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Romney to pick up the pace

Hours after Politico wrote about the "Mittness Protection Program" -- Mitt Romney's relative silence and disappearance from the trail -- the campaign has announced it's picking up the pace.

The Washington Post:

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.

The campaign stresses to NBC News that the "Mittness Protection Program" critique didn't spur this busier schedule. Indeed, the Washington Post has this quote from Romney chief strategist Stuart Stevens:

“There’s a reason the success of Christmas sales in July is not tremendous,” said Stuart Stevens... “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.”