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Romney's Quarter Helped By Own Dime

Romney at a Utah fundraiser last month. (AP).

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced today he will loan another $8.5 million of his own money to his presidential bid, doubling his personal investment and adding significant padding to the $10 million his campaign raised during the past three months.

The loan signals a slow but steady shift for Romney's White House bid, which launched with a one-day burst of $6.5 million in individual contributions in January, but which has increasingly become reliant on the personal fortune Romney amassed as the head of a major private equity firm.

His campaign has described the personal loans as "matching money" meant to supplement, not supplant, the funds being raised from a campaign that has grown to include more than 100,000 contributors.

"Gov. Romney's personal loans are about matching that excitement and matching that commitment," said Kevin Madden, a Romney spokesman. "This campaign will not be short of resources. We will remain competitive and grow into a national organization."

Romney's $10 million fundraising total for the quarter represents his smallest take so far this year. He raised $34 million over the first six months. The campaign said he now has $9 million in cash on hand. But it is more than most of his competitors -- former Sen. Fred Thompson is expected to report raising between $8 million and $9 million for the quarter and Sen. John McCain and Rep. Ron Paul are expected to show they have raised in the neighborhood of $5 million. The only unknown on the Republican side is how much former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani raised between June 30 and Sept. 30. His campaign has not disclosed a total yet, though some people close to the campaign have estimated it will be between $10 million and $15 million.

Romney has not been shy about spending the money he's brought in. Already, he's spent more than $6 million on television advertising, much of it airing in early primary states at a time when none of his opponents were putting commercials on the air. Madden explained that Romney faced a different challenge than did his opponents at the early stages of the campaign.

"The fact is that Gov. Romney's name recognition when we announced was at 4 percent and he was practically unknown outside of Utah and Massachusetts, and that was a significant challenge, especially given the fact that we were placed into a fundraising environment that had us competing against candidates who had universal name recognition among Republican donors," he said.

There is no sign that Romney's spending will slow.

"The investment in paid advertising was yielding a return, the effort to farm more small donors was yielding result," Madden said.

--Matthew Mosk

By Washington Post editors  |  October 4, 2007; 12:08 PM ET
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Mitt Romney is the only real hope for decent Americans among the candidates running for the presidency. Unfortunately, the evil block against him is very powerful.

Posted by: tfrathwell | October 21, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Here's my question. When you "loan" your campaign for president money, who exactly pays you back?

Posted by: chemborg1 | October 4, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of NH who has to see all his ads, Romney seemed to believe that since nobody knew him, he needed to spend all that money to introduce himself. Here is the rub: eventually, all your previous positions came out, and the people realized that what your commercials show is someone radically different than what you have portrayed over the years. I was in college in Massachusetts when he ran against Ted Kennedy, and boy is he singing a different tune now. People catch on eventually, Governor, and that spells trouble for you. Next, please.

Posted by: steveboyington | October 4, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess he thinks he can buy the Presidency!

Posted by: nstudymine | October 4, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

An earlier post at The Trail asks if Rep Paul is the Howard Dean of 2008.

To whom should we compare former Gov Romney? Is he the Ross Perot of 2008 or the John Kerry? Steve Forbes?

Posted by: bsimon | October 4, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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