Mitt Romney’s supporters filtered their politics through their checkbooks during a three-hour fundraising blitz to raise more than $100,000 in campaign contributions Tuesday.
About 125 supporters at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa hotel telephoned friends, family members and neighbors with the goal of raising $1,000 each. The presidential candidate’s son, Josh Romney, encouraged supporters at the “Rally for Romney” in Mesa, which was one in a series of more than 50 rallies in 25 states.
Supporters welcomed donations ranging from $5 to the federally allowable maximum of $2,300 each.
“There are a lot of people out there who can’t donate a lot, but any level of support is always helpful,” Josh Romney said.
Supporter and Scottsdale resident Flo Taylor, 83, said she’s a “terrible saleswoman,” but found it easy to raise money for the former governor of Massachusetts.
“I’m just saying what a terrific man Mitt is and he’s raised a wonderful family. He speaks well and he is (a) charming man,” Taylor said.
Those qualities would serve the Republican candidate well in the Oval Office, she said. “He has the character to be the president of the United States. He’s honest. He’s exhibited good character in everything he’s done,” she said.
Tuesday’s outreach effort served a secondary purpose of bringing the presidential campaign closer to Arizona voters, Josh Romney said. For the most part, his father and the other top Republican and Democratic candidates have focused their attention in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Wyoming, Michigan and Florida. As a result, Arizona voters may be somewhat insulated from presidential politics.
“People in Iowa and New Hampshire historically pay a lot of attention — and pay attention a long way out. I was in Iowa in January and people were asking very informed questions about my dad then. Whereas in places like Arizona ... he doesn’t necessarily have the name recognition, the name ID, yet,” said Josh Romney, 32.
The candidates’ time and their multimedia advertising will transition more heavily to Arizona soon enough, Josh Romney said. Campaign aides discussed a campaign stop by Mitt Romney in Arizona next month, though they declined to specify a particular date.
The Mesa fundraiser was certain to reach its goal of bagging $100,000 in new donations, though the exact figure was not immediately available.