REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) – Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney spent a second day in California Tuesday, raising money in Stockton and Los Angeles ahead of an appearance on the Tonight Show.
Protesters tried in vein to disrupt what turned out to be a lucrative fundraising dinner in Redwood City hosted by Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman.
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
More than 100 demonstrators representing a wide range of causes were kept far from Romney and the Silicon Valley elite who paid as much as $25,000 to refuel Romney’s depleted campaign account.
Protester Landis Marttila poked fun at Romney with an ever-changing message board displaying some of his recent gaffes, including one by a campaign official who likened Romney’s ability to reposition himself after GOP primaries to erasing an Etch-A-Sketch image.
“There’s so many things I wanted to say about Mitt Romney, I just couldn’t put it on one sign,” he said standing before a giant, hand-built Etch-A -Sketch.
“I’ve got a placard here that has his position on abortion that’s changed, over 10 years, 180 degrees.”
But there are signs the Republican Party may be starting to line up behind Romney. He trumpeted a flurry of conservative endorsements, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, an early tea party supporter, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the third highest-ranking House Republican, and Al Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union.
Romney also urged California voters to keep their eyes on the June 5 primary.
“I need you guys to get ready, to organize your effort, to get your friends to vote, to collect some money, to get campaign contributions,” Romney told employees at medical device maker NuVasive outside San Diego during a campaign before he jetted up to the Bay Area.
In all, Romney had scheduled five separate fundraisers with deep-pocketed donors over the next two days, largely eschewing traditional campaign events to raise money to pay for the primary campaign against chief challenger Rick Santorum.
But the Romney campaign focused its message in California on President Barack Obama.
Romney stood in front of a “Repeal & Replace ObamaCare” sign at the medical device company, which was founded with venture capital. He attacked the medical device tax included in the health care law _ though he didn’t, during a more than 20-minute speech and despite the sign, explicitly call for the law’s repeal.
Still, he said, the law and other Obama politics are getting in the way of the American dream.
“These dreams are crushed. Tax by tax, regulator by regulator, regulation by regulation, Washington is crushing the dreams, and crushing the dreamers,” Romney said.
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