Democrats Insist Their Convention Will Focus on Issues

Democrats complain that the Republican National Convention offered attacks on Obama and little in the way of substance.

Posted: 09/04/2012 11:33 AM EDT

Democratic officials insist that their party convention in Charlotte will focus on issues reflecting President Obama’s accomplishments and policies, saying that the gathering will be more positive in tone than the Republican event.

“You will see a difference from the Republican convention,” said Brent Colburn, the Obama campaign's communications director. “The Republicans had a convention that attacked the president and was not talking about issues.”

The convention’s first night will feature first lady Michelle Obama and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, who will deliver the keynote address. Both speeches will air on prime-time television. 

However, Colburn emphasized that there will be a number of speakers featured earlier in the evening who will address issues important to average Americans. For example, he said Michelle Obama will be introduced by a mother of four children serving in the military. She will discuss how the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has affected her family.

The convention places the president’s campaign in the position of having to not only defend the policies of the Obama administration but also present a vision of how economic conditions may improve if he is re-elected. At the same time, the convention is likely to highlight some of the Democrats' fears about the prospect of the Republicans gaining control of the White House and Congress.

The Democrats will also present a widely diverse array of speakers, seeking to portray their party as being far more inclusive than their Republican counterparts'.

In addition to Castro, who is the first Latino official to give a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, the list of speakers includes Deval Patrick, the African-American governor of Massachusetts, and New York Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez.

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(Photo:  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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