Obama campaign: Democratic convention will stall Romney momentum
August 23rd, 2012
03:55 PM ET
8 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. Irony

    So a global warming induced mega-hurricane produces a day-after-tomorrow scenario in Tampa....the extreme irony would be poetic.

    August 23, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    You mean the convention that no elected Democrats are going to out of fear of being seen with Obama??? BWAHAHAHA!!!!

    August 23, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. myviewis

    I think the Democratic convention will stall Romney momentum when Obama begins to promise to finally introduce socialized medicine, more government controlling our lives so we don't have to think for ourselves, more Federal handouts, higher taxes on the rich people (of course most Democrats don't think this includes small businesses), more bailouts, more government jobs, more spending even if it puts us in bankruptcy. Oh yeah, Democrats will overpower Republicans. Just promise the moon to Democrats and you've got them in the pocket. And in 4 years those Democrats are still waiting for the promises to be fulfilled by Obama and they'll still be blaming Bush and Republicans.

    August 23, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Valentina

    Or, truth be told, crush Obama's any chance he may have had at being re-elected, considering the many controversies surrounding their convention.

    August 23, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Funny, no Dubya at the RNC conference

    If the promise is 'more of the same', then it would seem logical to bring out the person who invented the policies. Romney's policy advisors are all the neocons from the Bush administration. Sadly Darth won't be there either....he was somebody who you really had to respect, even when he was not peppering people with birdshot.

    August 23, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Solus%

    I wonder if he will have the Greek columns on the stage and make his entrance with a bright light shining behind him with harps and angelic singing? .... Maybe all the news anchors for CNN with get a "tingle" up their leg and their voice will start to quiver when the annointed one speaks and tells us that small business is doing fine and that the recession is over, and about how HIS PLAN WORKED... (past tense)

    I wonder if they will deficit spend for the convention like Obama has done several months of his campaign? What can you expect from a guy who has NEVER had to create a working budget.. What is it now? over 1000 days without a budget and we have GAF machine Biden out there telling his listeners to look at Romneys? yeah, please do.. At least Romney has one that his OWN party will endorse.. Poor BO's budget was even slammed by all the members of his OWN PARTY!! What a Joke?

    August 23, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. cali girl

    Robmey is stalled already. Let's review. the all out War on Women thanks to Akin, has revealed a whole new ballgame on personhood amendments. No tax returns. No plan for the economy. No plan on healthcare(he will repeal ACA but has no replace plan), immigration nothing. Veterans will see benefits cut. Poor will be poorer after cuts to education, head start, free lunch programs. Women can forget about their bodies, we are to just lie back and enjoy it.
    No Plans on ANYTHING. Except what we already know. Robmey is the Sheriff of Nothingham, here to tax the poor to give it to his fat cat friends and himself.

    August 23, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. insight iowa

    I personally can't wait for the debts to start. If you think Mitt /Ryan look stupid now... just wait. They will need to actually say something other then "Obama destroyed the World".

    August 23, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. rrd


    Does anybody actually like Romney?
    August 23, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |

    Check the polls.

    August 23, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. rrd

    So why is Obama still campaigning and having fund raisers? Why doesn't he just stay in Washington a be a President?

    August 23, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Bob


    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!


    As a True American, I reject your ignorant and bigoted existence entirely.

    August 23, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Critical Thinking

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

    Is he talking about the romeny campaign or describing the dinner menu for the DNC ? We all know how much the President likes home cook meals !

    August 23, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Another Ex-Republican

    @CriticalThinking: Dream on l am waiting for the October suprise about Romney. The suprise is waiting and it will be too late for another republican to run. The suprise will knock not only the republicans offf their feet but the entire country and the world. The suprise will not be about the tax cheating but will set the republican party back for decades.

    August 23, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Pete

    The republican convention is setting up clown tents and gonna have sideshows.Wow,Brainless Michelle will be in one tent screaming at a glass of water trying to convince it to move,Ron Paul in another trying to convince delegates he's not old and Perry will have a tent with Cain with pictures showing that rock doesn't have the N word on it anymore and Cains there to prove it..It's a clown circus only a half baked Boehner could enjoy or maybe McConnell will come in his KKK clothing line ,its white on white,really original isn't it!!And with two Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans ya get a free stuffed Newty doll that says all kinds of stupid political things,while supplies lasts.And maybe they'll have Mary Poppins umbrellas for the hurricane party,the party of bloooo!!!

    August 23, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. BlkPwr817

    Romney's "Lies & Alibis" have & will continue to stall his bid for POTUS. The truth will set you free Mitt...Soon you'll understand!

    August 23, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Steve- Illinois

    How come Jimmy Carter isn't nominating Obama?

    August 23, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. It's Happening

    If democrats like Pete have nothing better to do than sit around and write a novel in the CNN comment section then it's no wonder democrats get nothing done in Washington.

