Romney to kick off battleground state bus tour

Holly Bailey

Mitt Romney will head out on a five-day bus tour of six key battleground states on Friday, his first major campaign swing of the general election.

Called the "Believe in America: Every Town Counts" tour, Romney's trip will kick off at the Scamman Farm in Stratham, N.H., where he officially launched his 2012 bid one year ago.

From there, the bus tour will travel through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa, making multiple stops in small towns along the way. The tour is set to conclude in Romney's home state of Michigan on June 19.

"For three and a half years, President Obama has paid little attention to the everyday concerns of the American people," Romney said. "President Obama has offered no hope for the future, and he has left American families to bear the burden of his failed policies. Too many American families have experienced a lost job, faced foreclosure, or been forced to spend their kids' college savings just to make ends meet."

Romney said his campaign would highlight small towns, where "you don't find despair—you find boundless optimism."

The trip will mark Romney's return to significant campaigning. Since unofficially claiming the GOP nomination in April, Romney has held rallies and given speeches in several key battleground states, including Colorado and Nevada. But his schedule has largely been driven by fundraising events, as he sought to erase President Barack Obama's financial advantage in the race.