Bay Area is center of political universe - FOX 13 News

Bay Area is center of political universe

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The next president of the United States will be in the Bay Area today. It's fairly safe to say that, because both candidates are here today.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both know just how important Florida is in this election. And this could also be seen as a major fundraising opportunity for both.

Romney is in Sarasota today for what is being called a 'grassroots' rally. Beforehand, protesters lined up outside of the Ringling Museum, waving signs and chanting anti-Romney slogans, clashing with Romney supporters.

President Obama is also in town today. Air Force One touched down just after 5:30 p.m. Obama is headed to a private fundraiser in Tampa. It's being held at the home of Lisa DeBartolo, the daughter of businessman Edward DeBartolo, Jr.

The campaign says Eddie Vedder, lead singer and guitarists for the band Pearl Jam will attend and perform.

So why here and why now? Both candidates see opportunity here. Romney's visit today may be more about face time. He will be releasing a new TV ad featuring Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and, again, talking about Medicare.

Romney is also still doing some damage control. A secret recording recently revealed him saying that nearly half of all Americans are "dependent on the government" and "think they are victims."

Mr. Romney now says he supports "the 100-percent America." He will also be doing some fundraising today. He's planning to attend a private fundraising event in Sarasota tonight.

President Obama will be doing the same. Tickets for his event are going for $20,000 each. This is expected to be the last private fundraiser for the president in this area before the election, but the campaign says more public events are likely.

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