By STEPHEN BRAUN / Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new financial report from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shows that his personal fortune remains near $250 million, about the same as last year even after a mass sell-off of stocks from his vast investment portfolio.
Romney's campaign said Friday that his assets ranged between $190 million and $250 million, and a tally by The Associated Press put the figure at the high end of that range.
The new financial report from Romney describes sales over the past year of a large amount of stocks that had been managed through his blind trust. The stocks sold included such familiar corporate entities as Boeing, Volkswagen and Pepsico.
But the stock sales also included several notable firms whose interests had conflicted with Romney's stances -- among them Chinese businesses Hang Lung and Komatsu. Romney has advocated toughened dealings with China's government over its expanding economic interests.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul stressed Friday that the investment decisions for Romney and his wife, Ann, were made under a blind trust administered by a Boston-based lawyer who has long worked with Romney. "Governor and Mrs. Romney's assets are managed on a blind basis," Saul said. "They do not control the investment of these assets, which are under the control and overall management of a trustee."
In his 2007 presidential run, Romney had assured critics that the trustee, R. Bradford Malt, would ensure his investments would not clash with his positions or Republican party stances. But the new 2012 disclosure -- along with other Romney financial documents released earlier this year -- showed that the Romneys held onto some of those investments well past 2007.
The annual financial disclosure report that Romney turned over Friday to the Federal Election Commission showed a slightly wider range -- between $83 million and $255 million -- than the narrower asset range released by the Romney campaign. A Romney campaign official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the candidate's finances said that the campaign's figures were slightly more accurate because of differences in valuation.
The new financial disclosure shows that even after his stock sales, Romney still made millions of dollars over the past year in lucrative bank notes and investment funds, including nearly 40 different funds associated with his former company, Bain Capital.