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With no apparent end to his battle against Rick Santorum in sight, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney took time away from the campaign trail last week to schmooze with donors in both New York City and Stamford, Connecticut. Even though Romney won handily in Illinois, he had two disappointing third place finishes in the deep South. Hoping to replenish his political bank roll, Romney first addressed potential contributors during a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria, a swanky Manhattan landmark, and later attended a dinner at the Stamford Marriott Hotel and Spa where tickets for the event cost $2,500 a seat.
The former Massachussets governor, whose personal wealth is both staggering and a hot button topic in this year’s primary race, reportedly expected to have the Republican nomination wrapped up by now and the prolonged battle against his fellow GOP rivals may be taking a toll on his campaign bank accounts. Romney insists he has no plans to bolster his campaign's need for cash with his own money at this time. So could the billionaire presidential hopeful be feeling a pinch in his pocket book for the first time?
The greatest effects of this spring’s strain on the Romney campaign fund may not be felt until later this year. Though Santorum is literally giving him a run for his money now, if Romney, as the current frontrunner, does cinch the GOP nomination he would then have to face off against President Obama this summer. And that means he'll need millions more to take on that fight.
The president, whose deep campaign pockets have been partially credited for his win four years ago, is no stranger to a well-funded run for the Oval Office and has the luxury of building his campaign funds for the general election now, without the added stress of a battle against his own party members. Although reports indicate that the president is also having a hard time raising money in the same way he did for the 2008 race.
Of course, with repeated reminders about how many friends he has in high places, such as the NFL and NASCAR, it’s hard to believe Romney would have trouble mounting a bid against the incumbent president, at least on the campaign-finance front.