This post has been updated.
In politics (as in life), timing is often everything – in which case, the presidential candidates’ campaign-trail schedules this week could make for some unpleasant optics for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Both Romney and President Obama have held their share of high-dollar fundraisers this summer. Obama in May held a fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney and last month raised campaign cash at an event hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour; the pair of high-profile events raised a total nearly $20 million. And on Monday night, Obama is expected to hold two fundraisers at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in downtown Washington.
But on Monday morning, Obama issued a call for Congress to renew the Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year, a move that comes as Romney is raising campaign cash in some of the country’s wealthiest Zip codes.
Hours after Obama makes his announcement from the East Room of the White House, Romney will hold a campaign fundraiser in Aspen, Colo., a city that ranks No. 20 on Forbes’ list of America’s most expensive Zip codes.
The fundraiser — for which general reception tickets start at $2,500, with private dinner seats going for $50,000, according to multiple reports — will be held at the summer home of Susan Crown, a Romney supporter who hails from one of Chicago’s wealthiest families.
The Aspen event comes one day after Romney raised millions of dollars from donors in the Hamptons. Later this week, the presumptive GOP nominee is expected to hold fundraisers in the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho; at the Daly Mansion in Hamilton, Mont.; and at the Jackson, Wyo., home of former vice president Dick Cheney.
A Romney aide noted that the candidate’s schedule this week isn’t solely focused on fundraising; Romney will hold a town-hall event in Grand Junction, Colo., on Tuesday focusing on Obama’s handling of the economy. He will also hold an event this week in Colorado Springs and will address the NAACP annual convention in Houston.
And in a statement Monday morning, Romney’s camp fired back at Obama’s tax-cut move, casting it as “a massive tax increase.”
“The president’s latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators and small businesses,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “Almost half a million fewer Americans are working today than the day Barack Obama took office, and we’ve just come through the worst job creation quarter in two years. Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney understands that the last thing we need to do in this economy is raise taxes on anyone.”
The tax-cut announcement comes as the campaigns released their fundraising hauls for the month of June. Romney raised $106 million to Obama’s $71 million, a haul that represents the best month to date for the presumptive GOP nominee.