By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
Mitt Romney helped the Republican Committee of Allegheny County raise about $10,000 on Thursday, capping off several events and fundraisers in Pittsburgh.
A subsequent fundraiser netted the presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Governor about $250,000 for his campaign, according to RCAC Chairman Jim Roddey.
Romney’s trip marks the third visit to Pittsburgh this month by a top presidential contender. President Barack Obama and Texas Governor Rick Perry came to the Steel City in mid-October.
Mike Wereschagin and Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review took a look at why the region will be so important in the 2012 election.
Several 2011 and 2012 candidates also attended including Raja, who is running for Allegheny County Executive, and Tim Burns, Marc Scaringi and Tom Smith, each running for U.S. Senate.
At the luncheon in the Consol Energy Center, Romney spoke to party members about his campaign. He said that President Obama’s leadership had failed for southwestern PA… or so we assume. Repeated requests for information were not returned by the Romney campaign ahead of Thursday’s luncheon; staffers informed reporters at the door that the event was closed to the press.
Protests and criticism of Romney’s visit were also visible. About twenty Occupy Pittsburgh protesters rallied outside the venue, verbally harassing attendees and press that walked by.
Pa. Democratic Party Chairman and Pittsburgh native Jim Burn hosted a conference call with the press.
“Mitt Romney wants to sit by while families lose their homes, and he refuses to support tax relief for the middle class,” Burn said.
He refuted a claim by former Governor Ed Rendell, made earlier this month, that Romney would defeat Obama in Pennsylvania.
“With all due respect I have to disagree with the Governor,” said Burn, citing yesterday’s news that the U.S. GDP grew by 2.5 percent last quarter – a sign that a double-dip recession is unlikely. “I don’t think he would make that statement today.”
Indeed, Rendell did back down from his statement on a recent segment of ‘Hardball.’
“I said three weeks ago that Governor Romney would probably carry Pennsylvania were the election held back then. Now, if the election were held today, President Obama would carry Pennsylvania,” Rendell asserted.
Senate Candidate John Vernon was also there.