WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney’s campaign hopes to combat months of attacks from Democrats and his GOP primary rivals by emphasizing a highly personalized “counter-
narrative” at next week’s Republican convention that aides said will highlight the presumptive nominee’s charitable work, his religious life, and his job-creation record.
A key element of Romney’s strategy is to have testimony from an array of people he has helped throughout his life, including disadvantaged people he worked with as a Mormon leader in Boston, Olympic athletes familiar from his management of the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, and others who have direct experience with the candidate.
“They’ll have people from my dad’s life who get up and talk about who he is and what he did, and talk about ways he helped them,” said Romney’s eldest son, Tagg, who helped compile the list of potential speakers from his father’s past.
Romney’s advisers announced details of their strategy in a conference call with reporters on Friday, including how the campaign’s themes will be displayed on television screens in the convention hall. But the campaign expressed frustration that television networks do not plan to air live convention coverage on Monday and have agreed only to one hour each on the following three nights. That makes it unlikely the traditional campaign video will be seen by most viewers unless they tune in to cable channels that show it.
The convention will be a highly scripted affair, with themes prescribed for each evening. Monday night will be “We Can Do Better,” with speakers highlighting what they view as the failure of the Obama administration. Tuesday night will be “We Built It.” Wednesday night’s theme will be “We Can Change it,” with a focus on some of the policies and positions that Romney has highlighted in his campaign. The final night, when Romney will speak, is “We Believe in America.”
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