August 22nd, 2012

CNN Secures In-Depth Interviews with Obama and Romney for Presidential Profiles

Documentaries Set to Air in Advance of RNC and DNC Coverage

CNN will kick off its coverage of the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention with two new, 90-minute documentaries on Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the two men vying for President of the United States in 2012.  Both profiles feature interviews with the candidates, members of their inner circles who know them best, and perspectives from people they have encountered on their separate paths to political prominence.

Romney Revealed: Family, Faith, and the Road to Power is reported by CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger and will premiere Sunday, August 26, from 8:00pm to 9:30pm ET & PT, the evening before the RNC begins in Tampa, FL.  Obama Revealed: The Man, The President is reported by CNN chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin and will debut Monday, September 3, from 8:00pm to 9:30pm ET & PT, the night before the DNC begins in Charlotte, NC.

“We’re very pleased we were able to work out access to both presidential candidates so that we could produce comprehensive portraits,” said Bart Feder, senior vice president of programming for CNN.  “These documentaries deliver informative, nonpartisan political reporting, revealing surprising facets of these men’s lives, and what has shaped them, just before they take center stage at their conventions.”

In Romney Revealed, Borger speaks with Ann and Mitt Romney, and eldest son, Tagg, exploring the lessons Mitt Romney learned while growing up in a family that has been in the public eye for the last 50 years: George Romney was a three-term Republican governor of Michigan who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1968.  And, Romney’s mother, Lenore, ran for the U.S. Senate in 1970, with the young Mitt Romney by her side.

Borger looks beyond Mitt Romney’s political biography into the key chapters of his personal and business life.  She speaks with Romney’s childhood friends, travels to France to retrace his days as a Mormon missionary, and to Belmont, Massachusetts, where he was a church leader, and speaks with some of his congregants.  In additional interviews, she speaks with fellow 2002 Olympics organizers and former Bain colleagues, such as Fraser Bullock, an early member of Bain and COO of the Salt Lake City games.

Borger also speaks with Beth Myers, Romney’s chief of staff during his tenure as Massachusetts governor, the head of his 2008 campaign, and the person who vetted his vice-presidential pick.  Also interviewed are current and former political figures such as former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), who discusses Romney’s 1994 U.S. Senate challenge to his father, Ted Kennedy.  Discussing Romney’s presidential races are 2012 senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, 2008 campaign media adviser and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos, and CNN contributor Erick Erickson, among others.

When President Barack Obama came into office he faced towering expectations, a severe economic crisis, and a bitterly divided nation.  Obama Revealed looks at the pros and cons of President Obama’s cool demeanor and what happened when his lofty goals met the realities of Washington.

In a one-on-one interview, Yellin speaks with President Barack Obama about his time in office, the challenges he faced, and his ambitions for a second term.

Included in the documentary are original interviews with many of the most senior members of the Obama Administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, former director of the White House Economic Council Dr. Larry Summers, and former chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and Dr. Christina Romer.  Yellin also interviews members of the president’s inner circle of confidantes including senior campaign strategist David Axelrod, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and long-time personal aide Reggie Love.  Thesevoices tell the inside story behind the president’s efforts to solve the nation’s economic crisis, push for health care reform, and kill Osama bin Laden.

In separate interviews, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) offer their sharp perspectives from working with the president, and the failure to bring Republicans and Democrats together in the nation’s capital.  Obama biographer and Washington Post associate editor David Maraniss, Rice University professor and historian Douglas Brinkley, andNew York Times chief White House correspondent David Sanger add independent insights from their research.

Melissa Dunst Lipman and Courtney Yager produced Romney Revealed and Jason Samuels produced Obama Revealed, for the CNN Productions unit which is headed by director, Bud Bultman.

All of the latest political breaking news, analysis, polls, and interactive electoral maps may be found online at CNN Election Center.  Key convention events will live stream at and on mobile via the CNN app.  And social media users can connect with others engaged in CNN’s political convention coverage via CNN Politics Facebook, or via following @CNNPolitics on Twitter, using the hashtag #CNN.

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