Mitt Romney's Acceptance Speech Is 'Locked' Hours Before He Takes The Stage In Tampa
ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:
TAMPA, Fla. - Mitt Romney's speech is "locked" and ready to go, a top campaign adviser told ABC News previewing the acceptance speech Romney will deliver tonight as the Republican National Convention comes to a close.
According to the adviser, Romney has been working on the text for "a couple of weeks," drafting it, in part, on the iPad he carries with him everywhere on the campaign trail.
Allowing for the possibility that the Republican nominee may make a few minor last-minute changes, the adviser said it is otherwise "pretty locked."
The speech is divided into four parts: Romney's philosophical and world view; his biography; his disappointment with the Obama years; and his vision for the country.
Before the speech, convention organizers plan to show a video presentation featuring Romney. In it, "Governor Romney talks about love," the adviser said.
Thursday night's theme is "We Believe in America," and the evening will offer a chance for the campaign to deal head-on with two aspects of Romney's personal story: His record at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he helped start, and his Mormon faith.
Two campaign surrogates - Romney's close friend Bob White, who serves as the chairman of the campaign and who helped establish Bain, and Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples, a Bain-backed company - plan to specifically address Romney's time at the firm and his private sector experience.
"We know that the Democrats want to try to make Bain a negative for us," one Romney campaign strategist told ABC News. "It's not."
In addition to the surrogates, the Romney campaign plans to feature some videos calling into question Democrats' support for America's small businesses, and the campaign will also unveil a new portion of their website devoted to Romney's record at Bain.
Romney's faith will also be front and center on Thursday night. Grant Bennett, a friend of Romney's and a fellow member of the Mormon church, will address the convention. And although Romney's religion will be a key part of tonight's program it's unclear to what extent speakers - including Romney, himself - will discuss faith, generally, rather than Mormonism, in particular.
Asked whether the word "Mormon" would be uttered tonight, the Romney adviser said, "I can't believe it won't be uttered in the faith section," but declined to say whether it will make an appearance in Romney's speech.
Romney's achievements as governor of Massachusetts will also be on display Thursday night. His former lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, will give voice to those years.
The night will feature a parade of Olympic athletes who will highlight Romney's time as the head of the 2002 Salt Lake City winter games. Olympic hockey player Mike Eruzione of "Miracle on Ice" fame; Kimberly Rhode, who won the gold medal in skeet shooting at the 2012 summer games in London; and speed skater Derek Parra who medaled in the 2002 games will all speak.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will kick off the 10 p.m. hour and introduce Romney.
Tonight's program will end with not one but three balloon drops as Romney, his wife, Ann and their family and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, his wife Janna and their family take the stage in successive waves.
Just before the final benediction led by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, the singer Bebe Winans and the Tampa Bay City Life Church Chorus will lead the entire convention hall in singing "America the Beautiful."
Romney's off-key, solo rendition of the patriotic tune at a primary campaign event in a Florida retirement community was used in an Obama campaign attack ad.