The Republican National Committee was $21 million in debt in February, a stark figure illustrating the deep hole the party must dig out from following a rocky financial year.
The RNC reported Sunday that it raised $5.2 million in February and paid $1 million toward the outstanding debt left by former Chairman Michael Steele.
The $21 million debt is larger than initially thought, because the party discovered an additional $1 million in unpaid bills last month, a committee source said. That included being slapped with a $650,000 bank fee for having a low balance.
The Democratic National Committee raised $6.9 million in February and had $10.5 million in cash on hand at the beginning of the month, according to the DNC. It was $17.9 million in debt.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement that party officials have “reexamined contracts, cut overhead by 35 percent, and exceeded our major donor fundraising goals by 200 percent in just two short months.”
“We continue to receive bills from previous commitments but we have turned a corner and feel good about the direction of our Committee and our Party,” he said. “Based on the success of the past two months, I am confident we will have the resources to defeat President Obama.”
As Roll Call reported following an interview with Priebus this month, the chairman is examining regular expenses and trying to shed leased cars he said the RNC does not need.
In his statement Sunday, Priebus said he will “focus like a laser” on repairing frayed relationships with donors.
After becoming chairman in January, Priebus revealed that the party’s financial situation was worse than it seemed.