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Mitt Romney's fundraiser in Newport Beach draw a crowd

June 1, 2012 |  9:13 pm

Presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney stopped in Newport Beach on Friday for a fundraiser, attracting a colorful assortment of protesters on all sides.

The private event occurred at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort, with an entrance fee starting at $1,000. Both supporters and critics of Romney lined up outside the club.

Bill Edwards, a Romney supporter who said he’s a family friend of the Romneys, stood alongside his 12-year-old daughter Lauren with a sign that read “2012 Romney respects the Constitution.”

The Newport Beach business owner said Lauren made the sign.

“I think he'll be a very good president,” Edwards said. “He loves America and we can trust him. We need someone who's not in training. There's no more time for an audition.”

A group of faux billionaires protesters -- satirical women dressed in evening attire and men in suits, who dubbed themselves the “Billionaires for Romney” -- poked fun at the Republican’s wealth and those attending his fundraiser.

“Tax our poor,” chanted the group.

Farther up Coast Highway were Obama supporters with signs calling Romney a liar who’s bad for the 99% — a term widely popularized by Occupy Wall Street that symbolizes the country’s economic majority.

Laguna Woods resident Janice Burstin said she felt a Romney presidency would lead to a complete economic depression.

“He's self-serving and he's serving the 1%,” she said, adding that his goal is to acquire wealth at all costs.

"Tea party" members were also among the demonstrators. They chanted “No tea for Romney” and called on him to “represent the people.”

Lai Leung came from West Covina to show her disapproval of Romney.

“They're all politicians,” she said.

Romney’s California tour will also include visits to Bakersfield and the Silicon Valley. Orange County donors also gave to his campaign in March, when he hosted a fundraiser in Irvine.

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--Mona Shadia, Times Community News

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