Several big-name media professionals spoke with WRAL News Thursday evening about what Mitt Romney needs to say in his nomination acceptance speech, the coup-de-grace of the party's three-day convention in Tampa, Fla.
The Tampa Bay Times Forum was buzzing with excitement as Republican delegates waited to hear their nominee address the nation.
FOX News anchor Bret Baier, whose career took off after a stint at WRAL News, interviewed Paul Ryan after his speech Wednesday night. He said the VP candidate was pleased with the message he delivered to an enthusiastic and encouraging crowd.
All eyes are on now Romney to live up to the show-stopping speeches of his wife, Ann, and running mate Ryan.
"(Ryan) said (the speech) is going to reflect Romney's vision for what type of presidency he wants (and) what kind of person he is," Baier said. "He also said that he will show some of the personal side that perhaps people don't usually see."
"Mitt Romney has to make the sale. His wife can tell us how wonderful he is, and she's a wonderful woman. We're not gong to vote for her or against her," said longtime ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson. "Condoleezza Rice was terrific. Paul Ryan did a barn-burner – he made a great impression with the people who agree with him. Now, it's Mitt Romney's turn."
He said Romney needs to connect with everyday Americans.
"Bill Clinton said it better than anyone – 'I feel your pain,' (and) people thought he really did. Now Mitt Romney can't do that. He comes from a different place in our society," Donaldson said. "He's got to somehow project the idea that he understands how Americans who are not as fortunate, who are not as strong and who have not been as industrious as he has."
CNN political analyst and Durham native David Gergen said the jury is still out on whether the convention has been successful.
"If (Romney) gives a home-run of a speech, (the GOP) will have had a terrific convention," he said.
Baier said the GOP already views the convention as a success.
"Whether there's a big bounce out of the convention or not, we'll see," he said.