PENSACOLA, Fla. — Mitt Romney’s planned three-stop tour of the swing state of Virginia Sunday was completely scrapped after predictions for Hurricane Sandy’s path continued to indicate that it would wreak havoc on the state.
Traveling press secretary Rick Gorka said the decision to reschedule the events was a “cautionary move to make sure emergency resources wouldn’t be diverted” during the storm.
He added that the campaign has been in contact with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his staff regarding the storm’s path. McDonnell has been a long-time supporter of Romney and has joined the former Massachusetts governor on the stump frequently.
While the two earlier events there Sunday were officially rescheduled today, the campaign had already called off plans for an evening rally in the state Friday due to the impending storm.
The tweak in the schedule means that Romney will join his running mate Paul Ryan for a full day of campaigning in another crucial battleground state: Ohio.
Romney for the first time addressed the incoming storm during an afternoon rally in Florida this afternoon.
“I was looking forward to being in Virginia tomorrow but you know the hurricane is headed up there,” said Romney, who added that he had just hung up the phone with Gov. McDonnell. “He said, you know, the first responders really need to focus on preparation for the storm, so we’re not going to be able to be in Virginia tomorrow, we’re going to Ohio instead.”
“But I hope you’ll keep the folks in Virginia and New Jersey and New York and all along the coast in your minds and in your hearts,” said Romney. “You know how tough these hurricanes can be and our hearts goes out to them.”