Romney in Wyoming: Obama ‘Deer in Headlights’ on Economy

While campaigning in Afton, WY, yesterday, Mitt Romney blasted Pres Obama for acting like a 'deer in the headlights' on the economy. August 18, 2011

There’s something pretty wonderful about the genuine appreciation rural Americans feel for a presidential candidate who takes the time to pay them a visit. So it was with salt-of-the earth folks in Wyoming yesterday when Mitt Romney came to town. Many felt it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

From the reports I’ve read, it sounds like Governor Romney had a wonderful time and felt right at home:

Jackson Hole Daily

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned Thursday in Afton and blasted President Obama for acting like a “deer in headlights” in times of economic turmoil and for hampering the country’s financial recovery.

Romney, the first presidential candidate to visit Wyoming in this election cycle, delivered those political jabs to a crowd of roughly 400 people who squeezed into a conference room in the Afton Civic Center. The stop was part of a fundraising tour of western Wyoming that included a Thursday evening fundraiser at the west bank home of Jackson Hole residents Dick and Maggie Scarlett.

Romney, who won the Wyoming Republican caucus when he ran for president in 2008, said Obama has not done anything to help kickstart the economy and has only hindered recovery efforts. He pointed to healthcare legislation and new regulations on the banking industry as examples of Obama burdening business.
He repeatedly told the audience how much he loves the U.S.A., freedom, the Constitution and capitalism.
Romney recounted trips to Yellowstone National Park when he was growing up and a summer he spent working at his uncle’s ranch in King Hill, Idaho.

The crowd erupted in applause several times during Romney’s brief speech. Many people in attendance said they already supported the candidate — some even wore “I Stand with Mitt” T-shirts.

The Elk Horn Arch greets visitors on the main thoroughfare through Afton, Wyoming. Mitt Romney held campaign events in The Cowboy State yesterday. August 18, 2011 (click on image to enlarge)

“It’s great to have somebody who says they love America and wants to bring back freedom,” Afton resident Val Call said. “We haven’t had that for a while.”

Several residents said it spoke volumes about Romney that he decided to travel to Afton to speak to Star Valley residents.

“It’s a big treat for a little place,” said Dan Dockstader, a Republican state senator who represents Afton and Wilson.

Continue reading here.

The Star Valley Independent added this:

Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, made a stop in Star Valley on Thursday afternoon, addressing between 400-500 people in the Afton Civic Center. Romney, one of the current front-runners for the Republican nomination, appeared genuinely surprised and pleased at the large turnout on such short notice. “I try and get a room like this in New York and I can’t,” he laughed. “I don’t know why.”

Romney opened by thanking the packed room and reminiscing about his days of hauling hay on a ranch in Idaho.

Romney speaks at a packed Town Hall meeting in Afton, Wyoming:

The Gov will be in Idaho today to have lunch with Governor Butch Otter. He will then wend his way to northern Utah.

(emphasis added to articles)

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Heads West: Raising Funds in Wyoming & Utah

A beautiful western sunset... Gov Mitt Romney will attend fundraisers in The Cowboy State today. Aug 18, 2011 (click on image to enlarge)

The wide, open spaces of the intermountain west will be Mitt Romney’s destination for the next couple of days.

Today, The Gov will take in the rugged beauty of Wyoming as he meets with the good folks in Afton and Wilson. He’s also there to rustle up some cash:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will hold a pair of fundraisers and make his first public Wyoming campaign stop of the 2012 election season Thursday in western Wyoming.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who easily won the 2008 Wyoming Republican presidential caucuses, will hold a meet and greet at the Afton Civic Center starting at 1:15 p.m., according to campaign spokesman Ryan Williams.

Earlier that morning, Romney will attend a private $2,500-per-head fundraiser at the Star Valley Trout Ranch near Afton, according to Afton Civic Center events coordinator Justin Visser.

