Norfolk, Virginia (CNN) –In a late campaign push to change the battleground map, Mitt Romney will travel to Pennsylvania on Sunday in the hopes of capturing the traditionally Democratic-leaning state. A Romney campaign official confirmed to CNN the GOP nominee will stop in the Philadelphia area Sunday afternoon.
The Pennsylvania event falls into the Romney campaign's newly adopted strategy of expanding the battleground map in the final week of the race. Top strategists to the GOP nominee targeted Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota this week for potential gains, pointing to polls in the states that show Romney gaining on the President.
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A Franklin and Marshall College poll released Wednesday, for example, indicated President Obama Obama had a 49%-45% edge over his Republican opponent.
Romney's campaign began purchasing air time in the state this week–a move that was countered by Obama's team. The campaign also announced Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, will be traveling to Middletown, Pennsylvania on Saturday.
The Obama campaign immediately scoffed at Romney's Pennsylvania trip as an "act of desperation."
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are going all in Pennsylvania, following the lead of every Republican presidential candidate since 1992 who have made last ditch investments in the Keystone State. Not one of them carried the state," Obama campaign northeast regional press secretary Michael Czin said in a statement.
The Romney campaign instantly fired back, accusing the president's re-election advisers of reacting from a "defensive crouch."
"We are looking at an expanded map, while the Obama campaign is pouring resources into states that were supposed to be safe for them," a Romney campaign official said.
"I totally understand why Chicago is freaking out, but I just thought they'd be better at hiding it," the official added.
In the final days before the 2008 election, then GOP nominee John McCain and his running mate, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin made campaign stops in Pennsylvania with similar hopes but to no avail.
In a strategy memo, Romney campaign officials referred to recent comments made by former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell who said Democrats could let down their guards in the state, opening up the possibility of a "startling upset."
Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, a Romney surrogate, predicted the GOP nominee would win the state in an interview on Fox News Thursday.
Romney's upcoming visit to Pennsylvania was first reported by The Daily.
REALLY??? Romney TRIES to put PA in play? Real journalists must be spinning in their graves. PA IS in play. There's no "trying" about it, thanks for the dizzying spin.
Maybe the GOP's voter suppression efforts in the state of Pennsylvania are going better than expected and that's why Mitt's making a stop there. You know, to make it seem legit, like the people of PA actually want Mitt.
Seriously? Obama's campaign is calling ROMNEY'S campaign desperate? If ANYONE is desperate, it's Obama and his Chicago political machine. Their personal attacks on Romney are becoming more pathetic each day as they watch the Presidency slip away from them.
America has woken up, and come Tuesday night the majority of voters will have made known that they really don't want Obama as the President any more, thank you very much. Of course, there will be riots from Obama supporters...bank on it.
Trust your gut, people. His lies and deceit are not just because of his poor communication skills. This dude is hiding something.
Yes!! Go Mitt Romney!! Love Pennsylvania and I know they'll vote for Romney!!
Romney is going to Pennsylvania to waist money and time. He is better shut up
This could also be a sign that Romney doesn't feel he can win in Ohio, particularly after his repeated and consistently debunked Jeep claims. Romney needs to win FL, NC, VA, and OH, plus carry one other state to get to the White House. If he sees he can't win in OH, then he desperately needs to swing PA. It's a smart move, but one that should have been done two to three weeks ago. However, with some damage from Sandy in the urban and suburban areas of Philly, turning out the rural vote in disproportionate numbers may swing the state.
Make it stop. Please
Sandy is Obama's Katrina. Have you seen the people crying for help in Staten Island, NY, The Rockaways, Downtown Manhattan? Obama took a nice helicopter tour with Christie for a photo op but where is FEMA, where is the help for all the people?
Too late Willard.
Tries? Obama isn't TRYING to put PA in play. PA IS in play.
we're all scr$w$d either way
mitt go back we u came from. This obamas world. i love you OB
Good luck with that Mr. Etch-a-sketch!
Such a hilariously desperate head fake from this joke of a politician. He has NO chance of winning Pennsylvania, but he thinks he's so clever trying to give the appearance that he does.
Independents are breaking Romney's way, and they should given the miserable job Obama has done with the economy. It's issue #1 with voters. I don't think Romney would go there at this point if he didn't feel he has a real chance there. With Ohio and Wisconsin (the Marquette poll is seriosly flawed) starting to lean Romney maybe this is a good move for him. The only desperation I sense is from Obama. I mean, the guy is unhinged, all he does is attack Romney. That's not the behavior of a leading candidate. And the Libya scandal is growing worse by the day. I think people are comfortable with Romney, and comfortable enough to admit Obama has been a disappointment. It's time for the country to move on.
Woah, landslide for Romney in the making!
Get out the vote! President Obama – 2012. Let's blast that big oaf Rush Limbaugh off the air.
We don't want to see Romney's face in PA. If he visits Central PA, he'll be preaching to the choir..all voting for him anyway. Philly and Pittsburgh see straight through him. If Ridge said he'll win PA, then it's because he and Corbitt have come up with a plan for stealing votes..since Corbett's original one fell through. Keep PA respectable, keep the liar out.
Go away. It was a whole lot nicer without all the ^** political ads.
He is wasting his time. People already have their minds made up who they are voting for and are tired of the sales pitches. Philadelphian's are pro Obama.
Mitt is everywhere. Mitt is 10 feet tall. Mitt is always the pigeon, never the statue.
How much salesmanship tactics of selfish motives and utter lack of commitment will you display. We are still waiting for the real Romney to stand up even this late in the game. God bless America.
Don't bother coming to PA..........we don't want you here!!