NEW YORK — While his date with The Donald may have gotten all the buzz, Mitt Romney had a much more serious agenda here than meeting celebrity businessman Donald Trump—fundraising.
The Republican presidential candidate held multiple fundraisers in the Big Apple on Monday. One was with wealthy Jewish donors who convened at an upscale midtown law firm, Weil, Gotshal and Manges. Like all of Romney’s Monday events, it was invitation-only. No press. No pictures.
But two undecided voters who attended the fundraiser because of their affiliation with the pro-Israel group NORPAC said that there were "several hundred people" in the audience and that Romney spoke at length about Israel, and his unwavering support for it. According to them, he didn't mention his chief rival for the Republican nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, at all, focusing his fire on President Obama. Romney struck them both as electable—and they said he has got their vote. Another man said he was "very funny", citing Romney's stump speech line about not inhaling politics.
Romney's pro-Israel appeal came exactly one week after Perry gave an extremely pro-Israel—and extremely public—speech in Manhattan, telling supporters that Obama "has put Israel in a position of weakness and taken away their flexibility to offer concessions as part of the negotiation process." He also pledged to visit the country in the coming months.
Romney held at least one fundraiser before, and one after the Weil, Gotshal event, with more on deck for Tuesday. A Wednesday townhall in New Hampshire is Romney’s only public event of the week—a sign of where his priorities are as the days tick down to Sept. 30.
This is a frantic week of fundraising for all of the presidential candidates. Friday is the day the books close on third-quarter fundraising and the candidates are trying to post the most impressive totals possible to convince donors that they have momentum. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman holds a fundraiser in New York on Tuesday and Perry will be in Washington to hit up donors there.