Mitt Romney cancels Florida campaign stop, citing exhaustion

Mitt Romney is canceling a planned campaign stop Monday in Orlando after a whirlwind weekend in which the presumptive Republican nominee introduced Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the campaign said late Sunday that the presidential hopeful was “too exhausted to make the trip” after crisscrossing Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin over the weekend.

“We’ve been planning this bus tour for a while and had to adjust for stuff going on,” Jeff Bechdel, Florida communications director for the campaign, told the paper.

{mosads}Romney has not canceled his morning rally in St. Augustine, nor his fundraiser Monday night in Miami. He also added an afternoon interview with Radio Mambi, a Spanish-language station out of Miami.

His campaign said Monday that the former governor was maintaining a full schedule in Florida, and the canceled event was simply the result of schedule reshuffling after the vice presidential pick.

“Gov. Romney has a full schedule in Florida today and looks forward to many more days of campaigning in Orlando and the rest of the Sunshine State between now and November,” said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg.

But according to the paper, Democrats have already seized on the cancellation, with Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz implying Sunday night that Romney might have canceled the event because he’s worried about explaining Ryan’s Medicare reform plan to Floridians.

And Monday morning, the Obama campaign released a new Web video and virtual postcard slamming Ryan’s plan ahead of Romney’s visit.

“As highlighted in the video, seniors in Florida know they can’t afford the cuts to Medicare as proposed in the Romney-Ryan budget,” the statement said. “In fact, their extreme budget turns it into a voucher program that would increase seniors’ health costs by $6,350 a year. Considering these facts, it’s no wonder Ryan skipped today’s trip.”

Ryan is scheduled to campaign in Iowa on Monday.

In an interview Sunday night with CBS News, Ryan defended his Medicare plan and argued that President Obama had diverted money from Medicare to pay for his healthcare reform bill.

“My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida,” Ryan said. “Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because government made promises to them that they’ve organized their retirements around. In order to make sure we can do that, you must reform it for those of us who are younger. And we think these reforms are good reforms. That have bipartisan origins. They started from the Clinton commission in the late ’90s.”

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