And now the money bomb! The SuperPAC that is backing Mitt Romney is finally launching its ad campaign, a behemoth $3.1 million 3 week effort that dwarfs anything run in this cycle so far.
The 30 second ad contrasts Romney’s business record with that of President Obama, asking, “How many jobs did Barack Obama create as a community organizer?” It makes no mention of current Iowa front-runner Newt Gingrich, but is clearly meant to slow his momentum, and this spot could soon be followed by a more direct broadside against Gingrich.
Watch it HERE.
The PAC, named Restore our Future, was set up by former Romney advisers and can spend money in support of Romney, though is not allowed to directly coordinate with the Romney campaign. It is led by Republican strategist Carl Forti who served as Mitt Romney’s political director for in his failed 2008 presidential bid.
SuperPACs, unlike candidate’s campaign committees, can accept unlimited donations. In August ABC News reported about half the money given in the 1st fundraising quarter to Restore our Future came from donors who also gave the federal maximum of $2500 to his campaign.
Of the $12.2 million raised by the PAC, more than $6 million was given by Romney campaign donors. Another way to look at it, of the 90 donations to the PAC, approximately 57 came from Romney donors, although in some cases it is difficult to ascertain from the FEC report if identical names represent the same person. For instance: Paul Edgerly, who works at Romney’s former company, Bain Capital, donated the maximum $2500 to the actual Romney campaign. However, he gave $500,000 to the SuperPAC. What’s more, his wife Sandra did exactly the same thing. Marriott hotel heirs JW Marriott Jr. and Richard Marriott, each gave $500,000 to the PAC, on top of their donations to the campaign. (FYI, Willard Mitt Romney is named after the “W” in the original J.W. Marriott.) James Davis, CEO of New Balance Sneakers, also gave $500,000 to the SuperPAC and the co-CEO’s of Sun Capital each threw in an additional $125,000.
Obama’s re-election campaign spokesman assailed the ad as an example of Romney’s close ties with corporate groups.
“Before he was a politician, Mitt Romney was a corporate buyout specialist, eliminating jobs and bankrupting companies while pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Obama for America’s Press Secretary Ben LaBolt. “Now, in the final days of the Iowa caucuses, his allies are riding to his rescue, spending millions of dollars in secret, undisclosed donations to promote a candidate who will put Wall Street profit ahead of middle class security.”