Republican Convention Delegates Look to 2016 ... Just in Case

ABC's Matthew Dowd discusses whom Republicans are watching to lead party into the future.
3:00 | 08/28/12

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Transcript for Republican Convention Delegates Look to 2016 ... Just in Case
Matthew -- items contributing thank you so much for being here have you thought. Yeah I think it and I sit back here this is not that -- -- -- it is easy -- looked like something I've seen on -- cave dwelling on the I'm sure appreciate. I'm sure that he appreciates fifth OK so. We have a talk displeased want to talk about in -- -- -- we -- spent a lot of time talking about Chris Christie and I say that because he is the keynote speaker. We know that in the past is prologue some of those folks have gone on to great heights being elected president. Many of them are forgettable in -- more of them are forgettable and they are memorable. So. Are we blowing that Chris Christie keynote opening up a little bit too much -- And how we get a talk about him after this does he want us to talk. And after this Amy I think it's a really interest income and -- Question because. Conventions always they always are designed so your pick your candidates -- win but there's also all at a sense that it's if your candidate loses who -- the next leader of the party. And everybody here obviously wants Mitt Romney to win. But there's also a -- -- sure we get a look -- if that hasn't happened seventy days from now and Chris Christie is one of those folks that Mitt Romney loses. Just like Marco Rubio and some others that people are gonna look at here and think. Are they the next generation are they the next round of leaders that we detergent and so I think. And ultimately Chris Christie's speech is not about himself it's not about his future it's about Mitt Romney's feature -- people look at these speakers like Chris -- and mark Peruvians say. Maybe -- Mitt Romney -- that's our guy. Had I -- only junkies like -- really pay. Attention to 2016 before the -- -- -- is over but to your point. Marco Rubio of all the state delegations he could go to a breakfast tours here which delegates the -- of South Carolina not battleground state it read it. But Barbara give us -- to South Carolina Republicans. Use some of that jockeying already picking. -- it's were on the permanent. Campaign where the general election regardless of what happens on November the sixth the general election campaign for 4016 starts on November the seventh. That's gonna happen we all know that this is how politics works but ultimately I think everybody here is trying to -- Trying to do their best to to create that dynamic that Mitt Romney gets some lift. Coming out of this convention. The question is does he get any for many different factors getting any doesn't get any. The way -- convention is fed up with the Democratic Convention but ultimately does he get a live and in the future obviously will be told after -- effect. The other question too is and what seems to be unique is. What does. President Obama do during this week in the olden days he -- back when you when it was not your party's turn he let them have the stage for that week. We're way past that now writes -- President Obama going on the road tomorrow is going to battleground states Iowa Colorado Virginia talking to younger voters. That dies -- you know this idea for Obama convention Center City or that any of this can actually sinking in. -- two minutes after they make a speech the president is buried her -- What -- definitely affects the whole dynamic also affected dynamic hasn't -- billion dollars in. Resources that have spent coming into this convention which is never happened before all of those things. But there are moments in presidential races that people turn to -- want to get a cue from. These are one of those moments even if they make it departed at the speech is the vice presidential speech background speech the debates all of them are. Hughes and moments that are important because they become they put things in focus for people and that's why I think these things are important less important but still important. Well and you know we are gonna watch of course a number of other people come up here including Rick Santorum. Which it I don't know how -- this is put to have me your former rivals might make speeches but Rick -- just say. Pretty bitter rival at one point. The Romney campaign is convinced they can use -- as a very solid surrogate on this issue of welfare reform really going at those white working class voters. That Rick Santorum was trying to get in the primaries as well. Really think about the strategy there's been a lot of talk about. Whether it's effective or not whether they're Democrats think this is race -- to bring up the issue of welfare reform. How effective you think this is going to be well I think all of those issues like welfare reform and that discussions on Medicare and education all those. Our our sub issues to the broad dynamic of this I actually think that Rick Santorum could actually have a great message. On the Rust Belt and what's happened in income levels that had he speaks very well -- of -- working -- -- we all saw him during the primary. My guess is -- Rick Santorum is going to be sent to a lot of places without a lot of media. He's going to be sent to a lot of gatherings. That don't have a lot of media coverage which would serve well he had a one vote to vote Stan Brooks at a time still has impact I don't think they want Rick Santorum out in the media. Conveying what he's doing. -- -- Mitt Romney's running his campaign but he'll be doing gatherings just know a place where there's a lot of media put up in higher nomination season. Doesn't he do -- -- lasting damage to Mitt Romney would you glad I don't but I don't know if we know that yet data. Because I think all of us have talked about what he needs to do to fix this situation -- and -- Rehab himself to get people to sort of trust him and -- -- him. There may be -- in the situation where he is a virus that he has no antidote to. We'll know at the end of this convention if he was able to fix part of that -- know in the debates. But I think that damage that is actually could have started in 2000 -- race there and then went through this primary process. We don't know -- their permanent hits for ticket he can fix. But -- -- -- so much for. Russia here --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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