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Romney: Finance event vs. fundraiser

The Romney campaign says it’s raised $7.4 million online from more than 101,000 donations since Ryan was picked.

But: “Four days after his announcement as Mitt Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan was not in Florida talking Medicare with elderly voters or in drought-ridden Iowa talking about a farm bill. He traveled to the Venetian hotel here for a meeting hosted by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who has pledged to spend as much as $100 million this year to defeat President Obama,” the New York Times writes.

And how’s this for blurring the lines: “[I]n keeping with laws that prohibit elected officials from explicitly asking donors for super PAC money, aides to Mr. Romney insisted before the event that the meeting was not a fund-raiser. ‘It’s a finance event, not a fund-raiser,’ an aide told reporters. Asked if people were paying to attend, he repeated, ‘It’s a finance event, not a fund-raiser.’”

Romney was interviewed by Fortune. He continued to claim: “high-income people would continue to pay the same share of the tax burden that they do today.” Yet he won’t say how that’s possible, given that he hasn’t outlined his offsets for the about $150,000 tax cut he would give those making more than $1 million a year, according to the Tax Policy Center.  He also seemed to rule out eliminating the mortgage-interest deduction. “I will not do that for middle-income taxpayers,” he said. And he huffed about the Tax Policy Center: “They made garbage assumptions and they reached a garbage conclusion.” And he claimed this:  “President Obama raises taxes on the middle class.”

He pointed to Simpson-Bowles for the things he’d eliminate (though, of course, one of them was the home-mortgage-interest deduction). Instead of laying out what he’d push for, he said again he would “work with Congress to identify which of the alternative methods we should apply to reduce deductions, benefits, and exemptions.”

He also said that that infrastructure “is going to see very substantial investments in the coming decade. I'm talking about highways as well as rail and air and communications infrastructure.”

To cut spending, Romney says he’d eliminate ObamaCare, subisidies for PBS, Amtrak, the National Endowment for the Arts, and eliminate fraud and abuse in Medicaid, housing vouchers, food stamps and let them be taken over by the states. He also says he’d cut federal workers by 10% through attrition and adjust their salaries to line up with the “private sector.” He claims he’d create 12 million new jobs with GDP growth of 4%.

Romney is pre-butting potential Democratic attacks on Medicare now that he’s picked Paul Ryan by going on air with an ad charging that Obama cuts $700 billion from Medicare. The ad, “Paid In,” is the first ad with Romney and Ryan together.

The ad is reminiscent of the Obama 2008 campaign’s attack on John McCain.