Romney estimates $100
million to be `serious contender' for 2008
January 5, 2007
By Glen Johnson, AP Political Writer
Romney / Lichfield news ...
BOSTON --Republican Mitt Romney
estimates he must raise at least $100 million to be among the
"serious contenders" for the presidency in 2008, according to
e-mails two of his sons sent trying to enlist support for a
fundraising kickoff on Monday.
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Alerts "The first few weeks after announcing the formation of an
exploratory committee are critical, in that they demonstrate the
candidate's ability to raise this kind of money," said virtually
identical notes sent by Josh and Craig Romney, two of the former
Massachusetts governor's five sons.
"As a result, I'm asking you to
help me raise money for my Dad's exploratory committee," the e-mail
Romney filed paperwork Wednesday
creating a presidential exploratory committee, the same step already
taken by Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York Mayor Rudy
Giuliani, two other potential candidates for the GOP nomination.
On Thursday, just an hour after his
four-year term as governor ended, Romney began working out of his
new committee headquarters on the edge of Boston Harbor.
He travels to Sea Island, Ga., on
Saturday to address a closed-door gathering of conservative
activists at the Awakening Conference and returns to Massachusetts
on Sunday night for a private dinner with a group of his most loyal
On Monday, the same people will
assemble at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center for a
fundraising telethon labeled a "National Call Day." Romney will
deliver opening and closing remarks, and Spencer Zwick, his national
finance director, will brief the media at midday.
The notes from Josh and Craig
Romney, Romney's third and fifth sons, respectively, seek donations
up to the legal maximum of $2,100 for an individual and $4,200 per
couple. They also request the recipient's phone number for Monday,
as well as "a list of any of your friends/family that you think will
be willing to donate along with their e-mail addresses and phone
Romney's eldest son, Tagg, recently
quit his job as marketing executive with the Los Angeles Dodgers to
return to Boston. He also is helping the committee.
The chairman of the Federal
Election Commission told the Washington Times in December that he
expected the 2008 campaign would evolve into the first $1 billion
FEC Chairman Michael E. Toner also
said he expected each party's nominee to forgo federal financing for
their general election campaign, allowing them to raise unlimited
sums for the post-primary portion of the campaign.
In 2004, both Sen. John Kerry of
Massachusetts, the Democratic nominee, and President Bush, the
Republican nominee, skipped federal matching funds for their primary
campaigns but accepted them -- and their accompanying limits -- for
the general election.
Toner told the Times that the
"entry level" for a serious contender will be $100 million by the
end of 2007 -- the same figure cited by Romney's sons.
Giuliani also estimates he will
need to raise $100 million this year, according to a secret 140-page
campaign plan that was obtained and published earlier this week by
the New York Daily News.
On Thursday, Romney announced his
first group of national finance co-chairs: Christopher Collins of
First Atlantic Capital, LLC, of Massachusetts; Mark Guzzetta of
Gemstone Development of Florida; Jon Huntsman Sr. of the Huntsman
Corporation of Utah; John Miller of the National Beef Packing
Company, LLC, of Missouri; John Rakolta Jr. of Walbridge Aldinger of
Michigan; Mel Sembler of the Sembler Company of Florida; Tom
Tellefsen of Tellefsen Investments of California; Ted Welch of Ted
Welch Investments of Tennessee, and; Meg Whitman of eBay of
On Friday, the committee also
announced that former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and U.S. Rep. Marsha
Blackburn, R-Tenn., will join Romney's roster of senior advisers.
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