Romney schedules three days of debate prep in Vermont

JACKSONVILLE – As Democrats stage their national convention next week, Mitt Romney is planning three days of intensive preparations for his debates with President Obama.

 The Republican presidential nominee is leaving the campaign trail Saturday night to spend Sunday and Monday at his vacation home in Wolfeboro, N.H. He plans to then spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday preparing for the fall debates with his top advisers in a secluded mountainous area of Vermont, Kevin Madden, a senior Romney adviser, told reporters.

 Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who is reprising his role as Obama after playing him in debate rehearsals in 2008, will be with Romney for the sessions, Madden said. The rehearsals will take place at the home of Kerry Healey, who was Romney’s lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, in Reading, Vt., near the New Hampshire border.

For weeks, Romney has held informal debate prep sessions with his advisers. But next week's sessions in Vermont will be his most intensive yet and will include Portman for the first time.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.
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