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Mitt Romney raises $1.2 million in Kansas City

By DAVE HELLING
The Kansas City Star

Area Republicans gave $1.2 million to their party and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign at a private downtown fundraiser Thursday, several party officials said.

“I think that’s a record,” said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, who helped organize the fundraising event, featuring the former Massachusetts governor, at the Westin Crown Center hotel.

Romney, the almost certain Republican presidential nominee, spoke to more than 400 people at the fundraiser.

“I know you’re not doing this for me,” he told the crowd. “You’re not doing it for the Republican Party. You’re doing this because you care very deeply about our country.”

He made no mention of Thursday’s controversies over gay marriage and his alleged involvement in a high school prank that led to the involuntary cutting of a classmate’s hair.

But Romney criticized President Barack Obama repeatedly, accusing him of dividing the country.

“He’s out of ideas, out of people to blame, and we’ve got to make sure in 2012 we put him out of office,” Romney said.

Area developer and builder B.B. Andersen, who introduced Romney, said he was impressed.

“I think what he said was perfect. Everything he wants to do, this country needs.”

A campaign spokesman said 475 tickets had been sold, costing between $1,000 and $50,000.

As impressive as Romney’s take was, it pales compared with a Thursday fundraiser for Obama. In California, the Democrat was expected to raise $15 million at an event hosted by actor George Clooney.

Earlier Thursday, Kansas City labor officials criticized Romney’s ties to Bain Capital, which closed a Kansas City steel plant in 2001.

The plant’s bankruptcy cost the jobs of more than 700 people.

Romney left Bain Capital before the plant closed.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to dhelling@kcstar.com.

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