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McCain’s Disappointing Haul

As I mentioned yesterday, McCain’s lack of fundraising success places him behind Giuliani, and puts his campaign on life support. $12.5 million is pathetic given that Rudy brought in $15 million, Giuliani is barely in the race, and most importantly, McCain has been running for 8 years. To put this down to “I’m not a great fundraiser, and we have to do better” is sad.

The good news for the folks in McCain’s camp is actually Romney’s interview on the Today show this morning. I should have a transcript shortly, but The gist of Mitt’s comments is his campaign fundraising is the result of a shallow pool maxing out. Asked by Matt Lauer if his number was comprised of a whole lot of people giving a little bit of money, or a small pool of people maxing out, Romney gave a ridiculous reply. He said “the best news” is that it is a small group who has maxed out – and now they’re going to go to work for him raising even more.

Lauer: Have you basically found, you know, 5 million contributors who gave you a little money or have you found a lot of contributors who have maxed out? In other words, are you tapped out on these people or can you go back and hit them again as the campaign continues?

Romney: Well perhaps the best news is that these are people who have (emphasis his) maxed out in many many cases, and they’re willing to go to work to help introduce me to their friends, so it’s the fact that I’ve been able to talk to people one on one and in small groups, get their support despite all the other people in the field, talk to them about strengthening the American people with better jobs, better health care, better schools, and stronger families, and that message is resonating, so I’ve got a great team, a great foundation to go on, and raise the money I need and take the message forward for the entire primary.

Empty platitudes, talking points, and run on sentences aside, I’m not sure if he’s just the worst off-the-cuff candidate in history or if he doesn’t understand the way voters look at this stuff. We’d prefer to think that you are beholden to the five million people that gave you $50 each than the fifty people that raised you $5 million each. So your “best news” that you’ve put up a huge number of maxed out donors is seen by us as “the bad news“.

Written by Michael Turk