Does Invesco Set Design Play Into GOP Strategy?

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This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," August 27, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BILL HEMMER, CO-HOST: Bill Burton is still with us, national spokesperson for Barack Obama.

All right. Bill, what about that Barack-opolis? It's similar to the ancient building on the top of Athens, Greece. How do you respond to that charge? Because it puts him again into (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of a celebrity politician, which is what the McCain campaign was hitting him pretty hard two weeks ago, Bill.

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BILL BURTON, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN: You know, I have seen the very simple design of where Barack Obama will accept the nomination and I've seen where John McCain is going to accept his. I know it's fine if he wants to go on the Phil Donahue's set from the '70s and accept the Republican nomination for president of the United States. We just think that maybe he ought to have a design where real people can get a range of a simple and easy way to access the candidate.

And you know, we're happy how it's all turning out. And I appreciate the press release. My friend Tucker Bounds (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and getting busy over there. Well, we're actually out there talking about the issues that matter in people's lives.


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HEMMER: I just want to come back to the arena. Bill Burton across the road there, back here. This place is getting louder by the moment.

MEGYN KELLY, CO-HOST: They are fired up here as events get underway.

HEMMER: It's Michael Wilson.

KELLY: And they're completely with Michael Wilson with the nominating process that goes state by state and is underway in earnest. We've got the state tally coming up. We'll have the graphics for you momentarily as soon as we get the votes in and so will you.

In the meantime, FOX NEWS contributor Karl Rove is still with us. He was, of course, the architect of both of President Bush's campaigns, that meaning President Bush 43.

Karl, let me ask you about this. That's the first I heard from the Obama campaign getting a little bit more on the offensive about this whole celebrity attack. You know, obviously, that is something McCain has been trying to paint Barack Obama as. First came the Paris Hilton, the Britney Spears ad. And now we get this attempt to call his acceptance speech being held at the Barack-opolis. And now, we hear that Bill Burton of the Obama campaign coming out and saying, "Hey, if the McCain campaign wants to come out and do their acceptance speech on the likeness of a Phil Donahue set, that's their business. We're going to use the opportunity that the American people have given us." Is that a fair statement of what's actually going down between these two campaigns?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, with all due respect to Bill who is a good guy, he's ignoring a big problem their campaign has. Let's wait and see what this thing actually looks like tomorrow night. But making your speech in front of 75,000 people at Invesco Field could add to the view that this man is a celebrity, a rock star, somebody who's fresh in the political scene, been taken by the press clubs. And that's been a problem for Sen. Obama. Ever since he went to Europe and made the speech that he was running for president of the United States in Europe, in Berlin, he's been in a slide. And question is whether he will stop that tomorrow night or accelerate it. And it's a high stakes venue, no if's, and's or but's about it.

KELLY: Karl, let me ask you this. Because today, we met with the campaign and they said, "Look, the Invesco Field extravaganza tomorrow night is a physical manifestation of the huge enthusiasm gap, as they perceive it, between the supporters of Barack Obama versus the supporters of John McCain. In other words, they seem to be suggesting that John McCain couldn't fill a stadium full of 75,000 ardent supporters if he wanted to.

ROVE: Let me just remind you, Megyn, that they had the biggest rally in the history of Pennsylvania just before the Pennsylvania Democratic primary — 35,000 people were in a rally for Sen. Obama in Philadelphia, and he lost the primary in Pennsylvania by almost two to one. So I wouldn't take his ability to generate crowds. In fact, historically, if you look at this, some of the largest crowds in presidential campaign history were those entertained by George McGovern in the final moments of his horrendous defeat in 1972.

So again, it is a good spin by Bill on this. I don't want to suggest it isn't a clever way to respond to it. But they shouldn't be expecting a big crowd tomorrow. Look, if they could generate 75,000 people tomorrow in the crowd, which they will, and that was an expression of where they were, then why in the polls is this race a dead-even race?

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