Obama campaign: Democratic convention will stall Romney momentum
August 23rd, 2012
03:55 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign: Democratic convention will stall Romney momentum

(CNN) - Senior Obama campaign officials said Mitt Romney will likely get a boost from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida next week–but it won't last long.

With the Democratic convention following the GOP gathering one week later in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Obama campaign feels confident the attention surrounding their convention will halt any momentum Romney may gain as the new nominee.

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"Whatever there is, I think we can blunt that pretty quickly," one official said Thursday while speaking with reporters at CNN.

Former President Bill Clinton will give the nominating address to Obama on the final night of the convention, a move that had some critics questioning whether the 42nd president–who now has higher approval ratings than the current occupant of the Oval office–would overshadow Obama.

The campaign said they had no concerns of Clinton outshining the president. A top surrogate for Obama this year, Clinton starred in a new television ad released Thursday for the re-election campaign. In the spot, Clinton compares his economic policies to that of Obama, saying "We need to keep going with his plan."

Explaining their decision to highlight Clinton, a campaign official said they're not trying to use him as a reminder of "the good ol' days," but as a "validator" of their own policies.

"He's a great validator of what we want. He's viewed as an expert on how to move the economy forward and how to build it from the middle class out," one official said. "There are few people who can speak to that authoritatively, and he's one of them–because he's done it. He's sat in the chair."

First lady Michelle Obama will also have a headlining role at the convention, as she's set to speak on opening night, Sept. 4. Campaign officials said the first lady helps augment the campaign's strategy to use the convention as a way to show "what drives (the president) every day."

"What we really want to spend some time doing is talking about how he makes his decisions, how he understands the middle class, how he gets that, what drives him every day," an official said. "And we think that Mrs. Obama has a great point of view on that."

The campaign also dispelled rumors that the president's two daughters will be speaking about their father on stage, saying the girls will appear the final night but will be in school the rest of the week.

With North Carolina as a crucial battleground state this cycle –Obama narrowly won the state in 2008– the campaign said they expect the convention to make big returns for the president at the polls this November. They said the location of the site was a "statement on the fact that the president expanded the map of traditional Democratic territory in 2008."

They credited last cycle's gathering in Denver as a big factor in Obama's victory in a typically red state for presidential elections.

"The campaign really did an incredible job four years ago leveraging the convention to help win Colorado, and we're going to apply all those lessons and skills to this one," one official said.

During a briefing earlier in the day with reporters, the campaign also weighed in on some of the religious aspects of the DNC. The convention will feature an invocation and a benediction every night, with chosen speakers to represent a large portion of the Democratic base.

An official said one speaker will be a high-ranking member of the Catholic Church but did not disclose the name.

"I can't announce it because the person hasn't gotten their plane ticket but I think they're going to do it," the official said.

The campaign also took the time to contrast the two upcoming conventions. While the platform at the DNC will "look and sound like America," distractions will be on full display at the RNC, they said. One official pointed specifically to a tent featuring former Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

The best outcome for the RNC, they said, is for the party to "survive the week because of the side shows."

As for reports that the Romney campaign has called in consultants to help repackage and reintroduce their candidate to the American public at their convention, one campaign official expressed skepticism that efforts to redefine someone who's been so well-covered will be successful.

"I think it's a doubtful proposition that the new dog food will sell any better than the old dog food," the official said.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Gabriella Schwarz and Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Eddie The Barber

    The Republican Convention will be a gathering of idiots, just as their primary debates was – only much more intense – featuring half-truths, quarter-truths and no truth at all – outright liers. I can't wait to watch the fun.

    August 23, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Romney's Horse

    No. My master is doing a better job of that himself. Neeeee.

    August 23, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. GOP Supreme Leader

    Look at all you nice little GOP minions posting today! Good minions!!! Telling those evil democrats how the GOP will help the poor and middle class people. Hehehe. Now obey your supreme GOP master like good little minions and VOTE AGAINST YOUR OWN INTERESTS!!!!! Atta minions!!!! You go!!!!

    August 23, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Robert

    Keep talking, Dems! Keep feeling good about things...I mean, how could we Republicans POSSIBLY win? :)

    August 23, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    The big boost for Mitt Romney will come from 2 sources: 1. His debate with Obama and, 2. Ryan's debate with Biden.
    American voters will clearly see that substance from Romney/ Ryan is more powerful than personal political attacks and a pile of excuses from Obama/ Biden.

    August 23, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Maxx

    Does anybody actually like Romney?

    August 23, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. The Voucher Plan will include a "Legalize Euthanasia" clause and a free gun to commit suicide

    The old people will need it when their health care money runs out.

