Romney defends fundraising with Trump

Donald Trump announces his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, during a news conference in Las Vegas. Romney's wife Ann is at left.
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

(CBS News) After Tuesday's Texas primary, the Republican race for the White House will be over. Voters are expected to give Mitt Romney enough delegates to become his party's nominee.

But instead of celebrating, the Romney campaign is fighting off a controversy over one of its supporters, Donald Trump.

Mitt Romney is all but certain to reach 1,144 delegates and clinch the Republican nomination, but Romney won't be there. The former Massachusetts governor will be on the money trail this week with Trump, fundraising in Las Vegas with the hotel magnate, who just a week ago repeated his challenge to President Barack Obama's citizenship.

On Monday night, when asked if he thought twice about campaigning with Trump, Romney responded, "You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in. But I need to get 50.1 percent or more, and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."

The Obama campaign immediately hit back with a web ad showing the last Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, debunking myths about President Obama, calling on Mitt Romney to do the same, using a montage of Donald Trump interviews questioning the president's birthplace.

But it was a different message earlier in the day as both candidates reached out to veterans on Memorial Day.

Although neither Romney nor the president served in the military, they're working hard to get the military vote. Romney issued this warning Monday: "The world is not safe."

Romney didn't mention President Obama by name, but he seemed to take a swipe at him for proposing cuts in the military, saying, "Were we to follow that kind of course, there would be no one that could stand to protect us."

At Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama made the opposite case - that the country is moving in the right direction. He said, "We are winding down the war in Afghanistan and our troops will continue to come home. After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon."

Now, this is the first election in years in which neither candidate has served in the military.

There's a new Gallup poll, which shows Romney with a big advantage among veterans. He's leading the president 58 to 34 percent.

But veterans advocates point out that vets vote in much the same way as the rest of the population does, and unemployment among veterans, particularly among recent vets, is several points higher than for everyone else.

Watch Bill Plante's full report in the video above.

  • Bill Plante

    Bill Plante is a CBS News Senior White House Correspondent