The Ticket

Romney advisers: We don’t know who RNC mystery guest speaker is

The Ticket

TAMPA, Fla. — Who is the mystery guest speaker at this year's Republican National Convention? Mitt Romney's top advisers claim that even they are out of the loop.

"I do not know. I'm intrigued," Eric Ferhnstrom, a senior Romney adviser, told Yahoo! News' David Chalian and ABC News' Jonathan Karl during a discussion Tuesday morning that also included Romney aides Beth Myers and Ashley O'Connor and pollster Neil Newhouse.

Even if they don't know who will be filling the "To Be Announced" spot in Thursday night's speaking lineup, the advisers did give a glimpse into what's going on within the Romney campaign.

"There's a very steadiness of purpose," Newhouse said. "People don't get emotional about the day-to-day developments. Because we know what really matters is the state of the economy. And we think we have a candidate with the strongest pro-jobs message."

Romney is leading President Barack Obama by one point in Gallup's final pre-convention poll, which is welcome news to a campaign that sees a tough battle ahead.

"It'll go down to the last day," Newhouse said.

Romney's aides see vice presidential pick Paul Ryan as an energetic addition to the campaign who can help bring the oomph needed to beat the president in November.

"This is a guy who is a first generation X-er to be on a ticket. I think that's going to be exciting — to young people," Fehrnstrom said.

And, of course, the convention is also a chance for Romney to show a more personal side.

"What you're going to see over the next few days is other people talking about him...to fill in the blanks in terms of the kind of person he is," Newhouse said. "So you know who he is, how he got to be where he is today, what he wants to do as president and then kind of what the differences are between, his vision for the country and President Obama's."

Despite divisions within the party, negative ads, mudslinging and recent controversies like Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments on rape, Fehrnstrom says the Republican Party is "excited and united."

Newhouse agrees. "They're ginned up and they're ready to go," he said. "We feel like our base can't wait for November 6."

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