Off the trail, Santorum quietly mingles with Super PAC donors in Texas

Chris Moody

Rick Santorum took the day off from the public campaign trail Thursday, choosing instead to appear at private fundraisers in Dallas, Texas. At a morning meeting at the Royal Oaks Country Club, he met with donors to the The Red, White and Blue Fund, the super PAC that has spent millions backing his candidacy.

Although campaign finance rules dictate that candidates are not allowed to coordinate officially with super PACs, there is some legal wiggle room for candidates and their aides to appear at events.

Still, when Yahoo News asked Santorum what he would say to the super PAC donors in Dallas, he was careful not to say that it was an official super PAC-sponsored gathering.

"I'm doing some fundraising," Santorum said Wednesday. "I'm not doing a super PAC event."

Santorum's campaign aides were also mum on the details of his schedule.

"All I know is that he has no public events [Thursday] and that he'll be at private fundraisers," Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart told Yahoo News.

Santorum's rival Mitt Romney has in the past dispatched members of his campaign to appear at Super PAC events, and President Obama announced last week that he too would send aides to fundraisers for the group supporting his candidacy.

The Red, White and Blue Fund, which has spent more than $4.1 million independently supporting Santorum's candidacy, poured $700,000 last week into political ads in Michigan, according to Politico.

When reached for comment, a spokesman from the Red, White and Blue Fund declined to elaborate on the meeting.

"We do not expand on fundraising activities beyond the FEC filings," group spokesman Stuart Roy said in an email.

The fund's largest and most public donor, the wisecracking multi-millionaire investor Foster Friess, did not appear at the event. Friess is on a weeks-long international trip with his wife for their 50th wedding anniversary.

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