Tales from the Trail

Romney hits Obama’s economic vision in Democrat’s hometown

By Eric Johnson
June 15, 2012

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney told supporters at a swanky fundraiser in President Barack Obama’s hometown on Thursday evening that under his administration they would see an “extraordinary resurgence of America’s economy” because of the former private equity executive’s economic prescription of less taxation, regulation, and government meddling.

The fundraising event in Chicago raised roughly $3.3 million for the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign and wider Republicans and came on the heels of speeches Romney and Obama gave hours before in different parts of the battleground state of Ohio outlining disparate visions for the economy.

“Our economy is propelled by freedom,” Romney said, speaking before roughly 220 people at a reception in a downtown Chicago hotel. “[Obama] believes a government can do a better job guiding lives and guiding the economy than can free people.”

Supporters spent $2,500 for the general reception, $10,000 to get a photo with Romney, and $50,000 for a private reception and dinner. Two-hundred and fifty tickets were sold, all in. In attendance was Dan Rutherford, the Illinois State Treasurer, and Illinois lawmakers Judy Biggert and Aaron Schock, as well as Pat Brady, the Illinois Republican Party Chairman.

“I am absolutely convinced that you are going to see an extraordinary resurgence of America’s economy. It’s going to come roaring back with the right policy,” said Romney, who has seen a lift in national polls and has been emboldened by weak economic data and an Obama gaffe giving the private sector a clean bill of health.

Romney drew thunderous applause at the fundraiser when he mentioned Florida Senator Marco Rubio, high in the running to be Romney’s vice presidential pick, and a woman in the audience called out that Romney should make it official. (Romney, for the record, joked that Rutherford was his pick).

Obama, whose approval ratings have slipped to their lowest level since January, wiping out most of his lead in the presidential race, said the 2012 election will determine the fate of America’s languishing middle class.

“We can’t afford to jeopardize the future by repeating the mistakes of the past. Not now, not when we’ve got so much at stake,” Obama told a crowd of 1,500 at a community college in the battleground state of Ohio.

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