The Washington Post

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 the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says ...
This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Play Video
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.