President Bush arrives today for his fourth visit to the state headlining a pair of fundraisers where he will attempt to tap Mitt Romney’s formidable Utah money machine to support Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid.
Ticket sales for one of the two events have apparently been lackluster, prompting the McCain campaign to move the event.
Romney and Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. will also co-host a $500-per-person afternoon fundraiser – with a $10,000-per-person private reception beforehand. The event was originally scheduled at the Grand America Hotel, but was moved to the Avenues home of Sam Stewart, a prominent investment fund manager.
Two Republican sources familiar with the event said that response to the afternoon fundraiser had been lackluster, prompting the campaign to move the event to the private residence.
Tickets were still available Tuesday afternoon.
The White House said Tuesday that, in Arizona, a fundraiser was moved to a private residence so it could be closed to the press, at the request of the McCain campaign.
Jeff Sadosky, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, would not address why the event was relocated.
The president has been doing considerably less fundraising in 2008 than he did during the 2006 election cycle. So far this year he has raised $36.6 million for Republican candidates and committees.
By contrast, he raised $131.6 million in 2006, according to figures from the Republican National Committee.