WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney’s campaign workers thought they had the perfect place staked out for their fund-raiser in London next week: an elegant home that once belonged to famed American portrait artist John Singer Sargent.
The home now belongs to wealthy financier Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and his wife, Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a well-connected American lawyer and entrepreneur.
One major problem got in the way: The lady joined up with one of Romney’s rivals, Jon Huntsman. She hosted a dinner for him last week at another one of her homes, in New York, and says they raised $1.2 million.
“He’s the real deal,’’ Forester said of Huntsman in an interview. “He is a genuine fiscal conservative. He’s not doctrinaire. He sticks to what he believes in. He’s just a pragmatic, nonideological, let’s roll up our sleeves and get it done kind of American. ’’
She said she agreed to allow the Romney campaign to use her home several months ago, mostly as a personal favor to Woody Johnson, who is the owner of the
But Forester said she made clear that, while they could use her home, she would not make the maximum $2,500 contribution and she would not be supporting Romney.
“He’s made too many Faustian bargains, and we need somebody who stands up for what they believe,’’ she said. “I think [President] Obama would roll him.’’
Forester was once a prominent fund-raiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008 but then drew attention when she later supported Senator John McCain against Obama.
The Romney campaign instead is holding the fund-raiser at Dartmouth House, a building not far from Hyde Park that has marble fireplaces, Louis XIV walnut paneling, and a painted ceiling by Pierre Victor Galland.
In addition to the fund-raiser, the candidate is planning to meet with Peter Ricketts, Britain’s national security adviser. A British official said that Prime Minister David Cameron planned to drop by if his scheduled allowed.
— Matt Viser
Paul raises $4.5m, more than same quarter in 2007 EATON, N.H. - Representative Ron Paul of Texas, a Republican presidential candidate, raised more than $4.5 million in the current fund-raising quarter, his spokesman Brian Early said yesterday.
That is significantly more than the $3 million that Paul had raised at this time during the 2008 election cycle.
Paul attributes the growing interest in his campaign to a “dramatic difference’’ in attitudes between 2007 and today, thanks to the economic crisis and public unease about government bailouts of banks and corporations. Paul said in an interview that he believes his message of spending less money overseas and reexamining monetary policy is drawing more attention.
“I keep campaigning on what I’ve been campaigning on for 30 years,’’ he said. “Now that there’s a shift in attitude, a country that’s getting in worse shape by the day, all of a sudden the message becomes very appropriate.’’
Paul, 75, spent the day visiting businesses in Carroll County and the Lakes Region, stopping in rural Eaton and in Freedom. Paul is hoping for a better showing than he had in the 2008 New Hampshire primary, when he came in fifth.
A 12-term congressman, Paul has amassed a passionate following as a libertarian icon.
— Shira Schoenberg
Mich. congressman enters race for GOP nomination DETROIT - Representative Thaddeus McCotter, a Michigan Republican, said he will officially announce his candidacy for president today.
McCotter, 45, was elected to his fifth term in Congress in November. He says he will push for a fundamental restructuring of government and for Wall Street banks that received federal bailout money to free up credit.
— Associated Press