Pawlenty endorses Romney, could get help paying campaign debt

Mitt Romney (Flickr/rawmustard)

Following former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for president, the Romney campaign has said it’s willing to contribute fundraising muscle to pay down Pawlenty’s campaign debt.

Pawlenty left the presidential race because he ran out of money, with some putting his debt at up to $500,000.

But a spokesman for the campaign of Mitt Romney, who Pawlenty endorsed this morning, told Politico that Romney would be willing to help manage the debt: ”If Tim Pawlenty wants our help, that’s something we’d help him with, just as we help all our friends.”

The Pawlenty campaign managed to raise almost $4.5 million by July, according to records from the Federal Election Commission, but doesn’t need to disclose how much it spent in the last few months until Oct. 15. Romney has been the most successful Republican fundraiser, raising $18.3 million by July.

It’s not uncommon for the victors in primary fights to help former candidates retire their debts in exchange for an endorsement. Pres. Barack Obama helped pay down Hillary Clinton’s debt after she dropped out of the 2008 election.

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