Romney thanks donors ahead of RNC speech

Holly Bailey

TAMPA—Just hours before he's to take the stage at the final night of the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney made a quick appearance at a luncheon to thank top donors to his campaign.

Joined by his wife, Ann, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Romney thanked his financial supporters for their generosity.

"I owe so much to all of you for helping make our campaign so successful.  You have done an extraordinary job, and you know that," Romney said at the event, which was held at a hotel in nearby St. Petersburg. "I know it's not easy, I know that it's important, and I appreciate the generosity of your own hearts, not just with your funds, but with your time and with your friendships."

He told the crowd he had just come from taking photos with 120 relatives in town to watch his speech tonight.

"In case you haven't heard, I'm going to be speaking tonight," Romney joked.

Taking the stage after her husband, Ann Romney said the convention has been "great," but joked that "it's like going to your own funeral."

"You see so many people you've known," she said.

Romney is set to do a final walk-through of his convention speech tonight at the Tampa Bay Forum just after 3 p.m. ET. This morning, workers were seen installing a new podium built specifically for Romney's speech that will bring him closer to the audience.