WASHINGTON, March 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Democratic National Committee: If desperate times call for desperate measures, smooth talking Mitt Romney must really be feeling the heat. His presidential campaign floundering, Romney is resorting to cynical efforts to buy off supporters and pay volunteers. Apparently unable to energize college students, Romney this week unveiled "Students for Mitt," an unprecedented scheme to pay college students to raise money for him. [Associated Press, 3/27/07] This follows recent reports that Romney has spent tens of thousands of dollars buying support from leading conservative groups, gave $5,000 to a leading pro-life organizer who recently endorsed him, and paid busloads of college students to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference and vote in CPAC's straw poll. [New York Times, 3/11/07; Associated Press, 3/22/07; New York Times, 3/1/07] Despite his free-spending ways, Romney remains stuck in single digits in just about every poll taken -- including the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, which has him stuck at three percent among Republican voters. Romney now trails two people who aren't even running yet. [Gallup News Service, 3/27/08] "Smooth talking Mitt Romney may be spreading his campaign cash around, but the voters just aren't buying what he has to offer," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "Until Romney realizes that voters are looking for real leaders who present clear plans for America's future, not smooth talking opportunists who will say anything to win primaries, he's going to continue to have a rough ride on the campaign trail." The following is a fact sheet from DNC Research on Romney's futile efforts to by conservative love: MONEY CAN'T BUY MITT LOVE With the latest USA Today/Gallup poll number showing Romney trailing the pack with the support of just 3 percent of Republican voters, his campaign is trying a novel approach. Since his smooth talking, flip flopping ways aren't earning Romney any support among conservative activists, Romney is trying to buy them off. But, all his money can't buy Mitt love. Key conservatives are still bashing him, and leading opinion shapers are rejecting his campaign to smooth talk the voters into ignoring his record. SHORT ON CONSERVATIVE SUPPORT, ROMNEY TRIES BUYING IT Romney Bought Support from Right Wing Groups to Reverse Criticism. Last year, Mitt Romney donated tens of thousands of dollars to several influential conservative groups that had been critical of him in the past. Romney donated between $10,000 and $15,000 each to three Massachusetts organizations associated with national conservative groups: Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Massachusetts Citizens for Lower Taxation and the Massachusetts Family Institute. The groups said Romney had never donated money until it became apparent that he would run for president. [New York Times, 3/11/07] Conservative Groups Have Reversed Criticism of Romney After Contributions. Citizens for Life and the Family Institute have both reversed criticism of Romney after receiving his campaign cash. [New York Times, 3/11/07] -- Massachusetts Family Institute Now Supporting Romney. During his final days as governor Romney gave the Massachusetts Family Institute a $10,000 check. The group had been critical of Romney during his tenure as governor. The group's president, Kris Mineau, has sought to enlist social conservatives to sign an open letter supporting Romney's presidential bid. [New York Times, 3/11/07] -- Citizens for Life Criticized Romney as Governor, Got Gift, Now Calls Him a "Strong Asset." Massachusetts Citizens for Life had been critical of Romney's tenure as governor. But, after receiving a donation from Romney, officials issued favorable statements about his record on abortion. Romney floated a favorable statement from the group at CPAC. The group called Romney one of Massachusetts "strongest assets." [New York Times, 3/11/07] Romney and Friends Gave $10,000 to a Dinner Honoring the National Review Website Before National Review Online Editor Endorsed Him. "Mr. Romney gave $5,000 to help sponsor the anniversary dinner celebrating National Review's Web site last October at a Washington steakhouse. Another group called Evangelicals for Mitt also gave $5,000. The magazine and its Web site have written favorably of Mr. Romney." [New York Times, 3/11/07] Romney Gives $25,000 to Heritage Foundation to Support His Health Care Plan. "The first of Mr. Romney's recent wave of donations to conservative groups was $25,000 to the Heritage Foundation at the end of 2005. The