On Thursday evening, Romney will attend a fundraiser in Wilson, Williams said. Williams declined to provide details about that fundraiser.

Friday will find Gov Romney in northern Utah, the beautiful Beehive State:


The Logan Herald Journal says Romney will host the events Friday at a private home and a conference center in Logan.

Romney’s visit will be the second to heavily Republican Utah since he officially announced his candidacy for president. He visited Salt Lake City in July for a fundraiser and a rally at a hamburger stand.

Romney remains extremely popular in the state[…] Polls continue to show him carrying a substantial lead in the state over other Republican candidates, including former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

UPDATE – Photo of the Day from

Mitt poses with 100 year old supporter from Afton, Wyoming. Wow! August 18, 2011

Jayde Wyatt

‘Restore Our Future’ Pro-Romney Super PAC Rakes in $12.3 Million

Here’s a piece of good news to start the week…

Restore Our Future, a Super PAC created to help support Mitt Romney (and combat Obama Super PACS) has raised a big, fat, wad of cash for The Gov.

The prolific group formed by former Romney aids, for the first six months of this year, has raised a whopping $12.3 million ($12.231,700 to be exact):


A political action committee that supports former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary raised $12.3 million from mostly big-money donors in the first half of this year.


The political action committee is an independent group that can run ads to bolster Romney’s bid and may not coordinate with his campaign. Its treasurer is Charles R. Spies, who was Romney’s general counsel in the 2008 Republican primary. Its board of directors includes Carl Forti, who was political director for Romney’s primary campaign three years ago.

Restore Our Future is one of two “Super PACs,” independent political committees that take unlimited contributions, that have been created to help a presidential candidate. Former White House officials have set up a similar organization to promote President Barack Obama’s re-election.

The Romney-friendly committee could give him an advantage in the Republican primary by running ads attacking his opponents, which would allow Romney to conserve resources for his campaign.

Some of the donors: W. Spann LLC of New York, F8 LLC and Eli Publishing Inc. of Utah, J.W Marriott and Richard Marriott of Marriott International Inc, Louis M. Bacon of Moore Capital Management in New York, and John Paulson hedge fund manager. Another substantial, interesting donor was a homebuilder based in Texas – Bob Perry – who in the past, has donated money to Rick Perry (no relation).

More great news… Restore Our Future was very careful with expenditures:

The PAC spent just $22,329.50, money that went to business licensing, legal fees and insurance.

We’re proud of the support Restore Our Future has received from across the country,” said Charlie Spies, the group’s treasurer.

These donors recognize Mitt Romney is the most experienced and qualified candidate to challenge President Obama’s record of out-of-control, big government spending which has led our country to a historic $14 trillion debt and near double-digit unemployment. As evidenced by our report, we will continue to keep costs to a minimum to ensure that our donors funds go to accomplish our main mission, helping Mitt Romney defeat President Obama.”

(emphasis added)

Maggie Haberman, senior political reporter for POLITICO, also wrote an article about the ‘pro-Romney super-PAC filings’. She characterized Jonathan Martin and Ken Vogel as “pouring through” the Super PAC’s records to ferret out who the donors were. After stating the number of donors, Haberman further nuanced her article with a quote from Martin/Vogel: “Other givers were even harder to unmask.”

Is Restore Our Future engaged in masked activity?


Super PACS are independent expenditure groups allowed to raise unlimited amounts of corporate or union money, as well as receive donations from individuals. In January 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a century-old limit on the amounts corporations, labor unions, or individuals can raise for elections – for or against a candidate – as long as their activity is independent of the candidate and campaign.

Some PACS reveal donors, such as the House Majority PAC. Others are organized under section 501(c)4 which doesn’t require donors to be revealed. Traditional PACS such as political parties and candidates’ campaigns do make public those who donate. Restore Our Future is FEC-registered which means all donors are disclosed.

