CORNWALL, Pa. – The second day of Mitt Romney’s swing-state bus tour Saturday included a meatball hoagie from a locally loved convenience store, a detour through Quakertown to evade protesters, and the naming of an unlikely campaign “surrogate.”
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee had planned a stop at a Quakerstown Wawa – an East coast convenience store chain with a fanatical following – but Democrats had scheduled their own event outside with an appearance by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a booster of President Barack Obama.
Romney changed course and appeared at a different Wawa location in Quakerstown with Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, ordered a meatball sub and gave a warm – if tongue in cheek — nod to Rendell.
“I think you asked me why we’re at this Wawa instead of the other Wawa,” Romney told a supporter. “I understand I had a surrogate over there already, so we decided to pick a different place. My surrogate is former Gov. Rendell who said we could win Pennsylvania. I’m happy to hear that, so we’re happy to be here and see some folks here.”
Romney later declared in a speech in Cornwall that he’d win the state in November, despite Obama winning Pennsylvania by 10 points in 2008. The latest survey of the state’s voters, a Quinnipiac poll, showed the Democratic presidential incumbent with a six-point lead.
Later, Romney told hundreds of supporters gathered at a Cornwall campaign stop that the store was a model of innovation in the private sector.
“Where do you get your hoagies here? Do you get them at Wawas? Is that where you get them,” Romney asked at the start his speech. “No, do you get them at Sheetz? Where do you get them?”
Romney called his visit to the convenience store “instructive” because he saw “the difference between the private sector and the governmental sector.”