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Mitt Romney plans six-state, five-day bus tour

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Evan Vucci/AP

As the contest against President Obama intensifies, Mitt Romney is trying to seize momentum with a five-day bus tour through small towns across six battleground states.

The presumptive Republican nominee announced plans Monday to visit with families and business owners during his “Every Town Counts” bus tour, which begins Friday morning on the same New Hampshire farm where he formally launched his campaign just over a year ago.

This will be Romney’s most intense campaign swing since the Republican primaries effectively ended in early April. Over the past two months, Romney has spent most of his time raising money at private donor receptions and has been staging just three or four campaign events a week, many of them formal speeches.

But Romney’s aides hope the bus tour, which will include a mix of outdoor retail campaign stops – as well as a new, rebranded campaign bus – will provide a jolt to his efforts in a slew of Midwestern states, including critical Ohio.

“For three and a half years, President Obama has paid little attention to the everyday concerns of the American people,” Romney said in a statement announcing the tour. “President Obama has offered no hope for the future, and he has left American families to bear the burden of his failed policies. Too many American families have experienced a lost job, faced foreclosure, or been forced to spend their kids’ college savings just to make ends meet. These are not statistics – these are our fellow Americans. In America’s small towns, you don’t find despair — you find boundless optimism. We know we can make America better, and that is why I am running for president.”

Romney’s tour will begin on Scamman Farm in Stratham, N.H., a sprawling farm where last June he announced his candidacy and served chili with his wife, Ann. From New Hampshire, Romney will journey to Pennsylvania on Saturday, to Ohio on Sunday and to Wisconsin and Iowa on Monday.

Obama won all six states in 2008, but Republicans think Romney has a shot at taking them back this year.

Romney will end the tour Tuesday in Michigan, where he was born and raised. Romney hopes his roots – and lasting memories of his father George’s three terms as governor – will help him capture Michigan, which last voted for a Republican for president in 1988.

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