Nightly News | August 26, 2012
>>> we want to turn now to our nbc news political team in place at the gop convention in tampa. chuck todd , andrea mitchell and david gregory . david, let me begin with you. i know a lot of opinions about this so-called speech of a lifetime, but stls some consensus on the basics of what mitt romney has to accomplish?
>> well, i want to pick up on my interview with governor jeb bush . he talks about reconnecting. it's an important word because it raises the question whether did romney lose the connection or did he have it? these conventions still matter because it's an opportunity for a candidate to have an hour of primetime television to give a speech directly to the american people who are still making up their mind. many of them who are tuning in to conventions. he does have to give something of himself here. he can be a hard guy to get to know. there's a sense, i think, that the romney team has that he's coming from behind, that's one of the reasons he took a risky choice in selecting paul ryan . that he's got to try to deal with the fact that there's so many attacks coming from the obama campaign both about whether he's out of touch or whether he's an extremist. he has to deal with some perceived weaknesses among womens, la feign ntinos and other groups.
>> let me pick up on women, and andrea the congressman akin flap didn't help republicans in terms of how they're perceived by women. how will this convention try and heal over some of those potential wounds throughout?
>> they had always planned to spotlight prominent women. of course, led by ann romney , the lead person to try to fill in that gap. so these other women are going to have a very prominent role as speakers. now they have the additional problem of trying to deal with the uproar over todd akin controversial comments over rape. one of the things that mitt romney told fox news today in that interview, the interview that aired today, was that the reason he and other republicans are vehemently trying to get akin out of the race is that he knows, they know it's hurting the party and damaging women. the first evidence of that came, lester, today in a poll which showed that there has been a 30-point swing among independent voters from todd akin to his democratic opponent, and even among akin's supporters by 16 points they want him to goit. no sign he's going to get out. he's still relying on conservatives to keep nipple this race. they have someone to try to replace him, but no sign he will quit.
>> chuck, there's a sense of wanting to clean the slate after a rough ten days for republicans. you have this storm churning offshore. may not make a big deal in tampa, but is there some concern about the tone of the convention if we see communities along the gulf coast suffering heavy damage?
>> look, there are folks with the romney campaign that think romney can't catch a break. ever since he named paul ryan and got momentum after the pick and he's interrupted by two storms, one a political snowstorm todd akin , which we just brought up but tan actual storm. as this storm moves to and closer to louisiana, the specter, the sort of shadow of bush and katrina does hang over this convention. it is something organizers are concerned about. don't be surprised if tuesday gets changed again. they've already gotten rid of monday, but they could change it again and sdr to squeeze it into some form of two and a half days, lester, basically out of sensitivity.
>> chuck, andrea, david, thanks. we want to let folks know our primetime coverage of the republican national convention starts tuesday night at 10:00 eastern/7:00 pacific here on nbc.