Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Romney Team Makes Big Push to Fund Ads in Last Weeks

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Romney Team Makes Big Push to Fund Ads in Last Weeks

Article excerpt

Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have begun a late push to raise tens of millions of dollars in the closing weeks of the election, cash that will finance a last-minute barrage of advertising that Mr. Romney's aides believe is critical to beating President Barack Obama.

In an email to top donors and fundraisers Monday afternoon, Mr. Romney's campaign said that it had raised $170 million in September, almost as much as the near-record $181 million raised by Mr. Obama, but the campaign added that it needed to bring in even more money in October to capitalize on Mr. Romney's surge in polls in swing states like Florida and Ohio.

The announcement opened a three-day retreat for donors at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, where the campaign is seeking to tap into a burst of enthusiasm among formerly jittery donors -- who were energized by Mr. Romney's strong first debate performance -- to recruit new donors and persuade old ones to give the maximum allowed by law. Big donors will also spend part of the retreat working the phones in a miniature call-athon intended to wring out as many last- minute dollars as possible.

Mr. Romney had considered making a quick appearance at the retreat, but ultimately decided to stay in Boston to prepare for tonight's debate on Long Island.

The Romney campaign's broad effort will be an experiment in last- minute high-dollar fundraising by a presidential campaign, one made necessary by Mr. Romney's decision to forgo public financing and the threat posed by the millions of small donors supporting Mr. Obama, who similarly opted out of public financing.

While Mr. Romney's fundraising has kept roughly on pace with Mr. Obama's since the beginning of the summer, his dollar totals lean more heavily on large checks to the Republican National Committee, which must pay higher rates for political advertising and is allowed to spend only a limited amount on ads coordinated with Mr. …

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