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

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

Comments () | Archives (9)

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The Times is good at making a big deal out of nothing. But, if you are going to go through the campaign finances, how about including all of the candidates? You have conveniently overlooked Hillary and Obama, both of which have individually spent more money, "other peoples money" as you put it, than all of the Republican candidates combined. My brother, the journalist, constantly reminds me how fair and balanced the MSM is. Obviously, I don't agree with him on much.

(Here's a little news bulletin: Different candidates file at different times. And their reports are also released at different times. The federal government does this obviously to keep blog readers coming back to check certain sites many times over.)

It ain't over until it is over! It now looks like McCain and Obama in November but you know I would bet money that it will not be either of them. A green horn or a bad singer surely can not be our next President!
Go Ron Paul and his message of limited government!

Romney was the only candidate with enough intelligence to earn his own money to spend. No other candidate on the roster is qualified to be president. The media really succeeded in doing a smear job on him, taking things out of context, and outright lying, to make him appear to support things he NEVER did, such as gay marriage, civil unions, and abortion, and making his religion an issue. (A little research, by the way, reveals that his faith more closely resembles the church that Jesus established, during his lifetime, than any other faith.) It's all right there on Wikipedia--the REAL Romney. All the other candidates will be happy to take our money and spend it; business as usual in Washington. Why would the media support the worst person for president? It appears as though they are digging a pit for all of us, and trying to push us in.

America is headed for bankruptcy with it's business as usual policies. We have to borrow money to pay our bills. We've "sold the cow to buy milk," and we're borrowing money from the same people (China) we sold the cow to so that we can buy their milk, so to speak. What will we eat when the shelves of the stores are empty, and the loaner won't give us any more credit because we can't pay the bills? What the elitists who own the banks and the media don't see is that, when America goes down, the whole world is going down with her, including them.

Good for Romney. Someone who is confident enough in their own ideas to put their own wealth on the line is the type person who should occupy the white house. It doesn't get mentioned much, but Romney also far outpaced all the other GOP candidates in fund raising from sources other than his own. I cannot wait until 2012 when this man starts the race as the front runner instead of 50 meters behind.

He is the only candidate from the GOP that deserved a second look. If he had the chance to run against Obama we as Americans would win. With Obama and Romney we had two good men, two good platforms, two sets of solutions to our national problems - - a real choice for the best way forward. Instead, we have one good man running and if we vote on character we must accept his politics - - whether good or bad for our future.

I look up to a man who is willing to spend his hard-earned fortune on a great campaign. His support was unmatched by any other GOP candidate.....By the way, where is all the financial support for the two remaining candidates? They're both empty-pocketed, which tells us a lot about the lack of excitement in our party for either one of them. I just might end up voting for Ron Paul this year....he has integrity at least.

The best Governor California ever had, Goodwin Knight, was Mormon. I can't believe all we're left with is Hilary, Obama and McCain. We threw out Romney for these three? It's like the old requirements of competence, family values, intelligence and achievement have all been thrown out in favor of their opposites. An ex-con who cheats on his wife and used to deal drugs lives next to my brother. Maybe he should run for President.

Looking at those other candidates, I notice Rudy Giuliani spent $50 million to get one delegate. Hmm. Yet, you write the hit piece about the guy who spent 1/300 that much per delegate. This is why I only read the LA times about twice a year.

Are you reporters still in the back of the plane?

You'll ALWAYS be in the back of the plane, because that's where they always haul the merchandise that can be bought and sold.

Tell me, was your paycheck this week worth selling your soul for?

What if you could actually get paid for telling the truth, instead of placating the boss?

O, free speech! The blood that was spilled across the ground for you has long since been forgotten!

(Wow! Another satisfied customer who forgot her meds today. This item was based on official Federal Election Commission reports, so if they're not facts, some campaigns are gonna be in federal trouble.)

Sadly the Repuplican Party threw the best candidate overboard. Why can't a candidate spend his own money? Everybody else spent the taxpayers money without a question being asked. Religious bigotry is alive and well in the Republican party. Sadly America is the loser. Romney in 2012!

(Check back here for new item Sunday morning.)


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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