Romney to Begin Debate Preparation During Democratic Convention

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will begin preparing for the October presidential debates next week as Democrats hold their national convention, a senior adviser said.

The campaign hasn’t yet scheduled any public events for the week, strategist Kevin Madden told reporters on Romney’s campaign plane en route to a stop in Jacksonville. The former Massachusetts governor plans to huddle in Vermont with advisers including U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio -- a veteran of debate preparation for Republican presidential nominees -- to get ready for his one-on-one sessions with President Barack Obama, Madden said.

“We don’t have anything scheduled that’s public beyond that,” he added, saying that is subject to change. The debate preparations will be in Vermont, near Reading, at the home of former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey.

Asked whether the campaign was concerned about the prospect that Romney would surrender the media spotlight to Obama during the Democratic convention if he took a break from campaigning, Madden said: “We’ve spent a good deal of time on the campaign trail. We’ll still have surrogates out.”

“I don’t think it’s going to be like a news blackout,” he added.

Madden noted that Romney’s vice presidential running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, is planning to stump in North Carolina while Democrats meet in Charlotte to formally nominate Obama for a second term.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Hirschfeld Davis in Jacksonville, Florida at  1890 or Jdavis159@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.

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