Advisers to President Barack Obama are scripting a Democratic National Convention featuring several Republicans in a prime-time appeal to independents — and planning a blistering portrayal of Mitt Romney as a heartless aristocrat who “would devastate the American middle class,” Democratic sources tell POLITICO.
According to convention planning documents, the three-night convention in Charlotte, N.C., early next month will seek to “[e]xpose Mitt Romney as someone who doesn’t understand middle class challenges” while also burnishing “the President’s image as someone whose life story is about fighting for middle class Americans and those working to get into the middle class.”
Convention planners are considering featuring a centrist Republican leader on at least two of the three nights. Nightly remotes from swing states may include a CEO or “major Republican.” On Wednesday night, a “notable GOP woman” is among the possible participants. And on the final night, Democrats may include a Republican leader — someone like former Sens. John Warner or Chuck Hagel — or a GOP woman.
“This segment would speak directly to independents, noting we are all ‘Americans first,’ ” the documents say. “Depending on the speaker’s background, the President’s military accomplishments might be highlighted.”
Thursday also may include a former military leader, perhaps paired with a former enlisted man or woman. “Ideally they would have witnessed first-hand the difficult decisions [Obama has] made,” the documents say. “A Republican leader would be ideal.”
The convention’s broad themes depict Romney as “an exemplar of [the] bust-and-boom economy,” while “Obama led us through the darkest days of the deepest recession in generations. … Now he’s fighting for the next steps, so we do more than recover from a deep recession that was a long time in the making, and reclaim America’s promise on behalf of hard-workers, the strivers, the dreamers, who ask only for a fair shot and a fair shake.”
Here is more on the night-by-night plans:
On Tuesday night, a speaker from a swing state will be charged with contrasting “Romney’s vision — a return to the same failed policies that caused the crisis — with the President’s vision. Drive strong contrast around middle-up vs. top down policies. Demonstrate how POTUS vision creates a strong, secure future for middle class and Romney’s top down approach failed [Massachusetts] and would devastate the American middle class.”
On Wednesday night, planners hope that President Bill Clinton will “use his own term to remind voters what was accomplished, and draw parallels to what President Obama is doing today.”
NBC will be carrying the opening game of the NFL football season, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants. But presidential aides hope to pre-tape an interview with a major convention figure for broadcast during halftime.
On Thursday night, a speech by Vice President Joe Biden putting Obama’s name in nomination “will provide the ultimate contrast on the economy, making clear ‘we’re fighting for you.’ He will recognize the struggle middle class Americans have been facing, and warn that we should not go back to the policies that created the crisis, but instead move forward correcting the imbalance that has weakened our middle class. The Vice President’s background and middle class values should shine through.”