    August 23, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. A Composite

    Obama is a statist and the electorate doesn't approve of his policies. Romeny wins in a landslide in November.

    August 23, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Critical Thinking

    I think the Obama campaign will stall once his college application is presented to the news media in october...that's right boys and girls it's available and just waiting for october to arrive :)

    August 23, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. clnee55

    hope they will discuss the 3 big real issues: medicare, SS and deficit rather than kicking the can down the road and focus on the 5 little things

    August 23, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    Heard at the Repub Convention: "Two legs bad, four legs good, two legs bad, four legs good"!!

    August 23, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. DRAKE MALLARD

    "The blind trust is an age old ruse, if you will, which is to
    say, you can always tell a blind trust what it can and can not do. You
    give a blind trust rules

    Romney's campaign is based on the notion that because of what he did at Bain he understands the economy. It's perfectly reasonable to examine what his experience at Bain really taught him. After all, Bain wasn't in the business of creating jobs, it was in the business of making money

    The high unemployement is due to people like romney out sourcing that's why middle class Americans are suffering so much.

    August 23, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Regressive

    After reading some of what Chris Mooney said from his research I conclude the following from his book…….The problem with conservatives today is that they believe in more things that have been proven wrong; appear more likely than Democrats to oppose new ideas (which is why they want to go back to the Economic policies of Reagan and Bush. They just simply believe its right even though history has proven otherwise, think insanity*). And less likely to change their beliefs in the face of new facts; and sometimes respond to compelling evidence by doubling down on their current beliefs.
    *The definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. That pretty much sums up the Republican Party and their policies.
    It seems largely they are simply intellectually challenged. No thinking outside the box.

    So Romney is just a sheep dressed up in different clothing.....no different than before, and the Republican party just seems to want to take us further and further backward with their policy's. I don't want a bunch of angry white guys making policy about me and my daughter's rights.

    August 23, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Michael

    What really should stall repuglican momemtum is, how the function running the country under George Bush, like the, evaporation of 1/2 trillion surplus, -8.9 GDP, 11 trillion national debt, 1.3 trillion deficit, 2.8 trillion in tax cuts (unpaid for)2 Wars (unpaid for), Medicare prescription plan (unpaid for), 3 trillion borrowed from China, a Wall Street, Banking, Auto, Mortgage crisis’s, losing over 700,000 jobs monthly and a economy on the brink of depression when President Obama took office!

    August 23, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Maybe. I believe the Romney campaign will have launched their "decieve, deny, and lie" TV ad campaign in full force by that time. I fully expect them to try their best to inundate local news broadcasts with ads.

    August 23, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Hahahahahahaha

    How come Bush isn't nominating Romney? Hahahahahahahaha

    August 23, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Workers Unite!

    So true, the Obama media will be slobbering all over big O's shoes for two weeks after that dog and pony show. Too Bad there are only puppies and ponie there.

    August 23, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. jerrylax

    keep dreaming obama... dreams of my father...hahha We Americans have a different dream..America is great and we are going to keep it that way, we are going to sent you back to the chicagosewers were you came from!

    August 23, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Steve- Illinois

    Unless the Dem convention miraculously turns around the economy, Obama is toast!

    August 23, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Truth teller

    this year Democratic Convention is going to make a history. A Least Watched Convention of All Time. I am predicting that this is going to look like 1992 Houston RNP convention. Democratic Base is going to turn against LGBT Domination in Democratic Convention. No Convention Bounce for BO, No stalling for RR.

    August 23, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. Bootstomper

    Jerrylax go back to school and finish the 2nd grade.

    August 23, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. sally27

    I think both Conventions should show the movie 2016.

    August 23, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. sally27

    the movie. 2016
    It was packed.
    It will likely not change many votes, but it does explain, in conservative terms, who Obama is, who and what shaped him and what drives him emotionally and philosophically.
    It outlines his current and past mentors and guides, and points to a philosophy of anti colonialism and liberation theology .
    It frightens those who view the USA as exceptional because of Obama's stated desire to reduce this country to economic and social levels of the third world. His distribution of wealth according to the movie does not stop at our borders, but includes the entire world.
    Since the poor in this country are better off than 80% of the rest of the world ...
    A strange position for a president to take.
    A movie all Americans should see. Love him or hate him it describes the path he wishes to lead us on.
    The direction is pretty clear, but we should be able to decide if we agree or not with his vision.
    I do not

    August 23, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. kayla

    and we are going to send the stiff in mexico

    August 23, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Hahahahahahaha

    jerrylax thinks he's a rich republican and that republicans represent him! Hahahahahahaha

    August 23, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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