(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, N.H.—A day after effectively claiming his party's nomination, Mitt Romney is turning his focus to raising campaign cash in hopes of erasing President Barack Obama's massive fundraising advantage.
The former Massachusetts governor will spend the next two days in New York, where he'll be the star attraction at six finance events in Manhattan and New Jersey to benefit his campaign and the Republican National Committee.
The biggest event is a breakfast scheduled for Thursday morning in New York City that's expected to attract at least 1,000 donors, according to a campaign aide who declined to be named discussing the events. The proceeds will go to the Romney Victory Fund, a joint fundraising effort between the Romney campaign and the RNC to which donors can contribute as much as $75,000 apiece to boost the ex-governor's campaign.
Romney's fundraising push comes a day after he swept five GOP primaries—including Pennsylvania and New York—and solidified his lead in the race to reach the 1,144 delegates necessary to claim the GOP nomination.
Coming off a messy and costly GOP primary, Romney needs to make up serious ground to match Obama's early fundraising. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission last week, Obama's re-election committee has 10 times as much cash in the bank as Romney's—$104 million compared to Romney's $10 million.
In a related development, Romney's campaign has decided to open up some of the presumptive nominee's fundraising events to reporters traveling with his campaign starting next week. A small pool of reporters will be allowed to observe Romney's comments to donors at money events held in public venues—though fundraisers held at private homes will still be off-limits.
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