COLUMBUS & YOUNGTOWN, Ohio (AP) - Tuesday's presidential debate has Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's attention. He's spent nearly four hours Saturday morning preparing for his second encounter with President Barack Obama.
He and top advisers have been huddled in an Embassy Suites hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Romney's debate training partner, Republican Sen. Rob Portman, joined him, along with senior aides Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom and Peter Flaherty. Friend and former colleague Bob White and strategist Stuart Stevens are also on hand.
Romney is spending much of the rest of the day driving his bus across Ohio. He is to speak at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, and later in Lebanon, Ohio, at Portman's Golden Lamb Inn and Restaurant.
Meantime, republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is elsewhere in Ohio trying to rally blue-collar votes for the Romney ticket.
The Wisconsin congressman told a crowd of 1,400 people at Youngstown State University on Saturday that a strong manufacturing industry is key to a strong economy. And he said President Barack Obama hasn't done enough to strengthen the U.S. economy.
The Republicans also are trying to energize Ohio's young voters this weekend. Ryan is planning to attend tailgate parties at Bowling Green State University later in the day.
The Democrats counter that the GOP is pushing the same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place.
Neither President Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden have any public events planned on Saturday.