Romney Raising Money, Compliments from Unusual Sources

GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is raising both campaign dollars and support from some “untraditional” places and people – namely London, England and Bill Clinton.

In comments made to reporters at the Aspen Ideas Festival last Saturday, former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the presidential primary – that is the Republican primary.

It seems both Romney and the former ambassador to China under Obama, Jon Huntsman, are favorites of the former Democrat president. The one problem may be the reason Clinton likes the two men is the same reason the GOP base are wary of them – both are known as moderates.

“But, y’know, I like the governors: I like Huntsman and Romney. Romney’s a MUCH better candidate than he was last time, because he’s not apologizing for signing the health-care bill,” said Clinton. “He’s got another creative way of saying we oughta repeal Obamacare, but that’s probably the price of gettin’ the nomination.”

Also, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, the former president made similar comments.

“The ones I liked are the ones that you think are more moderate. Because I think they’re a little more connected to the real world. And I think they’ll be – they’d be formidable…But I’m afraid if I say anything nice about them, they’ll lose for sure.”

As someone who wants a democrat to remain in the White House, that could be Clinton’s ultimate strategy. The former president opined that Huntsman “did a very nice, a good job for America as ambassador to China. I think he’s quite an impressive man.”

Compliments are not the only thing Mitt Romney has been raising lately. His fundraising efforts have raised $18.25 million in the second quarter, with over $12 million on hand. The former Massachusetts governor is also celebrating a WMUR Granite state poll that shows 35 percent of likely Republican voters saying they would vote for him, followed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 12 percent.

Bachmann, who surprised pundits by coming in a close second in a late June poll of likely Iowa caucus goers, has not yet released her second quarter fundraising total.

Yet another way Romney can fuel his campaign resources is through his “SuperPAC” known as Restore Our Future. The PAC was formed by political aides and supporters and is designed to help him in the 2012 presidential race. The PAC collected $12 million in the first half of this year even though efforts did not begin until April.

Candidates or groups supporting specific candidates or issues can form SuperPAC’s. Although they can accept unlimited donations, they still must report the names of individuals who contribute.

In an effort to get early third quarter dollars, Romney is heading overseas today for a fundraiser and meetings in London. The campaign is holding an event at the prestigious Dartmouth House Wednesday night prior to his meeting with British National Security Advisor Peter Ricketts. Campaign advisors have declined to issue specifics about the fundraiser, calling it a “private” event.

“There is a lot of interest in this election among Americans living abroad who like everyone else are worried about what the weak economy and lack of jobs means for our status in the world,” campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom said in an earlier statement, “They want to know if we are going to lead the world economically or become something less. To a large degree Mitt Romney because he is well known as someone who has the skills to turn the economy around.”

Foreign citizens are prohibited from contributing to a candidate for U.S. president. Only U.S. citizens or those holding green cards are eligible to contribute.

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