the Romney campaign is shifting into higher gear.
[...] Republican front-runner Mitt Romney plans to pick up his pace this month as the 2012 sweepstakes intensifies, with a blitz of appearances in early voting states and a list of policy proposals.
In what his top advisers described as a new phase of his campaign, Romney will focus almost exclusively on what he considers President Obama’s greatest vulnerability: the economy and job creation. Romney plans to continue his relentless assault on Obama[...]
In August, Romney plans to hold seven town hall events in New Hampshire, where he owns a vacation home and which he views as a must-win primary. He is scheduled to spend two days campaigning in Iowa, home to the nation’s first caucuses, and will hold fundraisers and possibly public events elsewhere across the country, including California, New York, Utah and Texas.
Romney’s campaign will intensify further in September, when he has committed to take the stage at three debates and plans to begin rolling out a detailed policy agenda with a series of major speeches.
Romney has kept a deliberately quiet profile in the early months of the campaign, even as he has faced pressure from some supporters to escalate his public activity. It’s a strategy that seems to have served him well, as he amassed a money advantage and kept his lead in early polls.
Given that Obama raised $47 million for his reelection and $38 million for the DNC in the second quarter, Romney’s schedule has been wisely balanced with plenty of fundraising events and public events. This week, just as wisely, he’s taking some well-deserved time off to enjoy his large family at Lake Winnipesaukee:
“There’s a reason the success of Christmas sales in July is not tremendous,” said Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist. “There’s a rhythm to these things, and you want to talk about stuff when people are paying attention. I just think a whole level of people are going to begin to start to focus more in the fall.”
Stevens said that Romney is “working like a dog.” Indeed, his travel itinerary over the past few months has been intense. But the majority of his visits have been fundraising events closed to the press. Last week, he held just one public event, a factory tour and speech in Pataskala, Ohio. This week he has no events planned; aides said he is resting with his family in New Hampshire at their home on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Romney will begin his new push on Monday with a town hall in Nashua, N.H. From there, he heads to Iowa, where he will campaign Aug. 10 and visit the State Fair on Aug. 11 before that evening’s debate in Des Moines. Romney, who is skipping the straw poll, returns to New Hampshire Aug. 12 for a forum at Republican activist Ovide Lamontagne’s Manchester home. Romney plans more New Hampshire town halls on Aug. 15 in Plymouth, Aug. 16 in Berlin, Aug. 24 in Lebanon and Aug. 25 in Kingston and Dover.
► Jayde Wyatt