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Villaraigosa: Democratic convention will set up clear choice

Democratic National Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa said Sunday that Democrats will aim to cement the choice voters have before them in the presidential election when the party's convention convenes in Charlotte, N.C.

(Reed Saxon/AP)

"We want to crystallize the path before us -- the choices the American people have this election," Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles, said on CNN's "State Of The Union."

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, added that Democrats plan to contrast the way the parties approach issues important to seniors.

"We are the party that is for Social Security and Medicare. They are they party whose choices would lead to insecurity for seniors," O'Malley said.

"I think you are going to see this convention not appeal to the base, not have a bunch of nasty attacks," chimed in former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson on CBS's "Face The Nation." "You are going to see a convention filled with promising young Hispanic speakers, you are going to see diversity, you are going to see multiculturalism."

Senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs offered a look ahead to President Obama's convention speech, saying the president will acknowledge the country's economic difficulties, but also offer a vision for a path to improvement.

"No doubt the president is going to acknowledge we live in incredibly tough economic times," Gibbs said. "He is going to present a choice about how we move forward."

David Axelrod, another top Obama adviser, said on "Fox News Sunday" that the Republican convention was a "terrible failure" that failed to articulate a clear economic vision.

Eric Fehrnstrom, a top adviser to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, took a different view of the conventions. He said on CNN that the biggest news this week will not be the Democratic convention, "but it will be on Friday," when the next monthly jobs report is released.

Responding to Democratic criticism that Romney's convention speech lacked a discussion of the war in Afghanistan, Fehrnstrom noted that Romney made mention of Afghanistan in a speech earlier last week at the American Legion national convention in Indiana.

Updated at 11:35 a.m.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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