GOP Contenders

Mitt Romney recalibrates campaign for longer haul

Eve Troeh Mar 16, 2012

Kai Ryssdal: It’s stating the obvious to say that Mitt Romney hoped to have the Republican presidential nomination sewn up by now. Instead, he’s still out there slugging it out with Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. It’s politically tiring, and in practical terms, expensive. And it’s changed how Romney’s spending his time and money on the campaign trail.

Marketplace’s Eve Troeh reports.


Eve Troeh: Go to MittRomney.com and you see this phrase at the top of the page: “We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.” That presumably applies to his campaign as much as it does the federal government.

Dan Schnur heads the Institute of Politics at USC. He says Romney didn’t expect his GOP rivals to last this long in the primary race: His leads in official fundraising and super PAC donations haven’t sewn up the nomination.

Dan Schnur: Money in politics is a lot like money in poker. It doesn’t guarantee you anything other than a seat at the table. And Romney’s financial resources have allowed him to bid a little bit higher, but money isn’t determinative.

But money is what’s kept the Republican battle going, Schnur says. And since Romney has to fight harder state by state, that means more spending for the nuts and bolts of his official campaign. More private jets, hotels and motorcades. More big rallies.

Schnur: Given the amount of money they’re spending, of course, they’ve gotta raise more.

Romney took a few days in New York this week to do just that. Instead of stumping in primary battleground states, he held fundraisers, like a lunch at the Waldorf Astoria.

Red Apple Group CEO John Catsimatidis put that lunch together.

John Catsimatidis: Just because you stop by New York and pick up a few million dollars in a day and a half, doesn’t mean anything. I mean it’s just — it’s good business.

The lunch was planned for several weeks, he says, and not a direct response to recent primary results.

Several Republican fundraisers interviewed today noted that President Obama is out raising money, and he doesn’t even have any primaries to win.

I’m Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

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