Vice President George Bush's organization on Wednesday reached the maximum of $27 million in contributions permitted by federal law for a primary campaign, and his presidential campaign treasurer said most of the money already has been spent.
Bush's campaign was expected to hit the fund-raising ceiling by day's end, said Fred Bush, the treasurer. "I'm thrilled," he said. "As far as this process is concerned, we're finished."
The cap applies both to raising funds and spending them.
Fred Bush said the campaign has about $4 million left in the bank, and the task now will be to spend it carefully, with more than four months to go before the Republican National Convention in August.
With the vice president no longer facing major GOP opposition, the treasurer added, his nomination is "a \o7 fait accompli\f7 . . . . You don't have to go on advertising, you don't have to buy more TV ads, you don't have to have a huge entourage."
The vice president had already scaled down his campaign schedule since Kansas Sen. Bob Dole's withdrawal from the race last week.
Another Republican, Pat Robertson, was the first candidate to bump against the spending ceiling. Robertson said after the costly Super Tuesday contests on March 8 that he was within $2 million of the limit.
Since then, Robertson has reduced his campaign staff and dropped an extensive telemarketing operation. Although he has won only 17 delegates to Bush's 888, he remains in the race and is spending the rest of the money primarily on personal travel.