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February 28, 2015

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Nevada Wonk

Mitt Romney visits Las Vegas to campaign, fundraise


Steve Marcus

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens to a question from a reporter after meeting with students at the UNLV Student Union Monday, May 16, 2011.

Romney meets UNLV Students

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney answers questions from reporters after meeting with students at the UNLV Student Union Monday, May 16, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Nevada treated Mitt Romney well Monday. He raised more than $10 million here in a single day of fundraising.

The donations came from all across the country, but Romney used the Las Vegas Convention Center as his base of operations.

The presumed presidential candidate picked Nevada because it's an early voting state and he "wanted to show (his) attention and interest," Romney said.

He also noted that President Barack Obama discouraged people from visiting Las Vegas during the recession, a statement Romney called "an outrage."

About 800 people gathered in a space the size of two football fields to call supporters and ask them to donate to Romney's presidential campaign. (Romney hasn't officially announced that he is running to be the Republican presidential nominee but hinted that an announcement is coming.) The former governor of Massachusetts also took to Facebook to solicit donations.

He called his double-digit take "heartening and encouraging."

"It gives us the boost we need in this early stage," he said.

Democrats questioned some of the fundraisers Romney used. Among the reported solicitors were several Romney friends and businessmen who have been accused of shady dealings.

For instance, a development company owned by John Rood, Romney's Florida chairman, was implicated in a scandal in which Jacksonville city officials were accused of using their influence to sway a land purchase agreement.

John Rakolta, another Romney fundraiser, donated to the political campaign of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who later resigned in light of felony perjury, obstruction of justice and corruption charges. Rakolta agreed to loan Kilpatrick's family $60,000 while he was is prison, according to the Detroit News, but Rakolta later reconsidered and chose not to send the money.

Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, admitted to purchasing a tax shelter, costing the U.S. Treasury an estimated $300 million in revenue, and agreed to pay back taxes on it.

While Romney supporters used cell phones and laptops to contact donors, Romney slipped away to meet with a dozen students, many of them members of the College Republicans, at UNLV. Romney brought them In-N-Out burgers to break the ice.

He outlined his economic recovery plan for the group, then took their questions about how he would create jobs as president. Almost all of the students said they struggled to find work and worried about securing jobs after graduation.

"I happen to like the president. He's a nice guy," Romney said. "But I don't think he understands what's going to get the economy going again."

Romney said the only way to jumpstart the economy is to reduce the size of government and boost the private sector. He accused Obama of creating only public-sector jobs, which add to the national deficit.

The government's "appetite is more voracious than yours," Romney told the students as they picked half-heartedly at their cheeseburgers.

CORRECTION: This article originally said John Rakolta donated and loaned millions of dollars to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Rakolta donated the legal limit to Kilpatrick's campaign and contemplated loaning his family money but later reconsidered. | (May 23, 2011)

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  1. I was actually for a healthcare mandate before I was against it.

    Gee, if I knew he was in town I could have dropped off 5 applications for military service for his sons, so they can fight some of the wars this guy is for.

    His daddy (brainwashed on Vietnam) ran American Motors into the ground and took a big bonus, most of his businesses are marketing efforts for Chinese products.

    The true "stepford" candidate.

  2. TEN MILLION to the Mittens Man?
    Must be more "cash in hand" due to the Bush Tax Cuts.
    When are the J.O.B.S. COMING? I thought the money was going to go to INVESTING IN THE ECONOMY TO CREATE NEW JOBS?

    "He also noted that President Barack Obama discouraged people from visiting Las Vegas during the recession, a statement Romney called "an outrage."

    Ha ha ha ha!!!
    Mittens and his family have been here recently, on vacation, blowing the kids' college fund???
    Because as I recall it, The President said at the time:
    "when times are tough, you tighten your belts."
    He added: "You don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

    I LMFAO every time the NeoNuts WHINE about that statement of FACT.
    Heck, those are the tenets of TRUE conservatism boiled down to the basics, aren't they?
    If Americans, ESPECIALLY Nevadans, and SPECIFICALLY Las Vegans, had FOLLOWED THOSE TENETS, we'd be in a much better place now, would we not?

  3. infinityy...
    well, jeez, CLUE US ALL IN!
    Give us the FACKS, JACK!
    Run it down for us!

    HEY though...
    Before you answer, check out this link:

    I KNOW! It's the "evil" DailyKos...but you're a big boy, READ IT, WATCH IT, AND DISPUTE IT!!!

  4. Man, the Republicans are in HUUUUGE TROUBLE!
    If Mittens is their MAN, (or Gingrinch, T-Paw, or Paylin)...
    You might as well save your money for 2016, because none of these TeaPots & NeoNuts have a snowball's chance...

    Republicans; look up MODERATE on the GOOGLES, before it's too late!

  5. 'What happened to "Reverend" Governor Mike Huckleberry? He was last seen on his Fox "News" program playing the old gospel favorite "Cat Scratch Fever" with his draft-dodging guitar buddy, Ted Nugent. '

    Since YOU brought it up.......How did GW get to be a pilot in the reserves (where nobody can remember seeing him) and an even bigger question...HOW DID THAT MORON GET into and graduate from Yale???

  6. Great article Delen, very informative. One correction: the National Call Day was over by the time he left to meet with the students. He stayed at the convention center until the event was over and all the supporters had left. He didn't slip away.

    Here's my much shorter post about the event but it does have the video of his remarks at UNLV:

    The video is available on YouTube as well: