SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Mitt Romney commended President Obama's visits with families of shooting victims in Aurora, Colorado on Sunday, saying that it was "the right thing for the president to be doing on this day."
At a fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco that kicked off with a moment of silence for the Aurora victims, Romney said during his speech that "Our hearts are with the many people who have lost loved ones in Colorado and in other places, particularly we're thinking of Aurora, Colorado and the tragedy that occurred there, the senseless killing there."
"I know the president is in Colorado today before he'll be here in San Francisco, he's visiting with families of the victims, which is the right thing for the president to be doing on this day and we appreciate that," Romney said. "I will note that my remarks today will not be as partisan as normal, instead I'll talk about my vision for the country in part keeping with the seriousness and the thoughts of the day. We obviously have heavy hearts given a reminder of loss, loss of young minds and youthful voices and soaring spirits, lost senselessly and thoughtlessly. We turn to a power greater than our own to understand the purpose, and if not to understand, then at least to soothe the wounds of those who have been so seriously hurt."
Romney also told the audience that he met with the Australian foreign minister on Sunday: "I met today with the foreign minister of Australia. He said something, and I said 'Can I quote you?' and he said yes. He said 'America is just one budget deal away from ending all talk of America being in decline.' What he meant by that is that if we get serious about taking steps to make sure that America will finally get to a balanced budget, and if we make sure these unfunded liabilities don't crush us, if we show the world that we come together to get that job done, if we have real leadership that will get Congress to work together and actually reach that conclusion, that agreement, than the world will recognize America's going to come roaring back. And this idea of America in decline, it was interesting he said that, he led the talk of America being in decline. See that's not talk we hear about here as much as they're hearing there. And if they're thinking about investing in America, entrepreneurs putting their future in America, if they think America's in decline they're not gonna do it."
According to traveling press secretary Rick Gorka, the meeting took place at the Fairmont earlier on Sunday. The Australian foreign minister Bob Carr was staying at the hotel, heard the campaign was there, and requested a meeting, Gorka said. They met for 10-15 minutes.
Romney spoke to a crowd of about 200-250 people at the fundraiser, including Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard who has run for governor of California in the past. President Obama is also in San Francisco this evening fund-raising, making this one of the few occasions where the two candidates have crossed paths.