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Economic news takes center stage in presidential race

June 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
As Mitt Romney wrapped up local fundraisers Friday, bad economic news was the hot topic in the race for the White House. Romney was quick to blame President Obama for Friday's market losses.

Romney was in Newport Beach for a Friday night fundraiser. It costs $25,000 per couple for VIP tickets to the Romney fundraiser at Newport's Balboa Bay Club and Resort. That came with a cocktail and a photograph with Romney.

Earlier Friday Romney raised funds at the Victoria Club in Riverside. There he was met by protesters angry at both parties.

"The folks inside are paying $2,500 a plate," said Benjamin Wood, one of those protesting. "That's a lot more than any of us can afford, and if they've got that kind of money, we know plenty of places where they can invest it, invest in justice."

Thursday night it was $50,000 per couple to get a seat at a 50,000-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion to see Romney speak.

Romney held no public events in Southern California, but he did go on CNBC to talk about the growing unemployment rate.

"I will focus all my energy on getting America back to work and this president has not," said Romney.

With stocks plunging on bad economic news, President Obama headed to a manufacturing plant in Minnesota.

"We've got a lot of work to do before we can get to where we need to be," said Obama. "All these factors have made it challenging to build an economy that's built to last over the long term."

President Obama is scheduled to visit Southern California Wednesday at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Romney has a fundraiser scheduled in San Diego Saturday night.

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