No-reset Romney keeps up fund-raising, raps Obama (Photo : Reuters)
Having declared that his presidential campaign does not need a makeover, Republican Mitt Romney held two high-priced fundraisers in southern California on Saturday to raise cash for the finals weeks of the race.
"I'm not even going to be able to go home today. We're just coming to town to see you and keep the campaign going," Romney told a well-heeled crowd at the Grand Del Mar Resort hotel in Del Mar, California, about 12 miles from his beachfront house in La Jolla. Romney instead was pressing on to an event at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
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Some 650 supporters - including diet guru Jenny Craig - paid from $1,000 to $25,000 a head to hear Romney's 40-minute speech, have their photograph taken with the candidate and eat roast chicken breast served on a bed of Israeli couscous.
With his standing in the polls slipping, Romney has been under fire from some in his party who feel he has not spent enough time visiting political swing states versus hob-nobbing with wealthy donors.
President Barack Obama spent the day campaigning - and also raising funds - in Wisconsin, a battleground state and the home of Romney's running mate, Representative Paul Ryan.
Romney had no public events on Saturday. He will fly to Denver on Sunday afternoon for a rally and among other stops will have a two-day bus tour in Ohio Tuesday and Wednesday.
Local resident Matt Romney, the second of the candidate's five sons, introduced his father and urged attendees to "open their wallets" at least one more time to help get the Republican's message out before November 6.
"It's our turn, you guys" said the elder Romney, 65, who was wearing dress pants and a sport jacket.
'DOESN'T NEED A TURNAROUND'
Boarding a plane in San Francisco on Saturday, Romney declined to answer a reporter's shouted question of whether he will soon adopt a more "aggressive" strategy.
But he told the crowd in Del Mar that Saturday's event was his "last fundraiser in San Diego."
In an interview to be broadcast on Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes," Romney rejected calls for changes, pointing out that in national polls he is in a tight race with Obama.
"It doesn't need a turnaround. We've got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States," Romney said in excerpts from the interview released by CBS on Friday.
At the Del Mar event Romney lauded some local California entrepreneurs, including Ada Regan, owner of "Strawberry Hill," an historic mansion in Hillsborough, near San Francisco, where Romney raised funds on Friday night.
Regan's late husband Barrie, an electrical engineer and Italian immigrant, designed components that were used in the U.S. space program.
Pressing a familiar theme, Romney said that Obama does not understand what it takes to build a business but rather wants government to play a larger top-down role.
"They DID build their business," Romney said of the Regans.