By CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby
Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's
presidential campaign is quietly laying the groundwork for a
high-profile blitz of several key battleground states in the run-up to
the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and Republicans briefed on
the plans say it has all the trappings of a vice presidential rollout
On the heels of his rocky trip overseas, Romney will spend the coming
days maintaining the kind of schedule he has kept for much of the
summer, with appearances and fundraisers in medium-sized cities in
various swing states. Romney will visit Colorado, Nevada and Indiana
this week, and make stops in Ohio next week.
But beginning August 10, Romney will ramp up his campaign operation
with a splashy four-day bus tour targeting the largest media markets in
several of the states that will decide the November election, CNN has
And in a show of force and party unity, Romney will be joined at each
stop by prominent Republican officials and campaign surrogates.
Some details are still murky, and Republicans cautioned that they are
subject to change, but on August 11, Romney will hit three of
Virginia's biggest population hubs -- the Washington, D.C. metro area,
Richmond and Norfolk -- before heading down to North Carolina the
On Aug. 13, the Monday after the Olympic Summer Games finish in
London, Romney will arrive in Florida for campaign stops in
Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami.
First Coast News spoke to Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and he has confirmed that GOP candidate Mitt Romney will be passing through Northeast Florida on a bus tour on Aug. 13.
Romney aides are also scouting multiple campaign venues in Ohio for
later that week, knowledgeable Republican sources told CNN. Other states
may also be added to the itinerary that week.
"Sounds like V.P. week," said one Republican familiar with the
schedule, who did not want to be identified revealing the campaign's
plans. "Hitting the big markets in the big states. It just makes sense."
A Romney campaign official confirmed that a bus tour is being
organized before convention week, but said the theme of the tour would
be Romney's vision for the economy.
Revealing the vice presidential pick in the week prior to the
convention would be a logical choice for the Romney campaign, which
would be able to generate maximum media attention in the late summer
lull between the conclusion of the Olympics and the convention.