By MAGGIE HABERMAN
Mitt Romney swept through Manhattan today for a four-event fundraising blitz, beginning with a mega-breakfast at Cipriani and wrapping up with a Paul Singer-hosted Union League fundraiser that raked in more than $1.2 million, one of the biggest fundraisers on the GOP side of the cycle.
The entire day was expected to bring in well over $2 million for Romney's coffers, part of a major fundraising blitz that will bring in over $3.5 million for the week, including a Chris Christie-hosted event on Monday night in New Jersey.
Earlier tonight, Singer and other hosts - including Roger Hertog, Sander Gerber, and Daniel Loeb - held a reception for Romney at the Union League Club in Manhattan, the same spot where Newt Gingrich announced just last week that he wants to try for a 50-state strategy, including blue-state New York.
Singer, the Elliott Associates honcho and major donor "get" who all Republican candidates courted thanks to his deep network and bellwether status among others in the business community, gave a strong speech at the event, his first outing for Romney since he joined the campaign a few weeks ago. Singer had been among the cadre of donors wooing Christie, but when the Garden State governor gave a hard "no" on running in 2012, the hedge fund executive threw his support strongly behind Romney, corralling his list and promising to hold a fundraiser.
Singer met privately with Romney and about eight other people who are strongly pro-Israel prior to the event, for a discussion that focused solely on issues related to the Jewish state. There were about 400 people on hand for the event, at which Romney talked about the economy, foreign policy and the election, sources said.
Singer, in remarks at the event, heavily praised Romney - and also took an indirect shot at Gingrich.
He said that Romney is known for his temperament and his intelligence, calling him a "mensch" and saying, "What you find with Mitt is that those who have worked for him or by his side have lined up in support of his candidacy. They have tremendous admiration and loyalty for him. And they testify to his character and intellect, to his steadiness and reliability. No one who knows Mitt Romney would ever describe him as erratic."
The event raised more than $1.2 million, sources familiar with it said, calling it Romney's single biggest event of the cycle. Romney is also one of the few candidates who's raised large amounts of cash, other than Rick Perry, making it one of the biggest hauls of the year to date.
Tuesday morning, Romney was feted at a Cipriani fundraising breakfast with hundreds of people, which POLITICO first reported on weeks ago. The event's invitation listed dozens of hosts, including Jets owner Woody Johnson, John Whitehead and others.