A $5,000 Shopping Run to Walmart Turned Romney's Campaign Stop into a 'Relief Event'

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Mitt Romney was really concerned that his "Storm Relief Event" in Kettering, Ohio yesterday would look like a dud, so he and his team stocked their donation tables with $5,000 worth of supplies at Walmart. The props, according to Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins, were things like granola bars, canned food, and diapers which were strategically placed to make sure that the photographs taken at Romney's "Storm Relief" campaign didn't a show very un-busy, un-stocked relief table (what else do you expect when you give people short notice to donate their canned goods?). But ... but ... look at how pretty all those fake donations look: 

And apparently, the event was so manufactured that they allowed supporters to use the donations which were bought by the campaign, to donate back to the campaign.  According to Coppins: 

Empty-handed supporters pled for entrance, with one woman asking, "What if we dropped off our donations up front?"

The volunteer gestured toward a pile of groceries conveniently stacked near the candidate. "Just grab something," he said.

Two teenage boys retrieved a jar of peanut butter each, and got in line. When it was their turn, they handed their "donations" to Romney. He took them, smiled, and offered an earnest "Thank you."

Fine. Maybe it doesn't matter who bought the goods as long as they all went to people in need. "The campaign confirmed that it 'did donate supplies to the relief effort,' but would not specify how much it spent," reported Coppins. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.