Democrats plan ‘counterconvention’ as Republicans anoint Romney

Olivier Knox
August 21, 2012

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee plan a "counterconvention" push next week to try to steal some of the spotlight from Republicans meeting in Tampa, Fla., to formally anoint Mitt Romney as their nominee, the DNC announced Tuesday.

"While the RNC will focus on burnishing Romney's biography as a so-called Mr. Fix It, the DNC/OFA [Organizing for America] will highlight how his work in the private sector and as Governor was a disaster for the middle class," DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement. "And the policies Romney is espousing on the campaign trail follow the same pattern: raising taxes on middle class families and ending Medicare as we know it while slashing taxes for himself and other millionaires and billionaires."

The effort includes a media messaging "war room" in Tampa—as well as campaign surrogates outside of Tampa but in Florida, and in other pivotal up-for-grabs states, Woodhouse said. (A similar Romney/RNC counterprogramming is expected when Democrats gather in Charlotte, N.C., to renominate Obama.)

Woodhouse said the Democrats would seek to paint Romney and Republicans in general as "outside the mainstream" on issues dear to women, Hispanics and African-Americans (all critical groups in Obama's 2008 coalition).

"Among other top campaign surrogates, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will play a central role in the pushback efforts including kicking activities off in the war room this weekend," he said. (That reads like a rebuttal to Politico's newly released e-book, which cast her in a decidedly bad light.)