“But I’ve got a lot of good friends, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, and the New York Jets — both owners are friends of mine,” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in an interview today when asked about NFL’s most sought after free agent Peyton Manning.
In February, Romney said something similar about NASCAR team owners. And like then, these friends are also donors to his campaign, according to our analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
At least five NFL team owners are Romney donors. Four are members of the Forbes 400 list of the country's wealthiest Americans.
- Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, worth $3.1 billion (#114 on the Forbes 400 list), has donated $2,500 to Romney’s campaign and an additional $100,000 to his super PAC. He’s co-chairing a fundraiser for Romney at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on March 14th.
- New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, an heir to the SC Johnson & Sons fortune, has donated $2,500 to Romney’s campaign and gave $5,000 in 2011 to Romney’s “Free and Strong America” PAC. He was a co-chair for a January fundraiser for Mitt in NYC.
- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, worth $2 billion (and #227 on the Forbes 400 list), has given $2,500 to Romney’s campaign.
- Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahi Khan, worth $2.5 billion (#164 on the Forbes 400 list), has given $2,500 to Romney’s campaign.
- Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, worth $1.1 billion (#397 on the Forbes 400 list) has donated $2,500 to Romney’s campaign.
While he hasn't bragged about being friends with NFL team owners, President Obama has received donations from the owners of the Pittburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is #263 on the Forbes 400 list.