“Eventually, Romney’s private-business experience should be a net plus after having to watch Obama struggle with on-the-job-training and displaying no clue about how the private economy works,” Rogers said.
An Obama campaign spokesman declined to comment about Romney’s donors.
The president has plenty of wealthy benefactors as well, including 445 “bundlers” who have raised $50,000 or more for his reelection effort, stacked heavily with money from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and New York. The Priorities USA super PAC also has collected a handful of large donations from heavyweights, including $2 million from Dreamworks chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg — a top Obama bundler — and $100,000 from movie director Steven Spielberg.
Romney has declined to name his bundlers, except for those required to be identified by law because they are lobbyists. But the roster of donors to a pro-Romney super PAC called Restore Our Future offers a revealing guide to some of his biggest financial supporters.
Ten donors to Restore Our Future gave $1 million to the group last year and another gave $2 million, accounting for 40 percent of the group’s $30 million in donations. The group’s treasurer declined to comment.
Four of the $1 million donors are New York-based hedge fund managers: Paul Singer, founder of Elliott Management; Robert Mercer of Renaissance Technologies; Julian Robertson of Tiger Management; and John Paulson, founder of Paulson and Co., who famously made $5 billion in one year by betting on the mortgage crisis.
If Romney becomes the GOP nominee, he will benefit from other Republican-aligned groups that have begun to attack Obama. One such group, American Crossroads, raised $51 million in 2011, including $7 million from Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons and his firm, Contran.
Romney’s super PAC has received a greater share of money from corporate coffers than his competitors have. The PAC reported raising $8.4 million from corporations in 2011, about 28 percent of its total fundraising.
Consol Energy, an $8 billion company publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange, gave $150,000 to Restore Our Future. The company’s chief executive is J. Brett Harvey, a member of Romney’s Pennsylvania finance committee.
“It is common practice for CONSOL Energy to support political candidates that share a similar philosophy as it relates to a domestic energy policy,” the company said in a statement, adding that “Mitt Romney has articulated and embraced such an approach.”
Staff writer Paul Kane contributed to this report.