WASHINGTON — Fresh off the best fund-raising stretch of his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney plans to spend this weekend strategizing and fraternizing with his biggest bundlers at a posh resort in Park City, Utah.
The presumptive nominee and his senior advisers and aides are hosting two days of policy sessions and campaign strategy discussions at a Deer Valley resort for more than 100 top fund-raisers and their spouses. Those who raised more than $100,000 are expected to attend.
More than a dozen Republican heavy-hitters are scheduled to join the private retreat as special guests. According to a fund-raiser who is attending, guests include some GOP stars believed to be contenders to be Romney’s vice presidential running mate: Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Senator John Thune of South Dakota.
Former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove, who helps run American Crossroads, the well-funded GOP super PAC, is planning to speak at the retreat, said the fund-raiser, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the event. Rove’s appearance could raise questions because of campaign finance laws barring any coordination between super PACs and actual campaigns.
Senator John McCain of Arizona, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, is also scheduled to attend, according to the fund-raiser.
Other guests slated to appear include former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and James A. Baker III, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Romney’s finance officials have touted the retreat as a way to reward top-performing bundlers who make their own donations and then raise many times that from within their network of friends and associates.
The retreat, which will be closed entirely to the press, is set to begin Friday with a series of policy question-and-answer sessions with Romney.
Romney to talk immigration in Latino conference speech
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney is planning to give a speech at a Latino conference on Thursday where he will outline new proposals on immigration while largely focusing on how the economy has hit Hispanics particularly hard.
Romney’s advisers have scrambled over the past week to react to President Obama’s move on Friday to bypass Congress and provide a legal pathway for certain children of illegal immigrants to remain in the country.
One source who is familiar with Romney’s plans said the speech would mention immigration but would be predominantly focused on the economy.
The campaign has seen the address — in Orlando before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials — as a prominent platform for Romney to begin trying to reach out to the Hispanic voters who will be crucial in several swing states.
“He is going to talk about immigration, and he’s going to propose some solutions that he hopes to enact in a bipartisan way,” added the source, who was not authorized to speak by the campaign and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The source said there would be some “new stuff” that Romney will propose, but declined to be more specific.
Obama, who will address the same conference on Friday, shifted policy last week and said his administration would immediately stop certain deportations and instead grant work permits to up to 800,000 younger illegal immigrants.
The policy, which has broad support in recent polls, could be reversed by a future administration, but Romney has declined to say whether he would reverse the order.
Women’s group ad criticizes Obama’s health care law
NEW YORK — A conservative women’s group launched a $6 million ad campaign in presidential battleground states on Wednesday criticizing President Obama’s health care law.
The 60-second ad from Concerned Women for America features a family physician, Ami Siems, warning that patients may be denied care under the new law and might not be able to choose their own doctor.
Siems previously appeared in ads criticizing the health care reform proposal sponsored by another conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, in 2009 when the plan was being considered by Congress.
The spot will run in top presidential battleground states including Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
It also will air in Minnesota and New Mexico, two states not considered quite as competitive.
Romney ‘partly right, partly wrong’ on tax reduction plan
WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s plan to reduce tax rates would need to be financed by ending widely used benefits such as the mortgage interest deduction, said Erskine Bowles, who was cochairman of President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission.
Romney is “partly right and partly wrong” when he says he can cut tax rates by 20 percent and make up the money by curtailing tax breaks, Bowles said on Bloomberg Television’s “Conversations with Judy Woodruff,” airing this weekend.
“One area that Governor Romney is wrong is you can’t just affect the top 15 percent” of Americans, said Bowles, a Democrat whose bipartisan plan would cut spending and raise taxes.
“It’s just not enough money there in getting rid of the tax expenditures that only affect the upper-income people. You’re going to have to affect people down through the brackets.”
Romney and Obama are clashing over tax policy, with the president maintaining that Romney would cut taxes for top earners and the former Massachusetts governor saying his plan would unleash economic growth.
Romney wants to reduce all individual income tax rates by 20 percent, reducing the top rate to 28 percent from 35 percent.
He would lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent, eliminate the estate tax, and end the taxation of investment income for people making less than $200,000 per year.