According to a report in the National Review Online, the Romney campaign took out a $20 million loan prior to the Republican National Convention to help keep the campaign afloat until it could tap into the millions it raised for the general election. The loan was taken out against funds Romney would only be allowed to use after the nomination.
Although the Romney campaign had out-raised President Obama for three consecutive months, by law it could not touch those funds. The campaign could only spend primary donations until he officially became nominee.
“We realized that we could collateralize this debt with $20 million of general-election funds that were already sitting in our bank account,” a senior Romney aide told the National Review Online.
According to The New York Times, the exact amount of money Romney came in to following the nomination is still unclear. The majority of the $168.5 million raised remains stored in a joint fund-raising committee with the RNC.
The campaign so far has returned $9 million to the Bank of Georgetown, according to NPR. The campaign still remains $11 million in the red.
The campaign aide told the National Review Online that the reason the campaign borrowed the funds was to remain competitive against Obama's campaign. “We took advantage of the law as it exists to secure this line of credit. We were able to stay competitive in a period when we were looking at a tilted playing field.”
The Romney campaign said they will soon begin fundraising to pay off the remainder of its debt.