Elections 2012: Mitt Romney Fundraising Efforts Focus on California

Republican nominee managed to raise millions of dollars at two fundraisers in California on Saturday to help bankroll the final weeks of the race.

Romney’s supporters paid from $1,000 to $25,000 a head to listen to the candidate’s speech in Del Mar, to take a photo with the former Massachusetts governor and eat roast chicken breast served on a bed of Israeli couscous. Photo: Mitt Romney/Flickr

Speaking to 650 supporters who gathered at Grand Del Mar, a luxury hotel north of San Diego, Romney said his campaign schedule has been hectic.

“I’m not even going to be able to go home today,” he said of his second home in nearby La Jolla. “We’re just coming to town to see you and keep the campaign going. It’s nonstop.”

Spencer Zwick, the campaign’s national finance chairman, promised hose who made donations their money would be spent wisely: to build a “massive ground game across the country in those swing states” and buy more television advertising.

Speaking to his supporters, Mitt Romney singled out that Obama was “taking Americans on a course that is extremely foreign to us.”

“One would suggest that government knows better than free people,” he said. “It’s a pathway to become like Europe, and Europe doesn’t work there. It’s never going to work here. It’s even possible we could be on a pathway to become California – I don’t want that either.”

And before promising that he was done raising money in the San Diego area, the Republican candudate encouraged his California donors to help him reach voters in more competitive states.

“I need you to find someone who voted for Barack Obama, maybe in a swing state, and give him a call, and tell him to go to the polls and support this effort,” he said.

However, there was one more fundraising event on Saturday, at the Beverly Hilton, which pulled in $6 million, Romney said at the start of his remarks.

About 1,500 tickets were sold at three tiers: $1,000, $15,000 and $50,000. Guests were entertained by comedian Dennis Miller and songwriter/producer David Foster, reports Reuters.

Later Romney criticized his Democratic rival President Barack Obama for failing to “fix Washington.”

“The truth is, he has proven he cannot fix Washington from the inside,” Romney said at the Saturday event.

Romney’s schedule, particularly his focus on fundraising over campaigning in battleground states with voters, has caused speculations among Republicans.

Some of the party members fear the campaign is following the wrong course less than seven weeks before Election Day.

President Barack Obama on Saturday campaigned in Wisconsin, which has emerged as a swing state, where he also raised money. Polls suggest that Obama has a narrow lead in several key states.

Thus, Romney adviser Kevin Madden defended the fundraising focus, while highlighting a shift in the coming days, writes The Huffington Post.

“We’re here raising the resources we’re going to need to compete in all those battleground states through Election Day,” Madden said.

He continued: “That’s also been matched with a really intense battle ground state schedule that’s going to be coming up starting Sunday night. We’re keeping very busy.”

Over the last week, the former Massachusetts governor has attended five public events and at least a dozen fundraisers.

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