Reporting from Washington —
Likely fundraising front-runner Mitt Romney got an additional boost Tuesday when an outside group formed to support his campaign reported a $12-million haul for the first half of the year.
Restore Our Future, a "super PAC" that can collect unlimited donations, was formed by several former Romney aides last year.
"There is tremendous support across the country for Mitt Romney," the group's treasurer, Charlie Spies, said in a news release. "Americans are coming out in support of Gov. Romney because they are confident he has the experience to turn our economy around."
Romney's campaign has not yet released fundraising numbers for the latest financial quarter — the first since the launch of his run — but he is expected to rake in around $20 million, well beyond his Republican competitors.
Super PACs have already made their mark as a political force this election cycle. Crossroads GPS, a conservative group founded by Karl Rove and other well-known Republicans, launched a $20-million ad blitz last week blasting President Obama's economic policies. Democratic group Priorities USA responded with a $700,000 counteroffensive; it also dinged Romney on healthcare in ads that ran in South Carolina in May.