POSTED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 9:30am
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 9:44am
(CNN) — Mitt Romney ventured to the Texas hometown of George W. Bush for a fundraising event Tuesday, and sang high praises of the former president's mother, Barbara Bush.
"I've met Barbara Bush a number of times. Is there any mom who's had more impact than that woman? On her husband? On her sons?" the presumptive GOP nominee said in front of the crowd in Midland.
Barbara Bush, also former first lady to former President George H.W. Bush, recorded a robo call for Romney in March as he battled for the Republican nomination. Her husband endorsed the candidate months earlier in December.
"I mean she - just the energy and the commitment and the conviction and the strength of character she has," Romney continued. "She has made those men and her daughter the people they are."
While Barbara Bush is not from Midland, the family lived there for several years while George W. Bush was a child. She did not attend the Romney event Tuesday.
Romney made his comments at a finance reception in the west Texas city, an event that marked his second fundraiser for the day. The candidate brought in $6 million to $7 million from the two events, his campaign said.
While he was in Houston earlier in the day, Romney announced he would lay out a new energy policy in a New Mexico speech by the end of the week. At the Midland event, held at the Petroleum Club, Romney drew heavy applause from the audience when he touched on energy.
"Number one, take advantage of our energy resources. Oil, coal, gas, nuclear, renewables -- it's all of the above, and in a serious way. And inexpensive, abundant energy will not only create energy jobs like you have here, but also manufacturing and other sectors that use energy will come back to America," Romney said.
The former Massachusetts governor also took time to poke fun at Vice President Joe Biden, the same day a new Pew Research Center poll revealed that more than half of Americans say Biden is doing either a "fair" or "poor" job.
Talking about his own running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney said Tuesday he "can't wait" to see the two go head-to-head this fall.
"I can't wait to watch him debate Joe Biden. Joe Biden has been the gift that keeps on giving," Romney said to cheers from the audience.
His jab was a not-so-veiled swipe at the vice president's recent gaffes. Most recently, Biden stirred controversy when he told a Virginia crowd last week that Romney's regulatory policies would "put y'all back in chains."
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