STOCKTON -- Mitt Romney, speaking at a private fundraiser in Stockton this morning, kept up his criticism of President Barack Obama's recent hot mic incident, while mentioning none of his Republican rivals, attendees said.
The event, at the home of billionaire developer Alex Spanos, was one of a series of Romney fundraisers in California this week. His campaign used the occasion to announce its California leadership team, including former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, among seven statewide chairpersons.
Former Govs. Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian were listed as honorary statewide chairmen.
Romney also announced the support of the state's Republican legislative leaders, Sen. Bob Huff and Assemblywoman Connie Conway.
"The reception I have received from leading Republicans in California has been overwhelming," Romney said in a prepared statement.
Outside the Spanos estate, the reception was chillier. A handful of Democrats and Occupy protesters strapped crates to their cars and waved signs that said, "Dogs ride inside."
To a guest walking into the $1,000-a-plate breakfast, one protester, Eko Morris, said, "Good morning, one percent."
Attendees left breakfast with bumper stickers, pins and, in some cases, baskets full of apples that had served as table centerpieces.
"He was great," said Bob Ludlow, a dentist from Modesto. "He understands the concept of capitalism, and if business is going well, that means jobs are available."
Down the street from the Occupy protesters were a handful of Ron Paul supporters who said they were there to remind people Paul still is in the race.
The Occupy protesters left before breakfast ended. One of them said to the Paul supporters, who were in a less visible location, "You can take our place now."
A reporter suggested to Erik Souza, a truck driver and poker dealer from Manteca, that he and the other Paul supporters were the only people left.
"Just like at a caucus," he said.