Romney and Ryan announce ‘storm relief’ efforts for Tuesday

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan scheduled “storm relief” events Tuesday after previously canceling planned campaign rallies.

Romney will attend an event in Kettering, Ohio, Tuesday morning with race car driver Richard Petty and country music artist Randy Owen. He had previously scheduled a campaign rally at the same site with Petty, Owen and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday afternoon, but later scrapped the campaign events out of deference to those in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

{mosads}The Romney campaign did not advise what the event would entail, but a Republican source indicated attendees would be asked to bring disaster relief supplies to the event, and that Romney might give brief remarks.

Ryan, who was originally scheduled to campaign Tuesday in Colorado, instead returned home to Wisconsin on Monday night. On Tuesday afternoon, Ryan will drop by a Romney campaign office in La Crosse, where he will thank volunteers gathering or donating items for storm release efforts. Later in the evening, Ryan is scheduled to stop at another campaign office in Hudson, again thanking supporters.

Romney’s wife, Ann, will also be visiting a trio of campaign offices in Iowa on Tuesday for storm relief collection efforts. The aspiring first lady will then begin campaigning again with a rally in Des Moines planned for Tuesday evening; neither her husband nor Ryan is expected back on the campaign trail until Wednesday.

President Obama and Vice President Biden have canceled their scheduled campaign appearances Tuesday, with the president scheduled to coordinate the emergency response to the storm from the White House in Washington.

But the Obama campaign will not be without some high-profile activity. Former President Clinton is scheduled to hold a grassroots rally with supporters in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota. Clinton will then host a separate rally in the early afternoon in nearby Duluth.

On Monday, both campaigns said their top priority was helping the potential victims of the storm.

“I am not worried at this point on the impact on the election. I’m worried about the impact on families and our first-responders,” the president said at a White House briefing Monday. “The election will take care of itself next week.”

Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said in a statement Monday that “Governor Romney believes this is a time for the nation and its leaders to come together to focus on those Americans who are in harms way.”

But with Election Day just one week from Tuesday, both sides are also likely eager to return to the campaign trail to make their closing arguments.

Biden is scheduled to appear at a pair of events in Florida on Wednesday, while Obama has two rallies scheduled in Ohio. The Obama campaign has not yet said whether the Democratic candidates plan to make those trips, and their schedules will likely depend on the severity of the storm. The Romney campaign has not yet advised what events they plan for Wednesday.

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