- Associated Press - Sunday, August 14, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s personal wealth — up to $250 million — survived the nation’s economic crisis, according to figures released Friday. But his pledge to sell off interests that conflict with his GOP stances did not extend to some investments in a family charity.

The new records make clear that Mr. Romney is much wealthier than President Obama or any of Mr. Romney’s GOP opponents. The immense fortune controlled by Mr. Romney and his wife, Ann, is worth $190 million to $250 million — within the same range as his 2007 presidential financial disclosure records, his campaign said.

Mr. Romney’s financial records, submitted Friday to meet a deadline set by the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, valued his fortune at $86 million to $264 million.

The campaign, however, reported his wealth within a narrower range.

The holdings reflect Mr. Romney’s success in running a major Boston venture capital firm and his stewardship of his own investments on Wall Street — a strong base in his drive for influential donors and the Republican nomination. But amid a deep recession and populist outrage, Mr. Romney’s wealth could prove double-edged, as seen in the criticism of his comment Thursday that “corporations are people.”

The former Massachusetts governor was criticized by GOP presidential campaign rivals in 2007 because some of his vast array of investments reaped profits from corporations with interests in Iran, China and embryonic-stem research. In response, Mr. Romney pledged that his financial portfolio “would conform to my positions.”

Mr. Romney’s latest report shows that since 2007, his blind trust had sold off shares in many of the companies that posed conflicts, but IRS records show that between 2007 and 2009, Mr. Romney’s family charity, the Tyler Charitable Trust, continued to buy and sell other investments in companies that dealt with Iranian businesses, complied with Chinese censorship or aided in stem-cell research.

“Governor and Mrs. Romney’s assets are managed on a blind basis,” Gail Gitcho, communications director for the Romney campaign, said in a statement. “They do not control the investment of these assets.”

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has assets with a net worth of $500,000 to $1 million, 2010 House financial disclosure records show. Those assets include a family farm in Wisconsin and Bachmann & Associates in Lake Elmo, Minn., a psychotherapy clinic headed by her husband, Marcus.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who announced his GOP candidacy Saturday, has disclosed two blind trusts worth more than $50,000 combined, but some reports have estimated Mr. Perry’s financial worth as closer to $1 million.


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