LAKELAND, Fla. — Fresh off accepting the GOP presidential nod, Mitt Romney took on more of a presidential posture Friday, reworking his schedule so he could fly to Louisiana to survey the damage from Hurricane Isaac — beating President Obama to the punch.
Mr. Romney was originally scheduled to take a three-state swing through battleground states Florida, Virginia and Ohio.
Before his appearance here, the Romney campaign announced that he would instead deploy his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, to Richmond, Va., for the scheduled event. Mr. Romney plans to visit LaFitte, La., a small town outside New Orleans that experienced some of the worst flooding from the storm.
The former Massachusetts governor plans to meet with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a fellow Republican, and first responders to thank them for their hard work.
Mr. Obama, meanwhile, is scheduled to travel to El Paso, Texas, to address troops and participate in a roundtable discussion with service members and military families.
Mr. Romney hopes for a bounce in the polls following the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where he worked to demystify his faith, opened up about his family life and slammed home the message that voters cannot say they are better off today than they were when President Obama entered office in 2009.
Mr. Romney reiterated the same message at the campaign event here, arguing that Mr. Obama has failed to deliver on the laundry list of promises that he espoused as a candidate four years ago.
“He laid out what we was going to do. He was unable to do it,” Mr. Romney said. “Give someone else a chance.”
Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan also unveiled new campaign planes at the Lakeland event, which the campaign billed as the “Republican National Convention Farewell Victory Rally.” Mr. Romney’s plane is stripped across its side with his campaign slogan, “Believe in America.”