foundation analysts worked with him on a health care plan and later praised it." [New York Times, 3/11/07] Romney Gave $35,000 to Federalist Society. "Mr. Romney followed a $25,000 contribution to the Federalist Society in 2005 with an additional $10,000 last year, the group's officials said. Although the Federalist Society does not endorse candidates or policies, some of its top officials are highly influential voices among conservatives on the subject of judicial nominations." [New York Times, 3/11/07] Romney Tried to Hide Pro-Gun Control Record With Brand New Lifetime NRA Membership. "Mr. Romney has also acknowledged that he made a small contribution last August, in the form of a personal membership fee, to the National Rifle Association, a major force in the Republican primary. He had previously campaigned as an advocate of stricter gun control laws." [New York Times, 3/11/07] Romney Paid $5,000 to Christian Coalition Activist Who Later Endorsed Him. Drew McKissick, Christian Coalition of America's secretary and board member, endorsed Mitt Romney's presidential bid and will work for the campaign. McKissick will be a paid ''South Carolina grass roots adviser." Last year, Romney's political action committee donated $5,000 to McKissick's SC for Marriage group. The group solicited cash from other presidential hopefuls, but Romney was the only one to write a check. [Associated Press, 3/22/07] Romney Paid College Kids to Attend CPAC, Vote in Straw Poll. Romney's campaign bussed students from Massachusetts and Michigan to Washington to volunteer at his CPAC booth. Romney spokesman, Kevin Madden, said, "We're working to round up a lot of volunteers and taking every opportunity to show our strength and aggressive nature." The campaign is "footing the bill for two vans to haul college students in from Massachusetts and Michigan, and will pay the $25 registration fee for them as well as other College Republicans from the Washington area to attend." [The Politico, 3/2/07] -- Michigan Young Republican Chair Says Students Will Vote For Whoever Brought Them. "Matthew C. Hall, youth chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, said that he had tried to get other campaigns to provide buses, too, but that none were willing. '"I would expect Romney will do pretty well in the straw poll because his campaign is the one we are seeing investing so much money and energy into it,' Mr. Hall, who said he was not affiliated with any primary campaign, wrote in an e-mail message. 'The response we've seen from students in Michigan is that regardless of who they are supporting for president, they are more than willing to take a free trip to the conference if all they have to do in return is wear a shirt and vote for him in a straw poll.'" [New York Times, 3/1/07] Romney Paying College Students to Fundraise; Calls Program "Students for Mitt." The Romney campaign has agreed to pay college students, with a valid college ID, ten percent of the money they raise for his campaign. His campaign championed the idea as innovative. This comes weeks after Romney bussed college students to CPAC to secure his win in the Straw Poll. [CBN.com, 321/07; The Politico, 3/2/07] BUT CONSERVATIVES AREN'T BUYING IT Romney Losing Ground, Trailing Two People Who Aren't Even Running. The latest USA Today/Gallup poll number has Romney trailing the pack with the support of just 3 percent of Republican voters. Romney's poll numbers are lower than undeclared candidates former-Senator Fred Thompson and former-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a fact that illustrates a desire for someone they brand a "true conservative." Considering all the criticism from conservative activists, they do not believe Romney fits the mold of "true conservative." [Gallup News Service, 3/27/08] NH Conservative Activist Sends Email Blasting Romney for Changing Positions. Paul Nagy, former head of the NH Christian Coalition, sent an email to conservatives criticizing Mitt Romney for changing positions on issues important to Evangelicals. The email is titled "Mitt flops in Massachusetts." Part of the email says, "Of course, like John Kerry (what's in the water down there in Massachusetts?) he's flip-flopping on all these issues now that he is running for President. I have not yet chosen a Presidential candidate to support, but I know as a Reagan-conservative, Mitt Romney will not get my vote." [Brody File, CBN.com, accessed 2/26/07] Influential Conservative Group National Council for Policy Suspicious of Romney Candidacy. The National Council for Policy emerged from a private meeting dissatisfied with the Republican field, namely Mitt Romney. The members of the council distributed a dossier prepared by a Massachusetts conservative group that outlined Romney's former liberal positions on abortion, stem cell research and gay rights. Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Federation, said, "There is great anxiety. There is no outstanding conservative, and they are all looking for that." Gary Bauer said, "Right now there is still a vacuum among conservative Republicans." He said conservatives "want a more provable conservative who also is demonstrating that they can put together the resources necessary to prevail." [New York Times, 2/24/07] Romney Criticized by American Family Association of Michigan for 'Flip- Flops.' Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said Romney's shift on abortion is "part of such a glaring pattern of flip- flops on issues across the board." He continued to say, "You need a scorecard to keep up with Mitt Romney's daily machinations on where he is today versus where he was yesterday." [KNBC 4 Los Angeles, 3/16/07] David Keene, American Conservative Union, Said Romney "At Times Appears Too Slick." "So for social conservatives, the jury on Mr. Romney is still out. The chairman of the American Conservative Union, David Keene, yesterday said that the former governor at times appears too slick. 'Is that evidence of sincere conversion or change in views?' Mr. Keene asked. 'Or is it evidence of hypocritical pandering? Or is it evidence that he does not have views? Those are three options, and I don't know the answer.'" [Opinion, Eli Lake, New York Sun, 1/31/07] Paul Weyrich: Romney Log Cabin Letter "Makes Him Out to be a Hypocrite." In response to reports that Romney had sent a letter to the Log Cabin Republicans in 1994 in which he argued for gay rights, the New York Times reports that "Paul Weyrich, head of the Free Congress Foundation, tells the Times that Romney may be cornered. 'Unless he comes out with an abject repudiation of this, I think it makes him out to be a hypocrite,' Weyrich said. 'And if he totally repudiates this, you have to ask, on what grounds?'" [New York Times, 12/9/06] ROMNEY'S MONEY NOT STOPPING THE MOCKING, EITHER Romney Mocked at CPAC for Changing Positions on Key Campaign Issues. Romney was the chief victim at the Conservative Political Action Conference, with "Romney flip-flops" being handed out and Flip Romney the dolphin making an appearance. [New Republic, 3/19/07] Richard Cohen: Romney "Thoroughly Counterfeit," "Making Himself Up As He Goes Along." "[T]o watch Romney on the show was to see a thoroughly counterfeit man. If he were a coin, a vending machine would spit him out." [Washington Post, 2/20/07] Ruth Marcus: Listening to Romney Like "Watching a Chameleon" Change Colors. "Listening to Romney that day was like watching a chameleon in the fleeting moment that its color changes to suit its environment." [Washington Post, 2/21/07] Syndicated Columnist Deroy Murdock: Romney A Reagan In Reverse. Romney "is either a rock-ribbed conservative who played a Rockefeller Republican to get elected in Massachusetts, or a limousine liberal portraying a conservative to win the 2008 GOP nomination. This fine thespian has lost himself so thoroughly in both these roles that no one really knows where the performer ends and the characters begin." [Union Leader, 2/16/07] Former Republican Operative and Conservative Columnist Virginia Buckingham Called Romney a "Fiscal Phony." Buckingham wrote: "Plenty has been written about Romney's conservative conversion on social issues, but you in the New Hampshire GOP have historically been more concerned with how a candidate's record affects your wallet than your bedroom. And on that score, Romney's candidacy should give you pause. Your own governor, Democrat John Lynch scored better (receiving a B) on the annual fiscal report card issued by the libertarian Cato Institute than Romney (who got a C). The 2006 Cato report described Romney's message that he was a governor who stood by a no-new-taxes pledge as 'mostly a myth.'" Buckingham points out that the same report noted that "Romney raised some $500 million in fees," "raised corporate taxes by an estimated $210 million," and "flip-flopped on rebating capital gains taxes to taxpayers." [Boston Herald, 2/13/07] Boston Globe: Romney Shops for Policies to Serve Ambitions. "Like the successful venture capitalist he is, Romney shops around for opportunities, making strategic investments in the offices, policies, and states that best serve his ambitions." [Editorial, Boston Globe, 2/14/07] Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
SOURCE Democratic National Committee