Romney’s Road Day Not All Lost: Debate Prep — And Where’s Obama?

Photograph by Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

Mitt Romney boards his campaign charter plane in Kansas City, Mo., after a refueling as he travels to Los Angeles on Sept. 16, 2012.

Mitt Romney lost a day of campaigning in Colorado today, but he got some practice in for the Colorado appearance that will count even more in the presidential contest, the first of three nationally televised debates with President Barack Obama on Oct. 3 in Denver.

Romney’s intended campaign stop in Pueblo, Colorado, today was cancelled because of a small-plane crash at the airport where the event was planned. “Due to a plane crash involving a small aircraft at the Pueblo airport that is under investigation we are no longer going to Pueblo,” Romney’s traveling press secretary Rick Gorka said in a statement. “We do not want to interfere with the investigation or any emergency response efforts.”

KRDO-TV, the ABC News affiliate in Colorado Springs, reported that one person was killed in the crash of an experimental aircraft at the airport, citing the Pueblo Police Department.

Romney spent the morning at a Boston-area hotel in private meetings with Republican Sen. Rob Portman, of Ohio, his debate-practice sparring partner, Kevin Madden, a senior adviser, and chief strategist Stuart Stevens. In addition to debate prep, Romney taped an interview with CBS News for a pre-election profile that will air on “60 Minutes” expected to air a week from today.

There was no campaign time lost to the president today. Obama spent both Saturday and Sunday at the White House, with the reporting pools told to stand down about mid-day both days — suggesting that there could be some Denver-styled practicing going on there as well.

The Republican nominee re-routed his planned trip to California today — for an appearance Monday before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles — with a refueling stop in Kansas City. He left Bedford, Massachusetts after 2 pm EDT.

He was joined by Madden and Lanhee Chen, the campaign’s policy director.

Romney may be worth a quarter of a billion dollars, but he carries his own bags. Whether climbing aboard his campaign plane or darting into his campaign headquarters, the presidential nominee often has a bag or two in his hands.

As he boarded his plane this afternoon for the cross-country flight to California, Romney was carrying two bags, a blue gym bag and a flannel patterned garment bag.

 Mark Silva contributed to this report.

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