Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – On Tuesday evening, Mitt Romney’s campaign reversed one scheduling decision, and switched course on another regarding the candidate’s attendance at two major conservative events. The decisions irritated organizers of one of the events.
Just hours after CNN first reported that Romney would appear at a Tea Party Express rally on Monday Sept. 5 - Labor Day – in Manchester, New Hampshire, the campaign changed that decision. Instead, the campaign said the Republican presidential candidate would attend the Express’ tea party rally Sunday evening in Concord, New Hampshire.
Once that was done, Romney’s campaign reversed its decision regarding another event. It now says the candidate will attend a conservative group’s forum hosted by tea party booster Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina on Labor Day.
Romney’s campaign initially declined the Monday invitation to the DeMint event, citing a scheduling conflict. That conflict, revealed later, was the campaign's commitment to attend the Tea Party Express rally that day.
“We were able to reschedule Gov. Romney’s calendar in order to be in South Carolina and New Hampshire on both days,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams told CNN.
Williams said the campaign only found out about the Express’ Concord stop today. “We asked the Tea Party Express if that would be an event where Gov. Romney could speak. They said yes. We actually were able to shift from Manchester to Concord,” the spokesman said.
“Gov. Romney is happy to be able to talk to voters in both New Hampshire and South Carolina about his plans to strengthen our economy and create jobs,” Williams added.
CNN pressed the spokesman about the campaign being faced with two events on Labor Day - and initially choosing the Tea Party Express event over the DeMint forum. Williams would only say that the campaign wanted to do both.
Organizers of the Tea Party Express are not happy about the schedule course changes. The group’s national spokesman, Levi Russell, spoke to CNN.
“I don’t know. They just got with us an hour or so ago and just said, ‘No.' They want to come to Concord,” Russell said. “They didn’t give us any reason, basically.”
Russell continued: “We said, ‘Yes.' But the CNN article has already gone out really wide…It’s been sent around everywhere and we’ve been getting a ton of people asking us about it. We’ve been confirming it, also.”
Russell said his group urged Romney’s campaign keep Romney's confirmed Monday appearance, “So that we can avoid people being frustrated that they got the wrong info.”
“The only preference is the fact it’s been so widely reported it would be the Monday I think no matter what, we’ll have disappointed folks there and probably disappointed people in the media too expecting to see him,” Russell said. “Just because the word has gone out pretty far and wide and it’s pretty hard to put the genie back in the bottle.”
But Russell said, if Romney insists on the scheduling change, his group would work with him.
“We know that campaigns are constantly adjusting their schedules as things come up. So we didn’t push them for an explanation,” Russell said.