DENVER — Former President Bill Clinton will rally supporters Tuesday night on behalf of President Barack Obama, who cancelled a scheduled rally in Colorado Springs Tuesday in order to remain at the White House to monitor the federal response to Hurricane Sandy.
The storm, which has now passed over much of the northeast, both campaigns are reshuffling their schedules for the final eight days of the campaign — and both are planning several appearances in Colorado, a state that could determine who wins the White House.
Clinton is set to speak at Adams County High School in Commerce City around 5:30 p.m. and at a second rally at Denver’s Manual High School around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
Clinton’s rallies are aimed at turning out the Democratic base and allowing the campaign to dominate the news cycle in a critical swing state without pulling the president away from his duties in the midst of a national disaster affecting millions.
“I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election. I’m worried about the impact on families, and I’m worried about the impact on our first-responders; I’m worried about the impact on our economy and transportation,” Obama said after speaking about hurricane preps at the White House Monday. “The election will take care of itself next week.”
While the impending storm offered Obama a “Commander in Chief moment”, it’s temporarily marginalizing his Republican rival.
Romney hold non-campaign campaign rally in Ohio
Romney, who took a less strident tone during a Monday morning campaign rally in Ohio, cancelled his other events through Tuesday, along with those of running mate Paul Ryan.
On Tuesday, Romney held one event in Ohio, re-packaging what was scheduled to be a campaign rally as an event focused on disaster relief.
In Dayton, Romney avoided political rhetoric — although his campaign’s signs still hung at the rally site — while thanking supporters for donating canned goods and other emergency supplies.
“I have to tell you, I’m proud of you in Dayton to show up in such large numbers,” Romney said. “It’s part of the American Spirit, the American way to give to those in need.”
Following the rally, Romney helped volunteers load boxes of donated goods onto trucks to be delivered to New Jersey, the state where Sandy made landfall.
Gov. Chris Christie praises the president
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Romney supporter, was effusive Tuesday morning in his praise of President Obama and his handling of the emergency so far.
“It’s been very good working with the president,” Christie said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “He and his administration have been coordinating with us. It’s been wonderful.”
Paul Ryan is going to be in Colorado this week after all.
The Romney campaign announced Tuesday that the GOP vice presidential nominee will rally supporters Thursday around noon in Greeley.
Ryan, was set to hold three rallies Tuesday along the Front Range in Greeley, Castle Rock and Canon City; but the campaign Monday decided to cancel all campaign events through Tuesday out of sensitivity for the millions impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
“Governor Romney believes this is a time for the nation and its leaders to come together to focus on those Americans who are in harms way,” said Romney communications director Gail Gitchko in a statement released Monday. “We will provide additional details regarding Governor Romney’s and Congressman Ryan’s schedule when they are available.”
Romney is set to get back on the campaign trail on Wednesday with an event in Florida.
Romney in Arapahoe County Saturday night
Romney announced Sunday that he’ll hold a campaign rally, likely his last in Colorado, at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater in Arapahoe County Saturday night.
President Obama cancelled Wednesday’s scheduled campaign events but is still scheduled to campaign in Colorado Thursday afternoon with an appearance at the Coors Events Center on the University of Colorado campus.
Clinton’s Colorado visit is part of a busy week that will take him to Minnesota — a state thought to be a slam dunk for Obama that is now, according to one poll, an opportunity for Romney — along with Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.
Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, spoke at two campaign events Monday in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.