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Friday, August 24, 2012

Ron Paul Tribute Video on the G.O.P. Convention Schedule


Republicans will show a Ron Paul tribute video on the second night of Mitt Romney's convention next week, part of an effort to soothe the small army of delegates that Mr. Paul collected during his long primary battle with Mr. Romney this year.

A top aide to Mr. Romney said the video on Tuesday night was proposed by supporters of Mr. Paul and approved by convention planners as an olive branch to Mr. Paul's activists, many of whom disagree with Mr. Romney in many policy areas.

“We feel that we're in a good place. We know that not everybody is going to agree with us at all times,” said Russ Schriefer, a top media strategist for Mr. Romney and a central planner for the convention. In the film, he said, “Several of his colleagues will give testimony to his principles and his dedication to America.”

Mr. Schriefer said that while Mr. Romney and Mr. Paul “certainly disagree on many issues,” the onetime rivals had “a lot of mutual respect” for each other. In addition to the video, Mr. Paul's son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, will be addressing the convention hall on Monday.

Republican officials on Friday morning also described the themes they hoped to offer during the four-day nominating convention.

Speakers on Monday will hammer President Obama as a “failure” as they try to drive home the theme that “we can do better.” Mr. Shriefer said the speeches would not be overly negative, but promised a to draw a sharp contrast between Mr. Romney and the president.

“You need to lay down the predicate and make the case of why President Obama has failed and why this administration has failed on many level s,” Mr. Schriefer said. He said the speakers on Monday would “talk about the areas where President Obama hasn't lived up to his many promises.”

The second night of the convention will be built around Mr. Romney's criticism of the president's comments at a summertime rally that “if you've got a business - you didn't build that.” Mr. Romney has seized on that comment in speeches and television commercials, suggesting that the president was dismissing the work of small-business owners.

Mr. Obama's campaign has accused Mr. Romney of twisting the president's words. Independent fact-checkers have said the full context of the remarks make clear that the president was talking about government's role in helping to build infrastructure like roads and bridges.

Mr. Schriefer said the convention speakers on Tuesday would make the case that the remark by Mr. Obama “showed that he more believed that government has a bigger role in job creation.”

The ef fort to tell Mr. Romney's personal story will be left for Thursday, when the candidate will arrive to formally accept his party's nomination to be president.

Republicans said the speakers on the last day would feature people who know and have worked with Mr. Romney during his life, including people who worked with him in his church and at the 2002 Olympics. Among the speakers will be three former Olympians: Kim Rhode, Mike Eruzione and Derek Parra.

Follow Michael D. Shear on Twitter at @shearm.