Romney campaign: ‘Full speed planning ahead’

Rainfall forecast for Tropical Storm Isaac. (NOAA)

Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee are moving ahead with convention plans for the rest of the week.

"We expect no change over the next three days," Romney strategist Russ Schriefer said. "We are in full speed planning ahead."

That doesn't mean Romney is ignoring the storm. "Obviously we are monitoring the situation very closely with the weather, with the storm," Schriefer added. "Obviously our thoughts are with the people who are in the path of the storm and as Gov. Romney said, we hope that they are spared any major destruction and we're thinking about them." 

He said he did not think the Republican message would be affected by the natural disaster and argued that there was no need to tone down partisan rhetoric. "This is a healthy debate and an important debate" on the contrasts between President Obama and Romney," he said. "It's a debate that the American people are looking forward to." 

He directed reporters to pay special attention to the speech given by Rick Santorum on Tuesday night, calling it "particularly good" and suggesting that the former Pennsylvania senator will focus on welfare reform. 

However, Schriefer said he expected some speakers -- particularly religious figures leading invocations -- to mention the storm when appropriate: "If it's appropriate, it's a good thing." The campaign is "starting conversations" about relief efforts will "be there to help" if needed. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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Rachel Weiner · August 27, 2012