On June 29, 2011 ‘Priorities USA’, an Obama Super PAC, created by former White House advisors Sean Sweeny and Bill Burton, released a multi-state ad targeting Republicans. The ad aired in battleground states: Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, and Florida:

“We are Americans. We know right from wrong. And we know the ads blaming President Obama for the economy are politics at its worse,” the ad says[…] “The Republicans have opposed economic reforms at every turn.” […]

(my emphasis)

‘Priorities USA’ wears masks does not disclose donors.

Maybe resident Politico detectives Jonathan Martin and Ken Vogel will dig in Obama’s Super PAC ‘Priorities USA’ (and sister PAC ‘Priorities USA Action’ which is required to reveal donors). Then, along with Maggie Haberman, perhaps the three of them will have more to write about.

Restore Our Future (exactly what Romney will do) deserves a big, fat, THANK YOU!

► Jayde Wyatt

Money & Social Media: Romney Campaign Leads

OhMyGov! is a website that monitors the interconnection between media mentions and social media activity. Their analysis reveals that the Romney campaign is the most financially supported and in the best social media position at this point in the 2012 GOP presidential race:

Romney Leads GOP Race for Money and Social Media

First, as always, we concentrate on the money. According to his Federal Election Committee quarterly report for the period March – June 2011, the former Massachusetts Governor has over $18.3 million in donations to his credit. That puts him second only to President Obama in terms of money raised, and far ahead of the rest of the GOP field. Just for some perspective, Romney raised nearly half (46%) of all the money donated to major Republican candidates in the last quarter. No other candidate raised more than $4.5 million, putting Romney in an enviable financial position.

[…] According to OhMyGov, Romney accounts for nearly 45% of the Facebook audience for Republican candidates, and ranks highly on Twitter as well.

With more than a million Facebook fans, Romney is in a class by himself in the GOP field. The second most popular Facebook candidate is Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has almost 620,000 fewer fans than Romney. […]

It is not only the size of Romney’s share of the Facebook pie that is impressive, but the rate at which he’s picked up followers. During the 2nd quarter of 2011, Romney gained Facebook fans at an intimidating rate (188,000+), far ahead of rivals Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Hunstman. […]

Surprised at who has the most Twitter followers?

So what can we glean from these numbers? Are Tea Party favorites like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann hot on the heels of establishment pick Mitt Romney? No, they probably aren’t. What one can begin to assume from these numbers however is that while some may go to Twitter for quick blurbs and sound-bites from entertaining characters (do you really think all of Sarah Palin’s followers actually like Sarah Palin?), they go to Facebook for news and updates on people they are legitimately interested in or support. Mitt Romney’s relative Facebook popularity is matched only by his undeniable financial support, a combination most candidates would take over 10,000 new Twitter followers any day.

(emphasis, italics added)

For further details, click here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney in Rhode Island: Fundraiser & Endorsement From Former RI Gov Donald Carcieri

The Gov will be in Rhode Island this evening…

Supporters of Mitt Romney in Newport, Rhode Island, Les and Carol Ballard, are co-hosting a fundraising reception for him tonight. Also co-hosting tonight’s event is former Governor of The Ocean State, Donald Carcieri, and former First Lady Sue Carcieri.

Governor Carcieri has announced that he will endorse Mitt Romney:

July 25, 2011

Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri will endorse Republican Mitt Romney for president, according to Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams.

The confirmation is unsurprising, considering the ex-Republican governor is slated to co-host a fundraiser for Romney in Newport on Tuesday evening that the campaign says will be closed to the media.

Former Rhode Island Gov Donald L Carcieri will endorse Mitt Romney.

Carcieri also endorsed Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, in his bid for president in the 2008 election.

Last year, Romney returned the favor somewhat by helping fundraise for Carcieri’s chosen successor to the governor’s office — John Robitaille, who eventually lost.

Romney, who formally announced his candidacy in June, will look to bolster an $18.3-million campaign war chest that, so far, dwarfs that of other potential Republican candidates, but is still far behind the $45.4 million that President Obama has raised for his reelection campaign, according to federal campaign finance reports.

