Romney Wishes You a Happy Hanukkah. Now Will You Give Him Money?

By Holly Bailey

Mitt Romney has spent more than $35 million of his own cash on his campaign for the White House, but maybe somebody should lend the guy a few bucks to buy a calendar. In advance of next week's so-called Beltway primaries, where Republicans in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., will cast their votes for the nomination, the Romney campaign is apparently putting out robo-calls to drum up financial support for the former governor's campaign. A campaign aide to John McCain, who declined to be named, received one of the calls this afternoon on her cell phone and played the voicemail for reporters riding the campaign bus back into D.C., where McCain will spend the night tonight.

The message, received at 3:46pm on Wednesday, is a recording of Romney's voice and lasted about 30 seconds. "Happy Hanukkah!" the governor says, almost two months after the official Jewish holiday. "This is Mitt Romney...I am running for president because I want to keep America strong. Like you, I believe we should confront threats to American culture, values and freedom. To do that, it's going to take someone with a proven record of confronting and turning around seemingly impossible situations I have turned around tough situations in business, at the Olympics and as governor. It's about time to turn around and bring change to Washington."

Romney quickly hits up his listener for a donation. "I need your help to ensure that I have the resources to win in Washington and in other states across the country," he says on the recording. "I need your contribution to help me win." Romney even gets explicit, instructing the person on the other end to "simply press one" or donate on his Web site. "Thank you for your consideration," he says.

Why Happy Hanukkah? It's a mystery, but the McCain aide speculates that the Romney campaign got her name and number off a list purchased from an outside group. Something that's not a mystery: the aide says she has no plans to write Romney a check, not even for a calendar.