Romney’s Great Utah Adventure: The Guest List and Schedule Leaks Out

Jun 20, 2012 8:23pm

ABC News has obtained access to parts of the schedule for the three-day retreat with Mitt Romney in Park City, Utah, this weekend. If you’re massively wealthy and favor Romney over Obama, or if there’s a possibility you might be No. 2 on the Republican ticket, or if you fancy being considered for the veep spot, this fancy resort town nestled in the Deer Valley is the place to be.

Campaign donors attending the First National Romney Victory Leadership Retreat will get access to some of the biggest leaders of the Republican Party, including of course the presumptive nominee.

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, a high-dollar donor and member of the campaign’s national finance team member told ABC News it’s a “well organized, committed team” expected who are “subordinating individual ego for the greater goal.”

Perhaps. On Friday evening, discussion groups will cover the financial services industry, health care, Israel and community banking. Moderating and speaking will be former secretary of state James A. Baker III, former Minnesota senator Norman Coleman, Tennessee senator Bob Corker, Weekly Standard editor and co-founder Bill Kristol, former Utah governor Mike Leavitt, who will also lead Romney’s transition team if he makes it to the White House. And of course, the presumptive nominee.

On Saturday morning, Arizona senator and 2008 GOP nominee John McCain will address the group. Next up is “Innovation in America,” a panel moderated by possible running mate Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Rounding out the panel will be president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Meg Whitman, billionaire financier Ken Langone, and veepstakes contenders Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and South Dakota Sen. John Thune.

Then, “Media insight” will feature Romney counsel and longtime GOP attorney Ben Ginsberg; Fred Barnes and Kristol, editors and co-founders of The Weekly Standard; GOP strategist Mary Matalin; and Bush strategist and  American Crossroads founder, Karl Rove.

Fortunately, lunch will be provided, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaking.

Get more pure politics at ABC News.com/Politics and a lighter take on the news at OTUSNews.com

The afternoon features a Women for Romney Victory Tea with Ann Romney and former Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill. Hamill won gold at the 1976 Olympic winter games in Innsbruck, Austria, but she also ran the torch at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, which Romney headed.  The final reception Saturday night will be headlined by former Florida governor and much-talked-about possible running mate Jeb Bush.

And no wealthy Republican gathering worth its salt would be complete without golf. That’s Sunday.

Other invitees include veepstakes contenders Ohio senator Rob Portman, Virginia governor  Bob McDonnell and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu also made the guest list.

Others thought to be considered by Romney for the No. 2 spot, but not attending include New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, 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,” said the finance team member who will be in attendance.

Get more pure politics at ABC News.com/Politics and a lighter take on the news at OTUSNews.com

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 people are giving.

“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,” he said.

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.”

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.

Many members of the guest list including Rove, Rice, Baker, Bush, Kristol and Matalin were first reported in the Washington Post.

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz, Sunlen Miller, Dana Hughes, Matt Jaffe, Michael Falcone,  John Parkinson, Russell Goldman, Elicia Dover, Joanna Suarez, and Gregory Simmons contributed to this report. 

 This story has been updated since it was originally posted. 

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