Romney has collected about $14,300 from Rhode Island donors, the most of any other Republican candidate in the Ocean State, but again behind Obama’s more than $53,000 haul, according to FEC reports.

Tuesday’s fundraiser represents the first public appearance in Rhode Island by a presidential candidate for the 2012 election cycle. […]

(my emphasis)

Rhode Island suffers from the third highest unemployment rate in the nation at 10.8% (CA is at 11.8% and NV is at 12.4 %). Their housing market continues to falter. (A Commerce Dept. report released today reveals that new home sales fell 1% in June; the northeast and parts of the west continue to be hit particularly hard.)

Romney is also attending a fundraising luncheon billed as ‘Lawyers for Romney’ in Washington D.C. today:

The former Massachusetts governor will attend a “Lawyers for Romney” luncheon at the powerhouse lobbying firm Patton Boggs, according to an invitation nabbed by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation. The host committee includes former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Ben Ginsberg, who served as counsel to Mr. Romney’s campaign in 2008 and to President George W. Bush’s two campaigns.

UPDATE July 27, 2011 – ‘Photo of the Day’ at

Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri & former RI First Lady, his wife Suzanne, pose with Romney at an event in Newport, RI. July 26, 2011

► Jayde Wyatt

Analysis of 2nd Qtr Financial Reports – How Did the Candidates Do?

fec-logoThere are many narratives and side-stories involved in the race for the White House. Alone, each of these diversions are relatively insignificant, but together they paint the big picture which helps one clarify the true state of the race. Fundraising numbers are a major part of this story telling. They can reveal a lot about who has support, who is gaining traction, and whose campaign is slipping away from them. Voters donate money to primary campaigns for a number of reasons, but I believe the two greatest catalysts that bring out the donors are: One, the donor believes in the cause or the candidate, and two, the donor believes the candidate is best suited to defeated the competition. One is especially glad to donate when their motives include both of those criteria.

The 2nd quarter fundraising numbers for candidates seeking the presidency were published by the FEC little over a week ago and, as they have done in the past, the numbers tell stories. Below are some numbers I’ve compiled from the FEC filings along with some of my unprofessional, but sincere, analysis.

Notes on the table: “Large donations” equal $200 or more, small equals less than $200. On the FEC report they are labeled as “itemized” and “unitemized”, because names of donors and amounts are not reported if they are less than $200 per individual for the election cycle. In the “other” category I have included all donations from other committees as well as any refunds or rebates they received. “Refunds” includes all money given back to donors, usually because of exceeding donor limits. I reduce this before giving the total raised because for Obama is a whopping $600K. “Dispersed” is basically all money paid out by the campaign for operations, money that has been spent but not yet paid is included in the “debt” column.

The 2nd Quarter numbers:
Click here to continue reading

Portland, Oregon: Romney Raises Thousands, Receives Endorsement from Former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR)

Mitt Romney listens to Oregon GOP Chairman Allen Alley at a Romney fundraiser held at the home of John & Kim Bradley (West Hills, OR) on July 11, 2011. Photo by Romney supporter Rep. Shawn Lindsey (Hillsboro)

Mitt Romney was in Portland, Oregon, on July 11th. Given the fact that Obama is raking in the dough, MRC supporters have asked how much money The Gov raised in that heavily Democratic state. While the exact dollar amount hasn’t been released, two fundraisers were held for Romney by staunch supporters; one at mid-day and another in the evening. The following gives one an idea…

Mitt Romney raises thousands in Portland

Romney’s noontime fundraiser appeared to attract about 70 people who paid either $1,000 for the main event or $2,500 to also attend a smaller gathering where they could have their picture taken with him.

