MIAMI—Amid slipping poll numbers and complaints from Republicans that he's not fighting hard enough for the presidency, Mitt Romney will step up the pace of his campaigning in key battleground states in coming days.
Romney has spent much of the past two weeks behind closed doors raising cash for his campaign and prepping for the upcoming presidential debates. On Wednesday, the Republican presidential contender held his first public campaign event in five days—headlining a rally aimed at Latino voters in Miami.
On Thursday, Romney will hold a rally in Sarasota, Fla., where he's expected to talk about Medicare. While nothing has been formally announced, aides confirmed Romney will travel to swing states, including Nevada and Colorado, in coming days.
On Monday, the campaign will kick off a three-day bus tour of Ohio, with Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan spending Monday and Tuesday in the state. Romney, arriving Tuesday, will meet up with Ryan in Cincinnati. On Wednesday he'll travel onto Dayton and then Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo.
But it's unclear how intense Romney's campaigning will be. The GOP contender's schedule is still packed with several fundraisers in coming days, including a finance swing through California this weekend.
The announcement that he's stepping up the pace of campaigning comes amid complaints from Republicans that Romney should have scrapped his finance schedule this week—which took him through Orange County, Calif., Salt Lake City and Dallas—after the release of a video surreptitiously recorded at a May fundraiser. That video captured him suggesting President Barack Obama's supporters have a "victim" mentality. Many argued he should have used that time campaigning in battleground states, where several polls in recent days have found him losing ground to Obama.
A senior Romney aide defended the candidate's schedule to Yahoo News, insisting Romney has to keep up with Obama's fundraising now that both candidates have opted out of federal funding for the general election.
"There are better ways we'd like to be spending our time," said the aide, who declined to be named. "But we have to pay for things somehow."