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Romney and GOP raise $10 million in California over two days

A two-day fundraising swing through California by Mitt Romney brought in $10 million, a sizable addition to the presumptive GOP nominee’s war chest as he prepares for the general election battle with President Obama.

Romney raised the money at seven fundraisers on Sunday and Monday. A campaign source disclosed the amount during a breakfast fundraiser Monday morning at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine.

During the fundraiser and a small-business roundtable in Costa Mesa on Monday, Romney continued to strike a less partisan tone, as he has since the Aurora, Colo., shooting Friday that left 12 people dead and scores injured.

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Mentioning the shooting at the fundraiser, Romney said it was “natural” for Americans to wonder what they or the government could do to prevent such acts.

“The reality is what can we as people do? Our heritage as a nation is that when there are people problems, people respond to them and people solve them,” he said, noting that Alexis de Tocqueville said Americans are unique because of “our willingness to serve one another, the barn raisings, if you will.”

“We need more barn raisings in America, more people who don’t just look and say, ‘What can government do?’ but instead, ‘What things can I do to make a difference in the lives of people near me?’” Romney told about 400 supporters who nibbled on quiche and asparagus.

Romney was introduced by local businessman Frank Kavanaugh, who surprised the crowd by disclosing that in 2008, though he raised money for Romney and supported GOP nominee John McCain, he ultimately voted for Obama, drawn by his message of “hope and change.”

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But “hope is not a strategy and nothing has changed,” he said, saying that he supported Romney because of his real-world experience.

Romney responded by telling the crowd it was vital to flip voters who supported Obama four years ago.

“Anyone who voted for John McCain, almost without exception, is planning on voting for me. And the way I win this election is by getting people who voted for Barack Obama to say he didn’t live up to their expectations,” Romney said. Obama voters from 2008 “are the ones we need. We need to talk to them.”

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seema.mehta@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATseema


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