Mitt Romney vs. Jeb Bush: The 2016 Fundraising Fight Has Started
Policy + Politics

Mitt Romney vs. Jeb Bush: The 2016 Fundraising Fight Has Started


On Friday morning, Bloomberg News reported that former Florida Governor and expected 2016 candidate for the GOP presidential nomination Jeb Bush planned to raise $100 million for his political action committee in the first quarter of 2015. The news was widely seen as Bush laying down a marker: Other potential candidates without that kind of fund-raising muscle might want to rethink their plans.

Perhaps Bush’s move was meant to flush out the small fry, but it might just have attracted a shark instead. According to The Wall Street Journal, two-time presidential candidate and 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who has said multiple times in public that he is not planning to run again, told a group of donors in New York that he is now seriously considering it. 

Related: Jeb Bush Is Making 20 GOP Presidential Hopefuls Scramble

According to reporters Patrick O’Connor and Beth Reinhard, Romney spoke to the group of “a few dozen top GOP donors” in Manhattan on Friday and told them that turmoil overseas and his concerns about the state of the U.S. economy have prompted him to consider a third run for the Oval Office.


Until now, Jeb Bush appeared to have the field more or less to himself when it came to courting the traditional Republican establishment, including large business interests. But those groups lined up solidly behind Romney in 2012, so his entry into the 2016 sweepstakes would change the race dramatically.

On Thursday night, National Review’s Eliana Johnson reported that close confidants of Romney said that the former Massachusetts governor had become more open to running again. According to Johnson, they said that the Romney camp was not concerned about Jeb Bush’s fundraising abilities, given their candidate’s extensive national network of backers from his 2012 run.

Still, the fact that Romney chose Friday, of all days, to suggest that top donors might want to keep their powder dry until he makes his decision can’t help but suggest a certain concern about Jeb Bush siphoning off some of his financial support.

On Friday afternoon, a Bush spokesperson told Business Insider that the Bloomberg’s reported $100 million goal was overstated and that the actual goal was “far more modest.” But if Romney is really getting into the race, the Bush camp might need the cash.

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