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In Vegas, Romney fundraises with Trump, woos casino magnate

 

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- In a whirlwind half-day visit to Sin City, Mitt Romney is enlisting a powerful new financial backer, rallying the troops with the state's governor and is set to collect millions at a high-dollar fundraiser with the ever-controversial Donald Trump, all before the sun sets in the desert tonight.

No sooner had Romney's campaign parked the chartered 737 plane (right next to Donald Trump's black and gold emblazoned jet), the candidate was off to meet with billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who almost singlehandedly kept Newt Gingrich's campaign afloat with millions of dollars in donations to Gingrich's super PAC, but signaled months ago he would support the Republican nominee.

Aides said the meeting lasted nearly an hour at the Venetian Las Vegas Casino, Hotel and Resort, but there was no word of a formal endorsement or gift to the pro-Romney super PAC.

Romney next visted a Somers Furniture warehouse, but not for a new ottoman. The former Massachusetts governor campaigned for the first time with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a rising star in the Republican party who originally backed Texas Governor Rick Perry early in the primary campaign.

Romney took aim at President Barack Obama's 2009 comments not to "blow a bunch of cash in Vegas," by pledging his love for the city, which helped deliver a major caucus win for the all-but-certain Republican nominee back in February.

"I'm counting on you guys to go out and make sure that you elect a president who tells people to come to Las Vegas, not to stay away from Las Vegas. Who gets us on the track to have a strong and vibrant economy again," Romney said.

As Romney continued to attack the president as "hostile" to business, he veered into new territory, passing along the story of a restaurant owner he met with in a closed-door roundtable who suggested adding a new provision to the constitutional requirements of the presidency: time in business.

"I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become President of the United States," Romney quoted the restauranteur as saying. "You see then he or she would understand that the policies they’re putting in place have to encourage small business, make it easier for business to grow."

And perhaps no man is more embroiled over the constitutional requirements of the presidency than Romney's host at his final Vegas event of the day, Donald Trump, who today doubled-down on his controversial beliefs that President Obama's birth certificate may be fraudulent, telling CNN that "a lot of people don't agree with that birth certificate," a charge host Wolf Blitzer labeled "ridiculous."

Trump hosted the fundraiser for Romney tonight at the Trump International Hotel just off the Las Vegas strip with a top asking price of $50,000. Trump spokesman Michael Cohen said the event tonight could raise "millions" for Romney campaign's victory fund.

Among the guests was Newt Gingrich who said, “We believe this is an American-born, job-killing president.”

Answering a question about Trump, he continued: “Others believe he was born elsewhere and kills jobs. But Obama is a jobs-killing president. He was born in Hawaii. That doesn’t affect that he is killing jobs.”