WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Mitt Romney raked in as much as $7 million in a single day of fundraising as the Republican padded his campaign war chest for the showdown with President Barack Obama.
Traveling press secretary Rick Gorka said Romney would clear somewhere between $6 million and $7 million from two events in Texas, a safely conservative state that is the primary home of the lucrative US oil industry.
Hundreds of donors shelled out as much as $50,000 for a place at receptions at an exclusive hotel in Houston, and the Petroleum Club in Midland, Texas.
"Continue to help out with your dollars. It means a great deal to me," Romney told Houston reception attendees.
"You perhaps noticed in the paper, we're a little wiser in our spending of dollars than the other side, apparently," he said.
"I'm not managing their campaign for them, but we're going to spend our money wisely. We're going to spend it to win."
Texas is friendly territory for Romney. He is pushing a energy policy that he says would boost oil and gas exploration and drilling but ease industry regulations that he insists restrict corporations and damage job growth.
Official figures Tuesday showed Obama's campaign has $60 million less than Romney's, following heavy spending on advertising and a fundraising lag.
In a monthly report for July filed with the Federal Election Commission, Obama claimed reserves of $124 million divided between the president's campaign and his Democratic Party.
Earlier this month the Romney campaign said it had $186 million.
Romney has outstripped Obama in fundraising in each of the last three months.
The Republican standard-bearer netted $7 million on a weekend swing through New York and Massachusetts, where he served as governor from 2003-2007.
Obama has managed some impressive dollar days as well. On May 10 the president pulled in an eye-popping $18 million, including $15 million at a fundraiser hosted by Oscar-winning heartthrob and activist George Clooney at his Hollywood home.
Romney is rushing to raise what is deemed "primary money," funding that a candidate brings in before the national convention which can be spent up until the November election.
After Romney becomes the official nominee at the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, donors can make fresh contributions toward the general election.