Park City, Utah, will be the place to be this weekend. That is, if you might be Mitt Romney’s running mate, if you want to be considered as his No. 2, or if you are massively wealthy.
The who’s who of Romney donors and the GOP elite are traveling to Utah for a three-day retreat with the presumptive GOP nominee this weekend.
In the Deer Valley resort area of Park City, donors attending the First National Romney Victory Leadership Retreat will be briefed on the status of the campaign, what the next four and a half months will look like from a fundraising point of view, as well as break out into separate policy discussions on foreign policy, the economy, health care and tax policy, according to several donors who will attend the retreat this weekend. The event will also bring the donors from all over the country together for “team building” activities and of course to spend time with the candidate.
So who’s on the guest list?
Veepstakes contenders like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are attending. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will also be on hand as well as Arizona senator and 2008 GOP nominee John McCain. GOP strategist Mary Matalin is going.
Jindal’s, Bush’s, McCain’s, Matalin’s and Rice’s attendance were first reported by the Washington Post. They also reported that Bush strategist Karl Rove, who helps head up American Crossroads, will be at the retreat. McDonnell and Bush will both only be attending Saturday. Former New Hampshire governor John Sununu is also on the guest list.
Others thought to be considered by Romney for the No. 2 spot, but not attending include New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, more of a long shot, will not be on hand. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was invited for the weekend, but is unable attend because he is in the middle of the legislative session and budget negotiations. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was also invited, but can’t attend due to his schedule.
Donors from the Wall Street and private equity worlds are expected to attend as well as longtime donors to the party. Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets and co-chair of the national finance committee for Romney, is expected to be there. He often has a high profile role at fundraisers introducing the candidate. The top 100 in the group have been able to donate or bundle at least $150,000 for the campaign, but many are hoping to raise a much larger amount: $1 million.
“If you look at that 100 people, if that 100 people can raise a million dollar apiece and then they can get the people that they are raising the money from to go down the line and raise like a pyramid $50 [thousand], $25 [thousand], $10 [thousand], $5 [thousand], you can get Governor Romney to that $6 [hundred] or $700 million he needs to articulate his ideas in our current political environment,” a member of Romney’s national finance team who will attend the retreat told ABC News.
Romney has another New York City area fundraising swing scheduled next week. Last month at New York events he raised $15 million in just three days. The same fundraiser said it’s getting easier to get more people to give:
“I’m very energized to help him reach that goal and I can tell you that he has 100 plus other people that are just like that and are actually dialing the phones and asking people for the help,” the finance team member and high-dollar donor said. “It’s getting easier, the economy is getting poorer, the president is off-message, the president is saying the private sector is fine where there are 23 million people out of work.”
Another attendee, a longtime fundraiser for the Republican Party not in the finance world, agreed, saying he’s had a variety of different types of friends and colleagues wanting to donate.
“Democrats and conservatives, and independents who just want to be on board and I’ve had several clients and friends of mine who have come forward and asked which event they should go to,” he said. “They want to give between $25,000 and $100,000 and it’s pretty amazing.”
President Obama may fundraise with Sarah Jessica Parker, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and George Clooney, but in a wink to the kind of large names and possibly large egos expected this weekend in Utah, the national finance team member said it’s a “well organized, committed team” expected who are “subordinating individual ego for the greater goal.”
Last month the Romney campaign out-raised their opponents, bringing in $16 million more than the Obama campaign. The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee raised $76.8 million while the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee brought in $60 million.
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz, Sunlen Miller, Dana Hughes, Matt Jaffe, Michael Falcone, John Parkinson, Russell Goldman and Gregory Simmons contributed to this report.