Romney raises record $170 million

Mitt Romney raised just over $170 million in September for his campaign and the Republican National Committee—his best fundraising month to date.

The total is about $11 million shy of the $181 million President Barack Obama raised for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee last month. But it still marks a key infusion of cash for the final weeks before Election Day.

Romney's cash haul includes money raised for the Romney Victory Fund, a joint committee operated by his campaign and the RNC. The announcement did not include how much each committee had raised, but it was noted that the two funds ended September with a combined $191.2 million in the bank.

The fundraising news comes as the GOP's biggest donors descended on New York for a three-day retreat aimed at raising even more cash for the Romney campaign ahead of Election Day. The confab features a who's who of top Republican operatives, including senior Romney aides Ed Gillespie and Beth Myers.

Romney himself had been expected to make an appearance, but nixed the retreat to focus on preparations for Tuesday's debate. His running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, however, was set to headline a fundraiser on Monday night at the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan.