Romney collects $2 million at Baton Rouge fundraiser, close to VP pick

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 16 at 6:23 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

BATON ROUGE, La. -- No word yet if Bobby Jindal will be Mitt Romney's running mate.

Monday, the Louisiana governor joined the expected Republican presidential nominee at a $2 million luncheon fundraiser in downtown Baton Rouge.

About 40 GOP heavyweights paid $50,000 a plate to share some beef tenderloin and gulf snapper with Romney and Jindal.

Those attending included ship builder Boise Bollinger, Rita Benson Leblanc and New Orleans developer Joseph Canizaro.

"He made a good presentation about what's going on and how he intends to change the economy and create the jobs we think are desperately necessary," Canizaro said.

Jindal opened his remarks by going after Obama's recent spate of negative advertising.

"If you're been turn on the TV, listen to the radio, maybe you've noticed that our president has run an increasing desperate campaign. Every time you turn on the TV you see another false and malicious attack," Jindal said.

Jindal continued, arguing that Obama has failed to live up to campaign promises to boost the economy and cut the deficit in half.

Romney opened his comments by encouraging the donors to eat and referred to the meal as "the most expensive lunch you've ever attended."

He also complemented Jindal on his accomplishments in Louisiana, particularly in education.

Jindal is believed to be on the short list for Romney's vice presidential pick.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Christian think tank Family Research Council who attended the event, said the VP position was not discussed at the luncheon. He believes Jindal would make a good number two on the ticket.

"They are certainly listening and looking at all of the potentials, and certainly Bobby is one of those," said Perkins. "He meets the criteria, so I think he will continue to be in the mix."

A senior campaign adviser told pool reporters at the event Romney could name a running mate by the end of the week.

Not everyone was happy to see Romney in Baton Rouge. A handful of protesters picketed outside as the former Massachusetts governor and guests dined inside the City Club.

"I feel that is Governor Romney gets in office we will be in bad shape," said protester Carol Ann. "He's going to help the rich, not the poor."

Romney gave a brief wave to the crowd and then it was off to another campaign stop in Jackson, Mississippi.

Canizaro said the GOP candidate will be back in the state next month for an evening fundraiser in New Orleans on Aug. 20.

"My concern if he's not elected, we're going to see taxes increased substantially. I doubt we'll see much increase in employment," Canizaro said.

We tried to get comment from both Mitt Romney and Jindal on the fundraiser. But, staffers for both men said that neither would be addressing the media Monday.

 

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