TAMPA — Just as Mitt Romney will aim this evening to introduce himself to voters in his speech, Republicans here have viewed their national convention as an opportunity to frame their political party for the rest of the nation.
All week, Republican leaders have leapt at the chance to rebrand the party: As modern, as diverse, as friendly to women.
Granted, not all within the Republican Party are concerned that voters might hold misconceptions about the GOP.
When asked by BuzzFeed whether he thinks the convention cleared up any stereotypes about Republicans, Texas Gov. Rick Perry replied, “No ma’am. There are no stereotypes.”
“Look around you,” echoed Rep. Allen West of Florida. “I don’t see any stereotypes here.”
But some delegates on the floor had a more nuanced perception of how people outside of the GOP base might view the Republican Party — and what the convention this week might have done to affect their views.
“You couldn’t have been watching and not seen diversity, and seen that there’s a place for everyone under our tent,” said Donna Gosney, a West Virginia delegate. “You walk the floor, and the delegations are just a tapestry of all across America.”
Meanwhile, other Republicans viewed the convention as an opportunity to stress the party’s underlying commonalities.
“Above all, what the convention has done is demonstrate the unity of the Republican Party,” said Julie Biggs, a delegate from California. “Not everybody agrees on everything, but everyone agrees on these candidates.”
Often, Biggs said, people perceive Republicans as divided into factions — but the convention, she said, has shown that not to be the case.
“There’s a sense that some people are social conservatives, some people are fiscal conservatives — but there isn’t any of that here,” Biggs said. “We’re united.”