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Hurricane Sandy suspends presidential campaign? Hardly. (+video)

President Obama is in Washington handling storm response, but the Democrats have plenty of other political activity going. So does Team Romney, including travel to 'storm relief events.'

By Staff writer / October 30, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds bags of food as he participates in a campaign event collecting supplies for victims of superstorm Sandy Tuesday at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio.

Charles Dharapak/AP

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Washington

At a time of disaster, politicians put their differences aside and cease campaigning, right? Well, it depends.  

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This year's presidential campaign has been turned upside down by Superstorm Sandy. GOP nominee Mitt Romney cancelled his campaign events for Tuesday and instead held a special "disaster relief event" in Ohio.

One week before Election Day, President Obama remains in Washington, overseeing the federal response to hurricane Sandy, which has devastated coastal areas in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. He canceled his campaign events for Monday, Tuesday, and now Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama did leave the White House, dropping by Red Cross headquarters and making remarks. The White House also announced he will travel Wednesday to New Jersey to view storm damage with Gov. Chris Christie.   

Vice President Joe Biden has scrubbed part of his schedule, canceling events Tuesday in Ohio and on Thursday in his hometown of Scranton, Pa., but continuing with two rallies Wednesday in Florida. On Monday and Tuesday, he also recorded two interviews with Latino radio programs. First lady Michelle Obama has no public events on her schedule Tuesday or Wednesday.

But in addition to Mr. Biden’s activities, there’s plenty of other politicking going on – on both sides. Former President Bill Clinton, freed of governing responsibility, is on a major tour of key states this week, hitting Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. The Obama campaign put out a TV ad Monday afternoon slamming a Romney ad from the day before on the auto bailout. And on Tuesday, the “Gotta Vote” bus tour, a joint venture by the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign, is making stops in Iowa, encouraging early voting.

As the party out of power, the Republicans are less constrained, though portraying most of their campaign activities as storm-related. Mitt Romney, running mate Paul Ryan, and Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, are all making public appearances Tuesday in battleground states, mostly for “storm relief events.” Mr. Romney is in Ohio, the potential tipping-point state on Nov. 6. Ms. Romney is joining “storm relief collection efforts” at Romney offices in Wisconsin and Iowa, then appearing at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, later in the day.

Mr. Ryan is dropping by storm-relief efforts at Romney offices in Wisconsin Tuesday, and then appearing at three events in Wisconsin on Wednesday.

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