Yesterday, the Romney campaign quickly transformed its Dayton, Ohio political rally into a "storm relief event," which appeared to be a political rally with a change in name only.
The Romney campaign reportedly encouraged people to “deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table along with a slew of volunteers and his Ohio right-hand man, Senator Rob Portman,” reports Buzzfeed.com. The Romney campaign also spent $5,000 at a local Wal-Mart on food supplies that could be put on display. When Romney supporters arrived at the event, they watched a 10-minute video about Romney’s life and heard the GOP nominee speak. The event ended with supporters picking up the food supplies bought at Wal-Mart, by the Romney campaign, and then "donating" the same goods to Romney. When people gave Romney the donations that his campaign bought, he took them, smiled, and said “thank you.” The Red Cross said they were grateful for the supplies, but encouraged people to donate blood and/or money to help the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. NPR White House reporter Air Shapiro tweeted on Twitter.com that the goods would not be going to go the Red Cross, but rather on a campaign bus headed for New Jersey: "Ppl pointing out that Red Cross wants $ not food. But food donations via Romney aren't going to RC. He's encouraging ppl to give $ to RC." "Instead, he's putting it on his campaign bus and handing it out: Folks asking where the food is going- days ago the campaign said VA but today Romney said NJ. Campaign bus to hand it out."