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Saturday, August 18, 2012

For Romney, a Lucrative Weekend Raising Money


With President Obama campaigning in New Hampshire on Saturday and Representative Paul D. Ryan courting voters in Florida, which battleground state did Mitt Romney have on his weekend itinerary?


Mr. Romney spent the day in his home state of Massachusetts, hopping from Martha's Vineyard to Cape Cod to Nantucket in a dizzying daylong series of fund-raisers. The events, combined with a Friday night visit to the Hamptons, added about $7 million to his war chest.

He suggested that Mr. Obama was to blame for the heavy fund-raising, pointing to his decision in 2008 to become the first presidential candidate to opt out of the public financing system in the general election that allowed him to disregard campaign spending limits.

As he flew from Martha's Vineyard to Hyannis, Mr. Romney told reporters on Saturday that he regretted devoting more time to raise money than to meet with voters. But he said it was his ri val who was responsible for the aggressive fund-raising schedule.

“That's the challenge with a president who blew through the federal spending limits,” Mr. Romney said. “It means that campaigns now have to spend a disproportionate amount of time fund-raising.”

Four years ago, Mr. Obama outpaced his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, who abided by the spending limits and took public financing.

The 2012 presidential campaign has become the first since public financing was instituted in the post-Watergate era of national politics during which neither candidate is operating within the limits of the public financing system.

Fund-raising has become a central strength of Mr. Romney, who is poised to raise more money than Mr. Obama by the end of the campaign. His schedule on Saturday helps explain why: In 24 hours, he held five events from the Hamptons to the islands and the coast of Massachusetts.

It is one of his final major fund-raisi ng swings before the Republican National Convention opens in Florida on Aug. 27.

“You appreciate all the help you get,” Mr. Romney told reporters on Saturday, “but you wish you could spend more time on the campaign trail.”