Pro-Romney super PAC earns $20 million in June
Updated: 12:40 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Less than two weeks after Mitt Romney's campaign announced a fundraising haul of $100 million in June, shattering its own record and trouncing the Obama campaign by some $30 million, the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future confirmed to CBS News Monday that it raised $20 million in the same month.
The group's June earnings represent a new monthly fundraising record for the group. It's also more than three times the amount brought in by its pro-Obama counterpart, the super PAC Priorities USA Action, which on Friday announced a $6.1 million haul in June.
"It is no surprise that wealthy Republicans from Wall Street and the oil industry are investing millions in false and misleading attacks on President Obama," said Bill Burton, co-founder of Priorities USA Action, in a statement. "Millionaire Republicans have high stakes in this election -- they know that in a Romney administration, they will make millions when their industries are deregulated, regardless of the devastating impact on the middle class."
The latest numbers reflects a recent struggle among pro-Obama forces to compete with Romney advocates' abilities to bring in enormous monthly fundraising totals.
(Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "angry old white men" buying 2012 election in the video on the left.)
June was the second month in a row that the Romney campaign outraised the president's re-election campaign. Restore Our Future, meanwhile, has consistently topped Priorities USA in its fundraising efforts.
Still, June's earnings were significant for the pro-Romney PAC: In May, it earned just a fraction of last month's haul, at $4.6 million, and $20 million is more than twice than it had earned in any previous month alone.
The consistently staggering monthly earnings brought in by advocates of both parties are indicative of the increasingly expensive nature of the 2012 political cycle. According to an analysis by Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), the volume of presidential spending on campaign ads in a number of crucial campaign territories is much higher than it was at this point in 2008. For instance, the group's analysis shows that presidential ads in Columbus, Ohio have doubled since this point in the 2008 campaign.
Moreover, super PACs, which can spend unlimited funds to support a candidate as long as they do not directly coordinate with the candidate's campaign, are not the only outside groups making political contributions via sometimes-shadowy methods: A recent Wall Street Journal report showed that unions, which skew heavily Democratic, are spending approximately four times more on politics and lobbying than is generally assumed. And the GOP-friendly U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has said it plans to spend $50 million on the 2012 election, recently announced a new strategy that will allow it to continue to invest heavily in political spending without disclosing the identities of its donors, as the Washington Post reported in May.
Last month, Romney and billionaire industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch held a hush-hush three-day retreat with wealthy donors designed to bring in contributions. The semi-secrecy of the retreat mirrors the secrecy that currently exists in the world of campaign financing. The Romney campaign, unlike the Obama campaign, refuses to disclose its bundlers, which makes it more difficult for the public to assess what his biggest donors might expect in exchange for their money.
In a memo sent out by the Romney campaign Monday, Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse argues that the race between Romney and Mr. Obama is "narrowing," as evidenced, in part, by the contention that "Barack Obama V. 2012 is not keeping up with Barack Obama V. 2008."
"Four years ago today, candidate Barack Obama led John McCain 47.0%-42.5% (+4.5%) in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. Today, the race is even tighter for now President Obama. The most recent Real Clear Politics average puts the race at 46.8% Obama-44.4% Romney (+2.4%)," Newhouse writes.
The Obama campaign, meanwhile, continues to hammer Romey over his history at Bain Capital, and is turning up the pressure for the Republican candidate to release more information about his financial history.
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