Bush Bundlers Go to the Bank for Romney

Wednesday, 02 Nov 2011 11:27 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have inherited the job of George W. Bush, who was governor of the Lone Star State before becoming president. But the presidential candidate hasn’t inherited Bush’s renowned fundraisers, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Among the 939 "Pioneers" and "Rangers" who produced at least $100,000 for Bush’s presidential campaigns, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has received 148 donations totaling $351,250, far outdistancing Perry's 87 contributions worth $213,000 through Sept. 30, according to a Chronicle analysis of Federal Election Commission data.

On one hand, Perry is bringing home the bacon from Pioneers and Rangers within the state of Texas, with 52 of them giving to Perry and only 22 to Romney. Seven have donated to both. But on another, Romney creams Perry by more than 3-1 in total donors among Pioneers and Rangers in other states.

Clearly the Bush backers aren’t much interested in the other remaining candidates. Third place goes to a contestant who’s not even in the race anymore: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, with 47 donations totaling $102,867. Businessman Herman Cain, who has registered as Romney’s chief rival in recent polls, hasn’t garnered a dime from the Bush heavyweights.

To some extent, Romney is benefiting from Perry’s late entrance (Aug. 13) into the race. The current front-runner "was able to tie up some of those supporters before people thought seriously that Perry was running," Brendan Glavin of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute told the Chronicle.

Two of Romney’s donors are closer to Bush than the rest: his sister Dorothy and brother Marvin. None of the Bush family has given to Perry.

"What this means is that the Bush team feels more policy and practical kinship with the Romney approach," Bruce Buchanan, a government professor at the University of Texas, told the Chronicle.

There’s no love lost between the Perry and Bush camps, even though Perry was Bush’s choice for lieutenant governor in 1998. Top former Bush aides Karl Rove and Tony Fratto have criticized Perry since he entered the presidential campaign.

Les Csorba, a top staffer for President George H.W. Bush and a bundler for George W., said he sees Romney as the only Republican who can take down President Barack Obama.

"He has impeccable integrity, has strong family values, and [is] the only one in the GOP field who can really bring people together and can get things accomplished," he told the Chronicle. Csorba dispensed the maximum $2,500 individual contribution to Romney before Perry entered the race.

Interestingly enough, despite the Lone Start State’s Republican leanings, Obama leads Romney in total donations in Texas, $2.7 million to $2.1 million.

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