Pay down the debt: 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls still owe money


MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE- JUNE 13: Republican candidates (L to R) former U.S. senator. Rick Santorum (Pa.), U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former governor Mitt Romney (Mass.), U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), former governor Tim Pawlenty (Minn.), and businessman Herman Cain prepare for their debate June 13, 2011, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.  (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

It was this week two years ago when the never-ending free-for-all known as the 2012 Republican presidential primary effectively ended with Rick Santorum calling it quits. (Newt Gingrich didn’t officially drop out for another few weeks, and claimed to be the last conservative standing, but Santorum was the only “real” thorn left in Mitt Romney’s side in April 2012.)

All the focus is now on 2016, but the ragtag team from 2012 are still paying off debts from their failed campaigns. The Federal Election Commission filing deadline was Tuesday, so here’s a quick look at how much the Republican hopefuls still owed as of the end of March:

Michele Bachmann: $46,353.23

Bachmann’s debt comes from legal fees. As Loop fans will recall, she is under investigation for allegedly violating campaign finance laws and was also sued for a separate campaign indiscretion.

Herman Cain: $175,000.00

Cain is in debt to himself for loans he made to his presidential campaign that are billed as travel expenses.

Rick Santorum: $496,401.09

Santorum owes payments to 11 companies, most of which, $430,487.74, are owed to his old friend John Brabender. Brabender, a GOP media consultant, ran Santorum’s presidential campaign.

Newt Gingrich: 4,721,538.68

Gingrich seems to owe everyone money, including 649,117.54 to himself for travel expenses. He owes nearly a million dollars for private air travel.

Rick Perry and Ron Paul are debt-free. So is Mitt Romney.

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.
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Colby Itkowitz · April 15