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Republicans and Democrats who track campaign spending confirmed that Romney will begin running television ads in Minnesota over the weekend.

The investment is described as a small buy that Democrats suggest is simply intended to generate media coverage and force Obama’s campaign to invest there as well. Former President Richard Nixon was the last Republican to carry the state, in 1972.

“You’re seeing a campaign which is an incredibly shrinking campaign right before your very eyes,” Romney said of Obama in Defiance. “This is a time when America faces big challenges. We have a big election, and we want a president who will actually bring big changes.”

Romney has disavowed Mourdock’s comments, but his campaign says he continues to support the Indiana Republican’s Senate candidacy.

At the same time, previously sealed testimony related to the Staples founder Stemberg’s divorce was released Thursday in which Romney says he was initially skeptical of the idea for Staples, the office supply chain he now lauds as a business success story that he helped create.

The testimony had been sealed for almost two decades after Maureen Sullivan Stemberg sought unsuccessfully to alter the divorce agreement that provided her with 500,000 shares of Staples stock. Romney acknowledged in testimony that he and other Staples directors created a special class of company stock for Stemberg’s then-wife as a favor to Stemberg, who is now a major political supporter.

At the time, Romney insisted the board’s decision was made “in the best interests of the company’s shareholders.” His campaign did not address the issue directly when asked Thursday night, instead referring questions to attorney Robert Jones.

Jones rejected the notion that Romney undervalued Staples stock to help Stemberg.