Mitt Romney spent twice as much as rival Newt Gingrich in the final three months before the Republican presidential nominating process kicked off, a sign of the financial dominance he has maintained over his opponents throughout the race.
The former Massachusetts governor spent $19 million in the last quarter of 2011 -– the vast majority on ads, consultants, fundraising and staff, according to campaign finance records filed Tuesday night.
The biggest chunk -- $4.5 million -- went to American Rambler Productions, the political shop of his senior advisors, Stuart Stevens, Russ Schriefer and Eric Ferhnstrom. The firm received the payments for strategy consulting, media production, online advertising, television media buys and polling.
Gingrich dropped nearly $8.1 million during the same period. His biggest expenses were fundraising and direct mail, which together totaled more than $3.2 million, underscoring his scramble to try to keep up with Romney.
The former House speaker himself received $253,000 for travel and a voter list he owns. Gingrich Productions, one of his companies, received another $67,000 for Web hosting.