Gov. Romney forced to tread lightly on campaign trail in wake of deadly storm

Romney to hold rally in Tampa Wednesday morning

TAMPA - Governor Mitt Romney arrived in Tampa on Tuesday evening ahead of a day filled with rallies around Florida. The first event is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Tampa.

While the stakes are higher than ever, so is the pressure of campaigning so soon after a major natural disaster.

"Perception is reality," said Diane Jones, President of DJ Public Relations out of Land 'O Lakes. "The Romney camp needs to be very careful on what they do.  If they want to get out there that's good, if they want to get out and help that's even better."

With the northeast still reeling from Hurricane Sandy, Jones believes Romney needs to skirt around the issues and lay off the typical attacks.

"Romney is in a position, now saying, 'what is the best thing for me to do?' and there's arguments on both sides," she said.

In the wake of the storm, Governor Romney canceled most of his campaign events.

The one that wasn't scratched on Tuesday in Ohio was transformed into a relief event, where the presidential candidate held a much different tone while collecting canned goods for victims.

"One of the things I've learned in life is you make the difference you can," he said to a crowd of supporters.

While President Obama also canceled his campaign events, many PR pros believe he has the advantage.

In the last two days, the nation has seen him act presidential -- from the situation room to meeting with Red Cross volunteers.

"During the darkness of the storm, I think we also saw what's brightest in America," President Obama said today behind a podium with the official presidential seal.

It's a luxury the Romney camp does not have, and it's why his team is scrambling to strike a delicate balance one week before the election.

"What's very important in the Romney camp is that they don't look like they are taking advantage of this extra time to campaign on their own because it will just backfire," Jones said.

Wednesday's rally in Tampa will be held at Landmark Aviation.  Doors open at 8:45. Tickets for the event can be obtained through the candidate's web site at http://tamparally.eventbrite.com/ .

Joining Governor Romney will be Senator Marco Rubio, and former Governor Jeb Bush, among others.

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