MINNEAPOLIS - Fresh after a rout of rival Newt Gingrich, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney will touch down in Minnesota
Wednesday, less than a week before the state's caucuses.
Preparations are underway at Freightmasters, a trucking company in Eagan, to host the former Massachusetts Governor. Romney will appear at the rally with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has been heavily involved in the Romney campaign.
The rally is set to begin at 1 p.m., with doors opening to the public between 11:45 a.m. and noon.
Minnesota has 40 delegates up for grabs, but its caucuses are non-binding.
Demonstrations are planned for outside the event by those who oppose Romney and his views. Eagan Mayor Mike Macguire and Minneapolis Mayor and DNC Vice Chair RT Rybak will stage their own rally at noon outside Freightmasters, and a group of seniors from AmericansUnited will protest with signs that read "Keep your Mitt(s) Off My Medicare."
Romney has spoken of privatizing social security and replacing medicare.
Following his appearance here Romney will depart to campaign in Las Vegas.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaigned Monday night in Luverne, Minn. Texas congressman Ron Paul rallied last November in St. Cloud.
In the wake of Tuesday's big primary win in Florida, and a bruising week leading up to the balloting, Romney says trading attacks with rival Newt Gingrich actually helps his campaign.
The rough-and-tumble exchanges help voters learn the truth, Romney says, and will prepare the party's nominee for tougher attacks from President Barack Obama in the fall.
Romney is sounding confident about winning the nomination after the decisive Florida win,. He told NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday that "the path ahead is looking very good."
Romney said Gingrich was the only candidate who didn't call him to offer congratulations on his victory Tuesday night, even though he reached out to Gingrich after the former House speaker got a big win in South Carolina's primary. Gingrich didn't call after earlier races, either. Romney says, "I guess Speaker Gingrich doesn't have our number."
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