The Washington Post

As Sandy approaches, Romney sticks to campaign plans

MANSFIELD, Ohio -- As the east coast braces for Hurricane Sandy, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday will continue as planned with a trio of campaign events in the Midwest, a campaign spokesman said.

Romney is scheduled to attend an 11:50 a.m. rally in Avon Lake, Ohio, then fly to Moline, Ill., and then head to nearby Davenport, Iowa, for a 4:25 p.m. rally with wrestler and Iowa native Dan Gable. He is expected to round out the day with an 8:40 p.m. rally in West Allis, Wis.

Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, also has a busy day of campaigning. He flies from Ohio to Florida, where he will hold rallies in the cities of Jacksonville, Melbourne and Lakeland.

President Obama had been expected to attend a rally in Florida on Monday, but he will instead head back to Washington. Former President Bill Clinton will appear at the rally as planned.

At the Mansfield, Ohio, hotel where much of Romney's traveling press corps had been staying after Sunday's trio of events, reporters, staffers and others were gathered around a television in the breakfast room Monday morning watching updates on the approaching storm.

The hurricane presents a particular challenge for Romney, who must strike a balance between remaining active on the campaign trail and being careful not to appear to place politicking above concern for the millions of Americans who may be affected by the storm.

Romney's agenda for this week appears to have been drawn up with that delicate calculus in mind. According to a campaign official, at rallies this week the GOP presidential candidate is expected to continue to underscore his "Day One, Job One" agenda on a range of issues including tax reform, balancing the federal budget, trade policy, energy, education, regulation and defense spending.

Those were themes that Romney and Ryan struck on Sunday in Ohio, at three joint rallies that were heavy on promises of bipartisanship and "change" and somewhat lighter on attacks on Obama.

Staff writer Philip Rucker contributed to this report.



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