The 2012 Republican nominee is struggling to secure the financial backing even of the people who were his staunchest supporters.But then there are these guys and the candidates they think might be a better bet than Romney (emphasis added below):
The Center for Public Integrity in recent days attempted to contact roughly 90 top Romney fundraisers from his most recent presidential run, including every federal lobbyist who helped him raise $30,000 or more.
The vast majority willing to speak on the record say they haven’t decided whom to support in 2016. Almost all of these fundraisers said they’re wrestling with conflicting loyalties to Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and other potential Republican hopefuls such as [Senator] Marco Rubio ... and Govs. Mike Pence, Scott Walker and Chris Christie.
Van D. Hipp Jr., chairman of consulting firm American Defense International and a former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, said he thinks the array of choices “shows the strength of the Republican field.” He served on Romney’s finance team in 2012 but hasn’t committed to Romney in 2016.Lindsey Graham?
“I’ve got several friends looking at it mighty strong. I think the world of Romney,” Hipp said, while noting his ties to other prospective candidates, including Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former New York Gov. George Pataki.
Add [Lindsey] Graham, the U.S. senator from South Carolina, to Hipp’s mix, too.
“I’ve talked with some folks in South Carolina this past week who said they had gotten phone calls [from Graham] telling them, quote, to keep their powder dry,” he said. Hipp says he personally hasn’t yet heard from Graham, but added, "we go back a long ways and he’s a good friend of mine.”
Someone who has been in touch with Graham: David Wilkins, who leads the public policy and international law group at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.
Wilkins bundled $87,000 for Romney in 2012. He was the state chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004 and was an ambassador to Canada under President George W. Bush. “I have great admiration and respect for Gov. Bush, but until Lindsey makes a decision, a lot of us are -- we’re for Lindsey Graham,” Wilkins said.
George Pataki? Seriously? George Pataki?
Wow, that's gotta sting.