look at investments, you need to look long-term.
On that score, perhaps his failed bid was a good long-term investment. In the last 30 years Republicans have made a habit of nominating the guy who came in second the last time around.
In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.