    August 23, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. wake-up-america!

    Do you want to go back to this nonsense? Remember the Bush Era Scandals (just to name a few):

    1. Patient neglect at Walter Reed Army Hospital
    2. US Attorney firings
    3. Libby/Plame Affair (Outing a CIA agent)
    4. Iraq war
    5. Afghanistan (leaving before the job was done)
    6. Iran saber rattling
    7. North Korea (mishandling nuclear issue)
    8. The War on Terror (failure to capture Osama bin Laden, dubious allies)
    9. Civilian contractors in Iraq (poor service for big bucks)
    10. Military Commissions Act (torture, kangaroo courts, indefinite detention, and loss of habeas corpus)
    11. Hurricane Katrina and the drowning of New Orleans
    12. NSA warrantless wiretapping
    13. SWIFT (international money transfers)
    14. Black sites and rendition
    15. Department of Homeland Security (a massive boondoggle)
    16. K Street lobbyists (for government you can buy)
    17. Dusty Foggo (No. 3 at the CIA)
    18. Duke Cunningham (a corrupt politician)
    19. Tom Delay (another corrupt politician)
    20. Mark Foley and the House pages
    21. Cheney Energy Task Force (and hiding info about it)
    22. Tax cuts for the richest of the rich
    23. Global warming (denial and stalling)
    24. Terri Schiavo and the attempted trashing of family privacy rights
    25. Budget deficits and a greatly increased national debt
    26. Stacking of the Supreme Court (Roberts and Alito)
    27. Medicare( lack of long term solvency)
    28. Medicare Part D (Drug prescriptions)
    29. Healthcare general mess
    30. Doug Feith (stovepiping Iraq intel)
    31. 2000 election (stolen)
    32. 2004 election (rigging)
    33. 9/11 Commission limitation and manipulation of
    34. 9/11 Commission’s recommendations delayed implementation
    35. Marginalization of the UN
    36. Preventive war doctrine
    37. Loss of US prestige
    38. Inaction on Israeli-Palestinian peace process
    39. Lack of spending on basic research
    40. Alberto Gonzales
    41. FDA restricting the mission
    42. EPA restricting the mission
    43. Porter Goss trashing the CIA
    44. Militarization of intelligence
    45. Rampant cronyism
    46. Signing statements
    47. Unilateral Executive
    48. Abuse of the National Guard
    49. Breaking the Army
    50. Increase in the balance of trade deficit
    51. Grassley Bankruptcy Bill (creditors favored over debtors)
    52. Cross border Mexican truck safety
    53. Rove’s security clearance (kept after his part in outing Valerie Plame)
    54. Anti-immigration raids (children and parents separated)
    55. Dubai Ports deal (a Middle East company in charge of US ports in the age of terrorism)

    August 23, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Willard

    It's coming, my friends. More secret dealings from Bain (2002) just came out today, just wait to middle october, Robmey taxes, other stuff; to late to try to fix it! GOP, as we know it, is done! So is R/R! Sometimes I even think that there is God, or Karma! Love it!

    August 23, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. It's Happening

    wake-up america! Thank you so much sir, you literally just proved the point I was making 2 comments ago.

    August 23, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. monica jackson

    Try thinking out your words and sentences a little harder. As far as I know Chicago is still part of the USA. We know what you and Robmey means when you say that ....it is not just back to Chicago. We got it from the time President Obama won, the righties want to take their country back. Now we know without a doubt where they want to go. ...where rape is "legitimate" because women have no right, minorities are not recognized and everyone work for pennies while the big boys enjoy the good life, and voter suppression or present your papers like the President had to do. I am sure you remember the good old days, don't you? Ain't gonna happen!!! We won the right and we are here to stay. It will be a long time before we have another Republican in the White House. So dream on. That little CPAC calling itself the new majority is so false. You are no longer the majority and that is what you are afraid of.

    August 23, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. myviewis



    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!

    Actually, Obama is not from Chicago, he pretends to be from Chicago because it is convenient. He is actually from Hawaii and grew up in a very nice neighborhood and grew up in a beautiful private school close to where he lived with his grandparents.

    August 23, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. CAPAM

    Obama is the Black Jimmy Carter; The LOSER

    August 23, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. myviewis


    Do you want to go back to this nonsense? Remember the Bush Era Scandals (just to name a few):

    And people had no problems finding a job with Bush while with Obama everyone has been hit in the pocket and huge numbers of people stand in the unemployment line. Oh yes, Bush had jobs, Obama has unemployment. Good try.

    August 23, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. drake mallard

    However, the stadium where the GOP will be announcing “We Built This!” was financed primarily by the government. The Tampa Bay Times Forum arena, which houses the Tampa Bay Lightning, was built in 1996 as the “Ice Palace” with 62% government funds. The total budget for the project was $139 million, of which public money accounted for $86 million and team money accounted for $53 million.

    August 23, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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