Mitt Romney's repeated flip-flopping may have cast doubt on his frontrunner status in the GOP presidential field, but when it comes to raking in campaign cash, he's way, way ahead of the pack.
According to his campaign, Romney raised $18.25 million in April, May, and June—more than all the other GOP presidential contenders combined. (Rep. Michele Bachmann has not yet disclosed her fundraising haul for the 2011 second quarter.) More than half of Romney's contributions came from a single national phone fundraiser in May. Unlike former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and tea party favorite Herman Cain, Romney's campaign says he didn't contribute a dime to his latest fundraising total. In a statement, Romney's campaign said his haul is evidence that voters are buying his more moderate, jobs-centric message.
While Romney's numbers easily trump his competitors', he trails his own fundraising totals from his first presidential bid four years ago. In the first three months of 2007, Romney had already raked in $23.5 million, $2.5 million of which was his own money.
This time around, it's not just Romney's campaign that's pulling in big bucks. A super PAC run by former aides to Romney, called Restore Our Future, announced recently that it had bagged $12 million in the first half of 2011. Groups like this one can accept unlimited donations from individuals, unions, and corporations, but must disclose their donors to the Federal Election Commission. The only other presidential candidate with a similarly aligned super PAC is President Obama; earlier this year, former Obama White House aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney started Priorities USA Action, which is devoted to pushing back against Republican outside spending groups and supporting the president.