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Mitt's Chicago fund-raiser: Pool report

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below, Mitt Romney local pool report....

Romney local print pool report

Public Hotel--Chicago

1301 N. State Parkway

Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune, rpearson@chicagotribune.com

The Romney general reception was held in the redesigned Pump Room in the Public Hotel, the former Ambassador East Hotel. The Romney campaign said 250 tickets sold and 220 people attended the reception. Tickets were $2,500 for the reception, $10,000 for a photo and $50,000 for a later dinner. Ronald Guidwitz, who organized the fundraiser, said $3.3 million had been raised.

Inside the Pump Room, which no longer has the old celebrity photos but is more modern and fashionably austere, supporters gathered in a room with large mirrors and frosted golden orbs for light. The general reception featured finger food of pizza, bacon-wrapped shrimp and slider burgers and chicken.

Romney took the stage at about 5:26 pm. where Gidwitz, a prominent Republican and former governor candidate, introduced local notables such as Rep. Judy Biggert who is challenging former Rep. Bill Foster, Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria, and new downstate Republican congressional candidate Rodney Davis who was selected to run after Rep. Tim Johnson withdrew post primary. Dan Rutherford, the state treasurer and state Romney chair, also was in attendance including state GOP chairman Pat Brady. Later, during his remarks, Romney noted that Jimmy John Liautaud, a prominent GOP funder and founder of the Champaign-based Jimmy John's restaurant chain, also was in attendance.

"We in Illinois are carrying a burden. By example, we are demonstrating the worse government you can possibly have here in Illinois. And worse than that, we exported some of that government to Washington," Gidwitz said, urging voters to back the Republican on Nov. 5, before being forced to correct himself by the crowd that the general election was Nov. 6.

Surprisingly, it was the only reference to Obama's Illinois or Chicago roots. Romney did not mention it.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor took the stage at 5:31 p.m.

Noting that Romney campaigned in Cincinnati and Obama campaigned in Cleveland earlier today, the Republican candidate.

"He was on one side of Ohio and I was on the other. I got the chance to speak first and predict what he might say. Remember, his last campaign was about hope and change. This time the campaign is hoping to change the subject," the governor said. "It has not worked the way he thought it would and the way he expected it to work."

Saying the unemployed and those who stopped looking for work have issued an "outcry" about the nation's leadership, Romney said of Obama and his administration, "The American people know it has not worked. That's why this man is out of ideas, and he's out of excuses and we've got to make sure he's out of office."

Romney acknowledged that Obama "will speak eloquently but you know, talk is cheap as we found out and actions speak very loudly. And so if you want to understand where he will take this country in four more years that he's asking for, you can look at what happened over the last three-and-a-half."

The Republican contender contended the Obama health care reforms and other administration policies, including regulations on banks, have made it harder for businesses to grow and create jobs.

"The policies of this administration, the uncertainty that they've caused, made dreamers across this nation pull back at the very time we need people to step forward," Romney said.

"I don't think he's a person whose not a nice guy, I just don't think his policies are able to get this country on track again. And that's why the American people whether they like him or don't like him recognize he's over his head, and it's time to put into the White House somebody who knows how to get this economy going and I do and I will," he said.

Romney said, "I'm absolutely convinced that you're going to see an extraordinary resurgence of America's economy and it's going to come roaring back with the right policies."

Of Obama, Romney said, "I just don't think the president understands how America works, how the economy works. Our economy is propelled by freedom. And substituting government for freedom will not put Americans back to work."

Romney promised new energy exploration, vowed to open up trade with Latin America and other parts of the world and to fix a public school system through more charters and support for good teachers. "We're going to put the kids first and teachers behind," he said.

The Republican contended that for voters and the nation, the election is important in determining America's path.

"The consequence of not taking the right course is severe. If we keep headed on the road we're on, we're going to become Europe. We're going to have the kind of deficits Europe has, the kind of health-care system Europe has. We're going to have the chronic high unemployment Europe has, the low-wage growth Europe has. We're going to have the kind of fiscal crisis at our doorstep the way at Europe has," Romney said. "That's what's going to happen if we keep going down that path, with a president that believes that a government could do a better job guiding lives and guiding the economy than can free people."

During his remarks, Romney recounted a conversation he had with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a frequently mentioned potential running mate, when some members of the audience chanted, "V P." Romney responded, "No, no, Dan Rutherford is my V P right here."

Romney's remarks ended at 5:47 p.m.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 14, 2012 10:25 PM.

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