Christie – OUT.
In just 48 hours, the GOP primary race has dramatically changed.
For Mitt Romney, rockets are taking off:
Many activists, donors, and bundlers are now backing The Gov.
By Nicholas Confessore
October 6, 2011
With the Republican presidential lineup largely settled and little prospect of new candidates entering the race, some of the Republican Party’s leading donors and activists have begun to come off the sidelines.
News and analysis on campaign fund-raising.
Many of them are picking Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, who has avidly courted Wall Street. In the last 48 hours Mr. Romney has personally called some of the party’s top uncommitted donors and “bundlers” to persuade them to join his team, focusing on those who had held out hope for a White House bid by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
One of Mr. Romney’s latest and most high-profile recruits is James B. Lee Jr., vice chairman of the JPMorgan Chase and a Christie fan, according to two people with knowledge of Mr. Lee’s discussions with the Romney campaign. Mr. Lee raised over $500,000 for Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and has been among the most sought-after Republican donors in the country.
Mr. Lee joins two other JPMorgan executives on Mr. Romney’s finance team: Frank J. Bisignano, the firm’s chief admimistrative officer and head of mortgage banking, who will host a December event in New York for Mr. Romney with other JP Morgan executives; and Mary Callahan Erdoes, the head of JPMorgan Chase’s asset management unit, those people said.
Mr. Romney has also picked up the support of two financiers who once supported President Obama: Daniel S. Loeb and Clifford S. Asness, both of them prominent and outspoken hedge fund managers who have emerged in recent months with sharp criticism of the president and his fiscal or regulatory policies. (Mr. Loeb was among Mr. Obama’s bundler corps in 2008.)
Another top recruit is Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire who is one of the Republican Party’s most sought-after donors and supporters.
(emphasis added )
Yesterday, within hours of learning Christie definitely was not running for president, Home Depot co-founder and billionaire Ken Langone also backed Romney.
Off we go!
► Jayde Wyatt