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Romney Attends Del Mar Fundraiser, Criticizes California

California came in for some knocks from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who appeared at fundraisers in the Bay Area, San Diego and Beverly Hills during a two-day swing to the Golden State, it was reported today.

Romney "took a pretty big shot at California'' during his speech before people who paid up to $25,000 a ticket at a hotel near Del Mar, according to a pool reporter.

"He said that under President Obama we're becoming a lot more European and that the state of California was something he didn't want to see the rest of the U.S. look like in a few years,'' a pool reporter related.

In Beverly Hills Saturday evening, the candidate said his wife Ann was choking in smoke Friday when an electrical fire broke out on the chartered airplane taking her from Iowa to Santa Monica. No one was injured as the plane made an emergency landing in Denver.

"I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound,'' said the candidate, adding that his wife was "choking and rubbing her eyes'' as the plane made its emergency landing.

The fundraiser was Romney's third in California in six days, following events in Costa Mesa Monday and near San Francisco.

Romney's fundraiser in Beverly Hills netted the campaign $6 million, and featured entertainment by onetime Saturday Night Live comedian Dennis Miller, the Los Angeles Times reported. Reporters were not allowed to hear Miller, but Romney thanked him for his biting jokes about the current president.

At that event, a major fundraiser for the Romney campaign reassured the donors that he knew they felt "a bit worried, frustrated, even angry as you watch President Obama, the mainstream media and the pundits attack Mitt with distortions and inaccuracies.'' Tom Tellefson, chairman of Romney's California Finance Committee, was quoted by The Times.

"Polls are not elections. The voters have not yet spoken,'' reassured Tellefsen to the crowd of major financial contributors, as quoted by The Times.

Outside the hotel, a group of Obama supporters called a news conference to point out Mitt Romney's tax returns, corporate record and other issues.

Romney is to appear in Colorado today, before joining running mate Paul Ryan for a bus tour across the critical swing state of Ohio.

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