All-but-certain Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made his first visit to Philadelphia since last November to speak before 350 ardent members of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association last night.
Romney, who now will likely cruise to victory in next Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary, was invited by the Philly-based conservative group to speak at its fourth annual Tri-State Tax Day Tea Summit. Attendees paid $20 and $30 to see Romney at the Franklin Institute, organizers said. The ticket price was not to raise funds for Romney, association President Teri Adams said, but simply to offset costs of the summit.
"We've always thought that as much as anyone else, his values fell in line with the Tea Party movement," Adams said of Romney, who has never been the most conservative candidate among the shrinking Republican field. "We always felt he would probably be the nominee."
Earlier in the day, city District Attorney Seth Williams and City Controller Alan Butkovitz held a press conference near the Liberty Bell to call out Romney on his desire to give tax breaks to the rich and his failure to publicly release his own tax records.
"Mitt Romney represents a continuation of the idea that the only people making a contribution to society are rich people who invest money and that it's not worth it for them to pay taxes because they won't invest in the economy," Butkovitz said, calling the idea perpetuated by the Tea Party "myopic and obsessive."
Williams said that looking at Romney's tax records would help voters to understand his values.
"What is he hiding?" Williams questioned. "I think it's loopholes and offshore accounts."