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UPDATED: 8/7/2012 4:30 p.m.
ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (CBS) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday brought his campaign to Elk Grove Village, where both the audience and the candidate waved their flags.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports there was no mistaking Romney’s reason for appearing in Illinois today.
Romney has no chance of winning the state in November. For both Romney and President Barack Obama, Illinois is not about the votes; it is about the money.
Acme Industries president Warren Young welcomed Romney to Elk Grove Village with statistics on how well his company is doing, such as a sixfold increase in revenues, WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports.
“Now, I believe that we should not apologize for capitalism,” he said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports
Romney drew spirited applause when he told workers and management at Acme Industries the nation’s economy runs on freedom, not on government, and President Obama just hasn’t done the job of reviving the economy.
“So, for instance, he said he was gonna help create more jobs; and, in fact, he said if we passed his stimulus, that we would never see unemployment go above 8 percent,” Romney said. “Instead, it’s been above 8 percent for the last 42 months, and there are 23 million American’s who can’t find work.
He essentially said Obama was elected to turn around an ailing economy, an economy which is still stagnant with high unemployment, and said he’d unleash small business and increase employment – a message well-received by workers and management at Acme Industries.
“President Obama is simply out of ideas, he’s out of excuses, and Illinois needs to help me make sure that, in November, we put him out of office,” Romney said.
But he knows that if he does succeed, he’s not likely to be helped by Illinois. This is Obama country. Which is why he’s not here very often.
“We understand the reality of this it’s gonna come down to 9 or 10 states and Illinois is not one of them,” Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady told CBS 2′s Jay Levine.
Obama supporters know that too. But they too go through the motions.
“The president doesn’t support the kind of capitalism that exports jobs overseas,” said U.S. Rep. Jan Shakowsy. “That’s just singularly about wealth creation not about job creation and wealth creation for just a few people, like Mitt Romney.”
But what happened in Elk Grove was just the sideshow. Money-raising was the main event.
There were two Romney fundraisers, expected to net $2 million dollars today alone, with tickets ranging from $5,000 to $75,000.
The Romney campaign has out-raised the president the last three months in a row, with contributions totaling $284 million to the the president’s $205 million.
Of course, the president is doing the same thing in Chicago. With three fundraisers set for this weekend, with price tags ranging from $1,000 to $40,000 per person, one of them at the home where he attended Valerie Jarrett’s daughter’s wedding several weeks ago.
The candidates and their supporters will raise and spend about a billion dollars each during the campaign. Much of it spent in the nine or 10 battleground states. But it will be raised in places like Illinois, where the candidates come looking not so much for votes, but for money to win votes elsewhere.