Mitt Romney's financial team and the Republican National Committee set a new Republican record for monthly fundraising in a presidential race, announcing Monday that together they raised $170 million in September — putting Mr. Romney on firm financial footing heading into the final three weeks of the race for the White House.
The Romney camp and the RNC said they have $191 million cash on hand after receiving more than a million donations of $250 or less from supporters. "Americans can't afford four more years like the last four," said Spencer Zwick, Romney's national finance chairman. "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering voters a vision for our country that will grow the economy, increase incomes, and bring relief to the middle class. That is why we are seeing such strong support from donors across the country. With less than one month left, we will continue the hard work of raising the resources to ensure that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can win in November and bring real change to the American people."
The announcement comes a week after President Obama and the Democratic National Committee said they had pulled in $181 million over the same time frame.
The financial hauls are a reminder of how the presidential landscape has changed since Mr. Obama became the first major-party candidate to opt out of the public campaign-financing system in 2008 — freeing Mr. Obama and his fundraising gurus to raise unlimited amount of money without the spending restrictions that go along with accepting public funds.
The Democrat raised $745 million. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the GOP nominee, meanwhile, took public financing and received $84.1 million in public funds to conduct his general election campaign and raised an additional $46.4 million for legal and accounting expenses.
"I think Obama certainly set a standard, and no one doubted that Romney would take the same path," said Brendan Glavin, data and systems manager at the Campaign Finance Institute. "Romney's fundraising situation right now is quite different in that he did not take public finance as McCain and [George W. Bush] did in the past."
"The $170 million between his campaign and the RNC and the joint fundraising would certainly be a monthly record haul for a Republican candidate," he said.
September marks the second month in a row that the Obama campaign and the DNC took in more money than its Republican counterpart. Team Obama raised $114 million in August, while the Romney campaign took in $111 million.
In announcing the September fundraising numbers, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said that the financial support is fueled by voter recognition that the nation's can't afford another "four years of failure."
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a much different vision than President Obama's policies of larger government, a stagnant economy and more government dependence. They are offering voters a pro-growth plan that will finally get our country on the right track again. It is why the Romney-Ryan ticket is seeing such tremendous support, and it is why we will win in November," Mr. Priebus said.
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