Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has penciled in Davenport on a five-day bus tour during which his campaign says he will visit with families and small business owners in America’s small towns.
This will be Romney’s first stop in Davenport since before the 2012 caucuses and his third in Iowa since mid-May. He was in Des Moines last month and Council Bluffs on Friday.
The campaign has not released details of the stops. But an invitation being circulated says Romney will be at LeClaire Park at 4 p.m. Monday. The gates open at 3 p.m.
The Scott County Republican Party provided the same details.
The six-state excursion is being called the “Believe in America: Every Town Counts” tour.
“For three and a half years, President Obama has paid little attention to the everyday concerns of the American people,” Romney said in a statement announcing the tour. “President Obama has offered no hope for the future, and he has left American families to bear the burden of his failed policies. Too many American families have experienced a lost job, faced foreclosure or been forced to spend their kids’ college savings just to make ends meet. These are not statistics — these are our fellow Americans. In America’s small towns, you don’t find despair — you find boundless optimism. We know we can make America better, and that is why I am running for president.”
The announcement comes as the Romney and Obama campaigns battle over remarks the other made Friday.
Both released videos Monday criticizing the other’s comments.
In Romney’s case, the campaign seized on the president’s statement Friday that the private sector is “doing fine.” He later backtracked on the comment. A Romney video juxtaposed the comments with news accounts of the previous week’s jobs report.
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign pointed to Romney comments Friday in Council Bluffs in which he said the president wants to hire more firefighters, police officers and teachers, but that it’s time to “cut back on government.”
The Obama campaign video stepped up its criticism of Romney’s record while he was governor of Massachusetts, arguing state and local governments were hurt during his tenure.
“Mitt Romney is going to have to answer Iowa’s teachers, firefighters and policemen in Iowa next week. Why? Because he said in Iowa last week his solution to strengthen the economy is to fire more teachers, more firefighters, more policemen,” Erin Seidler, an Obama spokeswoman in Iowa, said Monday. “But none of this should be a surprise. He did this in Massachusetts. He did fire policemen, teachers and firefighters. And what happened? Massachusetts plummeted to 47th out of 50 out of job creation.”
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The bus tour, a staple of American presidential politics, kicks off Friday in New Hampshire, then goes through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Eastern Iowa is expected to be an important part of determining who wins Iowa’s six electoral votes.
Romney, who has run in the Iowa caucuses twice, has fared well in this part of the state.
With western Iowa heavily Republican, cutting into Democratic margins in the more heavily populated eastern Iowa could help Romney.
At the same time, this part of the state has been cultivated by the president.
Not only did Obama visit the Quad-Cities twice last year — once on his own bus tour through the Midwest — Vice President Joe Biden also made a campaign stop in Davenport in March.