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Final report: Romney spent $42.3 million of his own dough

February 21, 2008 | 11:28 am

Maybe you remember -- it seems like less than three weeks ago -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was flying back and forth across the country in a last-minute bid to score well in the Super Tuesday Republican primary voting.

And he started visiting repRomney_jvvwp7ncorters in the back of his campaign plane and ruminating and we wrote here: Is Mitt Romney pondering The End?

And, sure enough, after a disappointing showing that Tuesday, he quit. And soon after, he endorsed Sen. John McCain. But while Romney was talking to reporters before that Tuesday, someone asked him how much of his own personal fortune he was willing to invest in the campaign. And Romney said that he and his wife of 38 years, Ann, had indeed set a limit. But he wouldn't say what it was.

Now, we know.

The limit was $42.3 million.

That works out to about $150,000 of his own money for every convention delegate Romney won. But then he also spent another ...

$55.7 million of other people's money on his campaign too. A total of $98 million.

Those are some of the figures that The Times' Dan Morain has mined from the latest campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Other interesting financial tidbits:

The GOP candidate with the most cash in hand at the end of January was good old Ron Paul, the 72-year-old House member with the libertarian leanings and the devoted followers who've given so generously and left him with $6 million cash -- and not a penny of debt.

Spurred by another $6 million in donations in 2008, Paul has reactivated his presidential campaign.

Sen. McCain had $5.2 million cash on hand at the end of January, but, oops, $5.5 million in debts. And stubborn not-so-old Mike Huckabee, who keeps hanging around way behind McCain in delegates but way ahead in quips, had less than $1 million in cash.

Do you remember some guy named John Edwards, a well-coiffed fellow who used to be a senator and a Democratic presidential candidate? He'd spent $41.78 million on his campaign through the end of January before quitting. He raised $38.9 million and got a bank loan of nearly $9 million at an interest rate of prime-plus-5%.

At the end of last month he had $7 million cash on hand, but debt of a little more than $9 million.

No wonder Edwards was so opposed to foreclosures.

-- Andrew Malcolm

                                                                  Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Getty Images

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