Democrats Plan Major GOP Convention Presence

The Democrats appear likely to have a major counter presence during the Republican convention.

Republican National Convention
Members of the media are briefed on the logistics of the 2012 Republican National Convention during the event's media walk-through in Tampa, Fla.

The Republicans won't have the spotlight to themselves during their national convention in Tampa next week.

President Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee also are planning a major presence to counter-program with a series of tough attacks on presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Such counter-programming is common practice at political conventions, but the Democrats appear poised to be unusually aggressive this time.

"While the RNC will focus on burnishing Romney's biography as a so-called "Mr. Fix It," the [Democrats] will highlight how his work in the private sector and as governor [of Massachusetts] was a disaster for the middle class," says DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. "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."

[GOP Convention Speakers Show Romney's Diverse Strategy]

The Democrats will plan daily press events at a "war room" near the GOP convention center and also in battleground states across the country to illustrate "how out of step Mitt Romney and his policies are with seniors, students, veterans, and middle-class families," Woodhouse says. "The [Democrats'] activities will also include how the Republican party [that] Mitt Romney is being nominated to lead is outside the mainstream on issues of importance to Americans, particularly as it relates to women, Hispanics, and African-Americans. It's a party under Romney's leadership that has taken the most extreme positions imaginable on immigration," and on other issues including abortion, contraception, and health care.

Featured will be "party surrogates and middle-class Americans from all walks of life who have been victimized by Romney economics," says Woodhouse.

Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News & World Report. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," and is the author if "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at and on Facebook and Twitter.