Ann Romney helps hurricane relief collection in Cedar Rapids

Both campaigns encouraged supporters to donate to the American Red Cross

CEDAR RAPIDS – With her husband off the campaign trial out of respect for victims of Hurricane Sandy, Ann Romney showed the softer side of the campaign Tuesday, helping to collect storm relief supplies.

Romney supporters showed up for an outdoor event Oct. 30 at the Cedar Rapids campaign headquarters with cleaning supplies and foodstuffs that will be distributed to hurricane victims.

“Isn't this an amazing country?” Romney asked a couple of hundred people who waited in a brisk wind to meet her. “You know when we get in trouble we make sure and help each other out.”

Like President Obama, who also suspended his campaign due to the hurricane, Romney encouraged supporters to donate to the American Red Cross.

“Soon enough we’ll need to get back to work on the most important campaign of our lifetime,” Obama’s national campaign manager Jim Messina said. In the meantime, what important is that the president’s supporters “do what we can to help speed the recovery.”

Obama supporters can make a donation at

Romney supporters can go to and click on the “Support the Sandy Relief Effort” icon.

“When America gets in trouble what do Americans do?” Romney said. “They pull forward and help each other out.”

Johnson County Republicans joined the effort, delivering supplies to Romney’s Cedar Rapids event.

In addition to bringing relief supplies, many members of the audience came to meet their choice for future first lady.

Debbie Mason of Cedar Rapids already has cast her vote, but attended “because I think it’s fun to be a part of this, to feel the energy.”

Like many in the audience, Karen Rinehart of Marion had seen Mitt Romney at an airport rally in Cedar Rapids last week.

“I felt like this was another opportunity and I like the fact they are collecting relief supplies,” she said.

Laura Jontz of Hiawatha doubted Ann Romney’s visit changed any minds simply because most people have made their choice.

“I suppose there are some” undecided,” Jontz said. “But I don’t know what their hold up is. It’s amazing they haven’t made up their minds at this point.”

Nancy Martin of Iowa City sported a pink Romney t-shirt and said she already cast her vote.

“I came because I feel so strongly Mitt Romney is the person who can get us where we need to be,” she said after shaking Ann Romney’s hand.

Joining Romney and first lady Michelle Obama, who campaigned in Iowa City Monday, will be a parade of surrogates, including former President Bill Clinton, who will be making stops in Council Bluffs, Mason City and Waterloo Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, Democratic National Committee Vice Chair and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be campaigning in Iowa. Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Muscatine and Fort Dodge Thursday.


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