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Romney bus tour: What's he hope to accomplish?

Mitt Romney embarked on a bus tour Friday that is taking him to small towns in six of the nation's most important swing states from New Hampshire to Wisconsin. 

By / June 15, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, waves as he gets on his bus after a campaign stop at the Scamman Farm in Stratham, N.H., Friday.

Evan Vucci/AP

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Mitt Romney’s hitting the road for a six-state bus tour. He launched it today in bright sunlight in New Hampshire, standing next to a bus plastered with the slogan “Every Town Counts.”

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The US middle class has not received a “fair shot” from President Obama, said the presumptive Republican nominee. 

 The giant Mitt Mobile will swing through small towns from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. If you look on a map, you’ll see those states don’t fit together in a continuous swath. That means each likely has been chosen for particular reasons. What are they? What’s Mr. Romney hope to accomplish with this trip?

We’ll wrestle with that second question first by way of setting the background for further discussion. It’s our belief that overall the point of the venture is simply to stay up in the Obama team’s face.

Since attaining presumptive nominee status Romney has conducted an aggressive general election campaign. He declined to rebuke supporter Donald Trump after The Donald kept raising the discredited Obama-wasn’t-born-in-the-US issue. He pounced on Mr. Obama’s remark that the private sector is “fine” to the point where he raises it at every stop. When Obama scheduled a major speech on the economy, Romney scheduled his own, at the same time.

“The discipline that the Romney campaign has displayed so far is quite impressive. And it’s something that is just frustrating the daylights out of the White House,” wrote NBC’s First Read political column Friday.

The bus tour should be seen in this light. It’s hitting some of the nation’s most important swing states at the very beginning of the general election campaign season.

Take New Hampshire. President Obama has a slim lead there, according to polls, and he won the Granite State in 2008. But Romney has a summer home there and remains relatively popular. New Hampshire is one of the most elastic of swing states, according to New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver. That means a high percentage of its independents are in fact independent, and could be persuaded to vote for either side.

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