Posted 8/23/2012 07:14 am
Updated 9 months ago
LITTLE ROCK - The campaign for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Wednesday that Romney raised $2 million in Little Rock, according to tweets from the event by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and reports from Arkansas Business news partner Today's THV.
Romney spoke at a 250-person fundraiser with tickets ranging from $2,500 to $50,000. Romney is making a fundraising push in Republican-leaning states ahead of next week's GOP convention.
Wednesday's appearances took place at Peabody-Little Rock, where Romney spoke to donors, and at the Capital Hotel, where Romney and donors had dinner.
Protestors from Occupy Little Rock stood outside the Capital during the Romney event.
Appearing on "Today's THV This Morning," U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., who attended the event, said the Romney reception and dinner set a record for GOP fundraisers in Arkansas.
Speaking to donors Wednesday in Little Rock, Romney says he didn't realize how effective Paul Ryan would be as a campaigner when he picked him as his running mate.
Romney praised Ryan for drawing large crowds on the campaign trail, raising money and making sure people know the election is about big things. Romney says he can't wait to see Ryan debate Democrat Joe Biden in October's vice presidential debate.
Romney and Ryan have been campaigning separately much of the week, but they plan a joint rally Friday in Michigan.
In his Little Rock remarks, Romney also called Wednesday a "very revealing day" because of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's warnings of a new recession — including unemployment rates of more than 9 percent by late next year — if Washington continues its stalemate over taxes and spending cuts. Romney said the CBO's conclusions were "unacceptable."
"This is a challenging time for America and one thing I will do is I will finally cut federal spending, encourage growth and as a result of those two things get America to a balanced budget," Romney said.
The Little Rock fundraiser came days before the Republican National Convention is set to begin in Tampa, Fla. Officials say Romney does not plan any public events as part of the Arkansas trip.
In July, Romney's campaign announced its "finance leadership team" for Arkansas.
The campaign named U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Sen. John Boozman as honorary co-chairmen of the campaign. Little Rock financier Warren Stephens, who owns the Capital Hotel, Tyson Foods Inc. Chairman John Tyson and Murphy Oil Corp. Chairman Claiborne Deming are the campaign's co-chairmen.
Romney won Arkansas' presidential primary in May. The state is considered a lock in Romney's campaign for the presidency.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)