Romney Donors And Bundlers To Discuss Strategy, Fundraise In New York

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

Washington (CNN) - Top donors and bundlers to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign will gather at a retreat in New York Tuesday, where they will get a briefing from senior officials on the state of the race, hear from some of the nation's leading CEOs with their view of the jobs situation, and listen to Ann and Tagg Romney, according to an invitation obtained by CNN.

The event is a three day gathering of some of the campaign's largest financial backers and is being held in conjunction with Tuesday's second presidential debate in nearby Hempstead on New York's Long Island.

The event kicked off Monday evening with a high-profile dinner on the Intrepid, a former aircraft carrier, which is now a museum.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Donald Trump attended the dinner. Ryan spoke briefly to the attendees, thanking them for their efforts, talking about the importance of their support and asking them to keep it up for three more weeks, according to one participant.

As of now Romney is not scheduled to be present at any of the retreat events attended by members of the "Founding Partners and Members" (who have given the campaign a minimum of $50,000) or bundlers known as "Stars and Stripes" (who have raised a minimum of $250,000 for the campaign).

The Republican nominee, who was in Boston finishing up debate prep, did speak by taped video to the Monday dinner thanking them for their support, according to the participant. He appeared with Sen. Rob Portman, who was acting as President Barack Obama during the practice sessions.

Both Ryan and Romney singled out Spencer Zwick, the campaign's finance chairman, for doing such an "incredible job" in raising money and keeping the campaign competitive with the Obama re-election effort on the financial front.

Romney's team raised $27 million online so far in October, seeing a surge of small dollar donations following his well-received first debate performance. That debate helped reassure some wary donors about the state of Romney's campaign.

Participants at the New York retreat will be making fund-raising calls Tuesday morning as the Team Romney tries to raise as much cash as possible in the closing weeks of the campaign. They hope to stay competitive on the airwaves in key battleground states. Recently, Romney has equaled the Obama campaign in ad spending in those key states.

On Monday the Romney campaign, together with the Republican National Committee, announced they raised $170 million in September - their largest joint monthly total. Obama and the Democrats said they raised a record $181 million last month for the president's re-election effort.

"With 22 days until the election, we continue to rely on your support in the final push to victory. These contributions allow us to deliver Governor Romney's message and execute an effective ground game in the important swing states," Zwick wrote to members of the campaign's national finance committee Monday to announce the total.

CNN first reported last month that donors and bundlers were being invited to the retreat.

Comedian Dennis Miller will be the star guest at a debate watch party Tuesday evening. The event, which is a follow-up to a similar one this summer in Park City, Utah, wraps up Wednesday morning.

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