Romney Gives Big Bucks to Freshmen, Rehberg

Posted March 10, 2011 at 10:38am

Fresh off his first public speech of the year in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney’s political action committee has intensified donations to Congressional Republicans as the former Massachusetts governor works to solidify broad levels of support heading into the 2012 presidential contest.

Romney’s Free & Strong America PAC on Thursday announced “yet another wave of contributions” totaling $93,000 spread across 45 Republicans in Congress, many of them freshmen.

“Governor Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC is setting a furious pace as it seeks to build on GOP gains from the 2010 midterm elections,” reads the announcement, which notes that the former governor’s year-to-date donations to federal candidates now exceeds $300,000.

That’s far beyond any other prospective GOP White House contenders and follows a similar pattern that began before the 2010 midterms.

While many donations had targeted early presidential contest states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, Thursday’s round of giving was far more diverse. The contributions included just one to a Senate candidate — $5,000 to Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.). The rest were $2,000 contributions to freshman Representatives such as Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R-Texas), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), just to name a handful of the 44 House beneficiaries.

Click here to see the full list.

While Romney has been quietly lining up supporters on the ground in New Hampshire and elsewhere in recent months, the steady stream of campaign donations has largely been the only public signal that he is pursuing the presidency. His likely run intensified last week, however, when he made his first public speech in New Hampshire.

Look to see such activity ramping up in the coming weeks and months. The first GOP presidential primary debate is set for less than two months from now.

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