[…] Several participants said Romney emphasized his business and political experience, which he has long argued would make him more effective at reviving the economy than President Barack Obama.
House Republican Leader Kevin Cameron, R-Salem, said he was able to talk to Romney about how GOP lawmakers were able to work with Democrats in this last legislative session and that Romney talked up his own experience in Massachusetts working with a Democratic legislative majority.

Mitt’s really good with this size of group. … At the end of the day he’s a very practical fellow,” said Stephen Babson, the managing director of Endeavor Capital.

“The economy is his big issue,” Babson said. “That’s no surprise, right?

Romney’s campaign released good news that day: Former US Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., formally endorsed Romney.

It has been nearly three years since President Obama took office and it is clear that his policies have not worked for Oregon or the country,” Smith said in the announcement.

Romney was scheduled to appear at a Monday evening fundraiser — carrying the same ticket price — at the Seattle-area lakefront home of John Connors, a venture capitalist and former chief financial officer for Microsoft.

(emphasis added)

The midday event was held at the home of construction company owner John Bradley. Along with support from Oregon GOP Chairman Allen Alley and State Rep Shawn Lindsay (guy who took the photo), other notables who attended the private luncheon event were: Rep. Kevin Cameron, former GOP congressional candidates Rob Cornilles, Scott Bruun, and Tim Phillips.

Sounds like Romney raised a respectable chunk of change (sincere thanks to all those who gave). As political scientist/commentator Larry Sabato says, “The name of the game is raising money.”

I would add that it’s not only money, it’s message and moxie.

Isn’t it time to make another donation to Gov Romney?

Do it here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney to Cast Net for Cash in Portland, Oregon

Beautiful Portland, Oregon

Mitt Romney is casting the net for cash next Monday, July 11th, in heavily Democratic Portland, Oregon:

The former Massachusetts governor is stumping for cash Monday in Portland, the heavily Democratic city that has helped that party dominate just about every statewide elected office in Oregon.

Romney’s luncheon will take him to Portland’s affluent West Hills as he looks for money to power his campaign for president. He raised $18 million in the last three months, his campaign announced this week, far outdoing his rivals. An independent fundraising group that supports Romney has raised an additional $12 million so far this year.
The private fundraiser, hosted at the home of John and Kim Bradley, is not open to the public or the press. An invitation lists 30 individuals or couples as hosts, including state Rep. Sean Lindsay of Hillsboro and Rep. Kevin Cameron, the state House Republican leader, as well as former congressional candidates Rob Cornilles and Scott Bruun.

“My number one goal is I want to defeat Barack Obama, and I think Mitt Romney is the person most capable of beating him,” said Lindsay, who added that Romney is not holding any public events while in Oregon.

(emphasis added)

Note: Oregon State Rep Shawn Lindsey’s name is spelled incorrectly in the above article.

► Jayde Wyatt

Update by Ross:
When it’s all said and done, I bet Gov. Romney is going to do better among Jewish donors than any Republican in recent memory. Stories like this only help.

Mitt Romney in London, England: Raises Funds, Meets with British Officials

British Houses of Parliament (Big Ben on Right) on a foggy evening in London, England.

British Houses of Parliament (Big Ben at right) on a foggy evening in London, England.

He’s across the pond!

After Mitt Romney’s campaign released news that his second quarter fundraising totals far out-paced that of his rivals, we note that Gov Romney flew to London, England for additional fundraising. An evening reception at Dartmouth House enabled him to meet with American citizens and/or those holding green cards.

The Gov also met with British government officials:

LONDON July 6, 2011

Mitt Romney told reporters outside a lavish town house in the heart of the upscale Mayfair neighborhood on Wednesday evening that he was “meeting a few friends” while in London

The event’s co-chairmen and co-chairwomen included the hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon, the New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and two dozen others, mostly drawn from London’s still-booming financial sector.
A statement about the reception from the Romney campaign referred to his support among “Americans living abroad,” and touched on issues like the weak economy and slow job market in the United States, but did not mention fund-raising outright.

