Mitt Romney Visits 'Leno' During SoCal Campaign Swing

ElectionsPoliticsHealthMitt RomneyJay LenoJobs and WorkplaceRick Santorum

CENTURY CITY, Calif. (KTLA) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spent the night in Century City Tuesday, wrapping up a two-day campaign swing in Southern California.

Romney's whirlwind visit included fundraisers, protests and even an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

On Tuesday afternoon Romney made a campaign stop in Irvine for a big-dollar lunch fundraiser.

The event was held at the Shady Canyon home of conservative political author David Horowitz.

The cost to attend was $1,000 for the luncheon, and $2,500 for those who also wanted to attend a photo reception beforehand.

Afterward, he stopped by "Leno" to tape an appearance, his fourth on the show.

It was his first late-night talk show appearance since announcing his run for president on "The Late Show with David Letterman" in December.

Romney told Leno about the pressure of running for president.

"Everything you say is being followed by a small camera of some kind," Romney said.

The Massachusetts governor is being criticized for his latest attack on President Obama, when Obama asked Russia for flexibility on missile defense.

Romney referred to Russia as "our number one geo-political foe."

Russia did not waste any time in responding, saying, "This is 2012, not the mid-1970s."

Leno also asked Romney about rival Rick Santorum, saying, "Rick Santorum this week... in one breath, the same day... said you are the worst possible guy to run against Obama. In the same breath he said, I'd be his vice president."

"Nothing wrong with that, if he's the VP that's better," Romney joked.

After the taping, Romney attended a $2,500-per-person fundraiser at the Century Plaza Hotel, hosted by former Lionsgate chief Harry Sloan and Yahoo director Gary L. Wilson, a former Disney CFO.

He was greeted by protesters calling themselves the "Coalition of the 99 percent," including labor activists, Occupy L.A. and immigration rights supporters.

While Romney campaigns for California cash, his opponents are quick to link his state-run health care in Massachusetts to the battle over health care at the Supreme Court.

"The whole world watching what's going on here in Washington at these Supreme Court arguments," Rick Santorum said, adding "Mitt Romney's 3,000 miles away. He should be here."

Romney took up the subject of health care on Monday in San Diego, during a tour of NuVasive, a company that makes medical devices for spinal care.

Once again, he promised to repeal President Obama's health care reform law if elected president.

"Well, I think we said that he's the Rumpelstiltskin of the campaign. He's trying to turn a straw into gold, and it's not going to work for them," Romney said.

"I'm going to make it very clear that, as someone who knows a lot about health care, and who cares about the American people having health insurance, that the way they went about it with their 2,700-page bill and trillions of dollars in new spending is absolutely wrong."

While in San Diego, an SUV belonging to a Romney aide was broken into in a parking garage.

Campaign officials say a briefcase, two iPads, two handheld radios and two laptops were taken from the vehicle.

The belongings reportedly contained detailed information about Romney's campaign.

A new L.A. Times/USC poll shows Romney drawing the support of 42 percent of registered Republican voters.

Santorum came in a distant second with 19 percent.

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ElectionsPoliticsHealthMitt RomneyJay LenoJobs and WorkplaceRick Santorum