Speech Deconstructor: In framing of campaign themes, Romney focuses on 'school' and 'government' (interactive)

Chris Wilson
The Ticket

Mitt Romney delivered the third in a series of campaign speeches Wednesday that aides say are aimed at framing the central themes of his presidential bid ahead of the conventions. The first, a May 8 address in Lansing, MI, focused on innovation in business. A second in Des Moines, IA looked at the national debt, and today's touched heavily on education.

The stump speeches are reminiscent of a similar series that Vice President Joe Biden delivered in March that laid the foundation for his and President Barack Obama's reelection campaign. Biden's four speeches centered on challenges facing the middle class—in fact, he said "middle class" 38 times, according to the Ticket's analysis of common words and phrases in the transcripts.

A similar analysis of Romney's three speeches, using a transcript of the remarks as prepared for delivery, found that education trumped the economy as the most common theme. Romney mentions "school" 39 times, "students" 20 times and "teachers" 18 times. (To be fair, one speech was devoted entirely to education, while the economy has been more of an overarching theme to this point.)

Pure word counts can be deceiving, however. Several of those "school" references came in derisive references to "old school liberals," for example. To see the context for each of the most common words, click on the list to the left in the following interactive. It will highlight instances of a given word in all three of Romney's recent speeches.