Romney Heads to Vermont for Debate Prep | Off Message

Romney Heads to Vermont for Debate Prep

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When President Obama heads to Charlotte, N.C., next week for the Democratic National Convention, former governor Mitt Romney will journey north to the one place the national press won't find him.

Reading, Vt.

With the nation's attention turning to the Democratic confab, Romney plans to hunker down at the Reading home of his former lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, to prepare for this fall's three presidential debates.

Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden confirmed to CNN, the Washington Post and others Saturday that the Republican nominee will be in Vermont Tuesday through Thursday. But Madden did not rule out the possibility that Romney would leave the Green Mountains occasionally to campaign in more battleground-y states, according to Reuters:

Madden could not confirm whether Romney would campaign at all during the week of the Democratic National Convention, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday in Charlotte, but he downplayed the move and insisted it was not a reversal of previous plans.

Senior Republican strategists, including Madden, said last month that Romney would have a full campaign schedule, including in battleground states, during the week of the Democratic convention.

"I expect we will have public events, I just don't have them confirmed yet," Madden said.

The Romney campaign had previously announced that Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget in Geroge W. Bush's administration, will stand in for Obama during Romney's debate rehearsals. Portman played the same role in 2008 for John McCain's presidential campaign.

If Romney gets bored during debate prep and needs a little inspiration, we suggest he zip on over to the Calvin Coolidge Homestead in nearby Plymouth Notch. Like Romney, Silent Cal served as governor of Massachusetts before seeking the Republican nomination for president.

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