Editor's note: The Daily Pilot was not granted access to Mitt Romney's visit to the Balboa Bay Club & Resort on Friday night and instead covered the protests outside. This story from pool reports was made available later.
A confident-sounding Mitt Romney in Newport Beach mocked his rival's campaign Friday, hours after the release of disappointing jobs numbers put Democrats on the defensive.
At his private fundraiser at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort — where four tickets fetched as much as $25,000 — Romney joked about a visit former President George W. Bush made to the White House a day earlier for the unveiling of his official portrait.
Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, quipped that Bush must have felt he was in hostile territory. He accused President Obama of trying to pin all the country's economic problems on his predecessor.
"The president, of course, when bad news comes out, looks around for someone to blame," he said of Obama, according to pool reports.
He then added of Bush's visit: "I'm sure he had to duck, because President Bush is always the one they point to. It's all his fault. I'm afraid that's worn a little thin."
At his Los Angeles-area fundraiser, Romney continued on to say that voters should now hold Obama responsible for the nation's economic situation.
"The president's spokesman today said this recession was long in the making, and it won't be overcome overnight," Romney said. "Forty months is not overnight."
Mindful of his audience in a state that reliably elects Democrats, Romney made the case that the attendees' financial support could help him compete in the handful of swing states that will likely determine the outcome in November.
"I know that California's a hard state for a Republican to win. If I won California, why, we'd won in a landslide. You know that," he said. "So I'm hoping to win California, but I'm aiming to win those key swing states. And one of the things you can do is help people help me."