Romney to campaign in Pennsylvania Sunday
A protester shouts after Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke about Superstorm Sandy during a campaign stop at Meadow Event Park in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. / AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
DOSWELL, Virginia - In the wake of a poll showing Mitt Romney within four points of President Obama in Pennsylvania, the Romney campaign has confirmed to CBS News that Romney will campaign in the Philadelphia area on Sunday afternoon. The move to dispatch Romney to a state widely seen as likely to support Mr. Obama follows a decision by the Romney camp and the groups supporting it to spend money in an effort to expand the battleground map to include Pennsylvania as well as Michigan and Minnesota.
On the campaign trail in Virginia, meanwhile, Romney found himself being heckled over climate change in the wake of superstorm Sandy. The interruption of his rally here followed news that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had endorsed President Barack Obama in part because of Bloomberg's belief that climate change needs to be dealt with at the federal level.
Climate change protester interrupts Romney event
"What about climate? That's what caused this monster storm," a male protester yelled, interrupting the Republican nominee as he was thanking those in the audience who had donated to help victims of the hurricane.
The man held a sign that read "End Climate Silence," which was ripped from his hands by the crowd as he was escorted out of the building.
Bloomberg's endorsement of the president comes after the death toll from the storm, which is projected to have caused billions in property damage, reached 38 in New York City alone and 80 throughout the United States. While acknowledging that he has not always been pleased with Mr. Obama's leadership, New York's mayor said that it was Sandy's devastation that "brought the stakes of Tuesday's presidential election into sharp relief."
"Our climate is changing," Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed posted on Bloomberg View. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week's devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
He praised actions taken by the Obama administration to curb carbon emissions, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards and adopting tighter controls on mercury emissions at coal plants, and expressed a disappointment in Romney's shifting rhetoric on the issue.
While governor of Massachusetts, Romney helped create a regional cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions, but then refused to sign it at the last minute. He has also shifted his talking points on the topic. In June of 2011, he told a town hall audience that he believed the world was getting warmer and that humans are contributing to it. But just months later he changed his tone, telling another crowd, "my view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us."
Romney chose not to engage on the topic with the protestor at his rally today, instead continuing on to more comfortable territory - the economy.
He cited a local establishment named Bill's Barbecue that recently announced it was being forced to shut its doors after 82 years in business. Romney had stopped by the famed restaurant before his afternoon rally and met with its owner, Rhoda Elliott.
"The owner of Bill's just told me that she's going to close her doors," Romney told the 2,000 people at the rally. "Business is closing up. And I said 'Why?' And she said taxes, federal regulations and then she also said Obamacare."
To Romney, the story perfectly summed the problems with the president: "Taxes, regulations and Obamacare. Those three things are crushing small businesses across America," he said.
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