CELINA, Ohio – As Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the Eastern Seaboard, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign has decided to not only cancel all events in the storm’s path but also stop sending fundraising appeals in several states that will likely be affected.
The Romney campaign will halt fundraising efforts in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the duration of the storm, adviser Kevin Madden told reporters following a rally here.
This news comes just a day after Romney himself was forced to cancel stops in the battleground state of Virginia Sunday so that emergency personnel could focus on storm preparations. The Republican presidential nominee headed to Ohio instead, meeting up with his running mate, Paul Ryan, for the conclusion of a two-day bus tour across the Buckeye State.
"Our top concern is safety and security and making sure that people who are in the presumed track of the storm are safe and that we're not taking away from response efforts, that's why we cancelled our events there today," Madden said.
Romney spoke about Hurricane Sandy while in Findlay, Ohio Sunday evening, telling the crowd: "I know that right now some people in the country are a little nervous about a storm about to hit the coast. And our thoughts and prayers are with the people who will find themselves in harm's way."
The campaign announced that Romney's event in Milford, N.H. on Tuesday is now cancelled due to the impending weather.
Ryan also discussed the storm and those in its path at the top of his remarks today.
“Look, first let me start on a slightly different note. Let’s today when we get home put in our prayers the people who are in the east coast in the wake of this big storm that’s coming. Let’s not forget those fellow Americans of ours,” Ryan told a crowd of roughly 2,000 supporters.
Thousands of people have already been ordered to evacuate along the East Coast as Hurricane Sandy begins to make landfall. States of emergency have been declared in nine states and D.C.
Romney-Ryan and Victory offices across Virginia are collecting donations in preparation for storm relief efforts and Madden told reporters the campaign is in constant communication with their regional offices and indicated that the campaign may have to cancel more events, depending on the storm's impact.
“Our folks in headquarters are staying in contact with folks in the states to get the best assessment on the storm and how it’s impacting the states, so we're just continuing to get updated on it,” Madden said.