UPDATE: Romney Draws Large Crowd at Greenville Fundraiser
Dozens of people lined up at least two hours before the event.
UPDATED: 2:15 p.m., Aug. 16
Romney briefly waved to the crowd before entering Soby's in downtown Greenville for a private fundraiser Thursday afternoon, as part of two stops he made in the Upstate.
Romney made a few brief comments outside Stevens Aviation at Greenville Spartanburg International-Airport.
"Every year I've paid at least 13 percent," Romney said.
During the media availability, Romney also outlined some of his key criticisms of the Democratic Medicare plan.
“First, with regards to seniors, those are people who are today 55 years of age and older, today’s seniors if you will. My plan presents no change. The plan stays the same. No adjustments, no changes, no savings. The President’s plan cuts Medicare, by $716 billion, cut. In addition, the trustees of Medicare estimate that approximately 4 million people will lose their coverage under Medicare Advantage. This is the plan they’ve chosen that shows they prefer some 4 million current seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plan. And finally, the Medicare actuary estimates that 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes will stop taking Medicare patients. So this is the President’s plan: $716 billion cut, 4 million people losing Medicare Advantage and 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes not accepting Medicare patients. The President’s plan has a dramatic impact on today’s seniors, people 55 years of age and older. Now, there’s another topic which I will call it the next generation, the generation after today’s seniors, generations after today’s seniors. And under the President’s plan, this goes bankrupt. The Medicare trustees have notified the President that the plan will go bankrupt, Medicare Part A, in approximately 12 years. Under the plan that I’ve proposed, it is solvent. So the differences in our Medicare prospective could not be more stark and dramatic. And I think as the seniors in America understand what the President’s plan is doing to Medicare, they’re going to find it unacceptable and we’re going to get a lot of support from people who understand that Medicare should be protected for current seniors as well as for the next generation.”
Later, Romney made his way to downtown Greenville.
More than 100 people lined the southern section of Main Street in Greenville in anticipation of seeing Romney, who briefly waved to the crowd before ducking into the upscale downtown restaurant for a fundraiser a little after noon.
Spotted inside the fundraiser were GOP Chair Chad Connelly, Greenville Republican Party Chair Betty Poe, State Rep. Eric Beddingfield and Gov. Nikki Haley.
James Lewis, who works just a block away from where Romney's fundraiser was held, said he had stopped by because he liked remain aware of what was going on in the downtown area.
"It was partly curiosity in a way, but I would also vote for him as well over Obama, given a choice between the two," Lewis said.
Jason Mill, who works at Greenville City hall across the street from Soby's, was eating lunch nearby and decided it would be worth the wait to try to get a glimpse of the presidential candidate.
"I figured I might as well wait and see how fashionably late he shows up," he laughed.
"I think we've got two choices, and neither are perfect, but Mitt Romney is the best choice available," he added.
Dozens lined the streets Thursday near Soby's in downtown Greenville hoping to get a glimpse of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The former Massachusetts governor is in town for a private fundraiser. Tickets to the event were reportedly $25,000 a plate.
People started showing up before 10 a.m. to try and claim a spot to see the presidential hopeful, as he makes his first stop in the Palmetto state since the January primary.
Ron Paul supporters carried signs and a young girl held a "Romney for President" sign outside the location.
The crowd is being kept across the street from the event. And, the only politico spotted so far has been South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis.
Gov. Nikki Haley and Romeny have not arrived.
This story will be updated.