A Month Before the Caucus, Romney Opens Iowa Campaign Office

Nov 19, 2011 5:17pm
gty mitt romney jt 111119 wblog A Month Before the Caucus, Romney Opens Iowa Campaign Office

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Just over a month before the Iowa caucus, Mitt Romney has opened an Iowa campaign office.

Romney’s five paid staffers in the state — as well as volunteers — moved to the new digs after outgrowing the space they had been using in the Redwave Communications office of David Kochel, Romney’s senior advisor in the Hawkeye State.

Kochel downplayed the move in an e-mail to ABC News, saying the relocation was purely due to logistics.

Romney’s office opening comes long after many of his GOP counterparts laid groundwork in Iowa. Rep. Michele Bachmann and businessman Herman Cain both opened headquarters in the state in July. Ron Paul set up an office in May, Sen. Rick Santorum in June and Gov. Rick Perry in October.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to announce his Iowa staff and headquarters soon.

Romney has made just three trips to Iowa since announcing his candidacy in June, and is scheduled to make another one this week. His effort in the state has been vastly reduced compared to that in 2008, when the candidate spilled millions into his campaign effort to come in second to Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Asked about Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s criticism of his infrequent campaigning in the state, Romney told Fox News that he plans to campaign in “all the early states.”

“You know, I can’t tell you where I’ll finish in Iowa,” Romney said. “I think I’m into Iowa four times this year. We’re going to be — I’ll be there next week. I think my wife was there two weeks ago. I was just there two weeks ago.”

“So we make events in Iowa, do our best, and we’ll keep that up and hopefully get a lot of support from the people of Iowa,” he said. “But I haven’t got a prediction for where I’ll end up. But I can tell you we’re going to work to get the support of people in Iowa.”

At private fundraisers earlier this week, Romney also reportedly offered up a prediction that a Tea Party favorite would win Iowa.

ABC News’ Michael Falcone contributed to this report.

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