Outside the event, as he buttoned his dark suit, Mr. Romney told reporters that he was in London for meetings with officials. He met Wednesday with former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, as well as Britain’s minister of defense, Liam Fox, with whom, he said, he discussed “global affairs.”
A British government official who requested anonymity to discuss a private meeting said Mr. Romney would also be meeting with Britain’s national security adviser, Peter Ricketts, and other officials Thursday afternoon. Prime Minister David Cameron “might stop by,” the official said, though there were no concrete plans for the two men to meet.

(emphasis added)

Check back for updates!

UPDATE – Romney campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom:

“There is a lot of interest in this election among Americans living abroad who like everyone else are worried about what the weak economy and lack of jobs means for our status in the world. […] They want to know if we are going to lead the world economically or become something less. To a large degree Mitt Romney because he is well known as someone who has the skills to turn the economy around.”

► Jayde Wyatt

Donors Believe In Mitt Romney, Give $18.25 Million

Second quarter fundraising numbers are in for Mitt Romney; he raised a healthy, hefty

$18.25 million:

Romney reports raising $18.25M in Q2

Republican Mitt Romney plans to report raising $18.25 million during the second quarter for his presidential campaign.

The former Massachusetts governor said in a statement today that he had raised that sum between April 1 and June 30, and still had $12.6 million on hand.

While he has yet to release the report due to the Federal Election Commission by mid-month, Romney’s statement said he had received donations from all 50 state and Washington, DC.

Voters are responding to Mitt Romney’s message that President Obama’s policies have failed and that we need new leadership in Washington,” said Romney for President National Finance Chairman Spencer Zwick. “Our fund-raising for the second quarter represents the strong support Mitt Romney has across the country.”

Some reports on Romney’s numbers – compared to an equivalent period during his last presidential race – paint him as falling short. Kevin Madden, an informal adviser who served as spokesman in Romney’s 2008 campaign, explains:

It’s a challenging time to raise money, given the economy. This campaign season also got off to a much slower start for the candidates, as well as donors. But you are wrong that it’s “small potatoes.”

The total from 2007 included a personal donation. This total does not. It’s all money raised from donors and it’s also all primary money. The cash-on-hand total is also emblematic of a much more efficient operation than the one in 2007. The burn rate was higher back then.

Also, that $12.6 million cash-on-hand added to the $12 million being reported by a super PAC means that there’s a total reserve of around $25 million in the bank aimed at helping his primary bid. They are in a much stronger position financial position right now than the one we we found ourselves in when I was on the 2008 campaign.

The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

Mr. Romney’s campaign said all of the money raised was for the primary campaign from donors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, meaning it is available for use now, not in the general election. The campaign has $12.6 million in cash on hand.

That dwarfs the $4 million figures already announced by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty,former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, so far the closest rivals in the money race. In Mr. Huntsman’s case, about half came from his own deep pockets.
Still, Mr. Huntsman’s campaign tried to exploit what it saw as disappointing numbers after far larger goals were hyped by some Romney fund-raisers this spring, then walked back by campaign aides.

The Romney team has been straight about the Q2 numbers, saying for some time now that they expected The Gov’s totals to be between $15-20 million.

Newt Gingrich scraped up $2 million but his campaign is already in debt. Michele Bachmann will release her numbers on July 15th – the date when reports of campaign contributions and expenses over the past three months must be submitted to the Federal Elections Commission. Details on fundraising for other GOP candidates may be found here.

Obama is expected to bring in around $60 million for this quarter, but that isn’t an exact indicator of strength. Liberals are raising money for one candidate, whereas right now, GOP candidates are splitting the dough.

As it stands now (we await reports from Santorum and Bachmann), when the figures are all added up, Romney’s Q2 dollars are more than triple that of any one of his Republican competitors.

It’s imperative that each of us continue to budget in donations for Governor Romney.

(emphasis added to all referenced articles)

► Jayde Wyatt