By Jay Levine

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS) – Some Illinois Democrats ventured into enemy territory Thursday in an attempt to counter political bashing of President Obama during the Republican National Convention.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.

Among the high-profile Democrats was U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who made himself available to talk about issues and Illinois’ Republican clout – or lack thereof — at the convention.

The speakers’ list was weighted heavily toward Republican governors and senators.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a North Shore Democrat, was also there to rebut Republican criticisms that Obama is to blame for the closing of a Janesville, Wisc. automotive plant.

“That is just a bald-faced lie,” she said.

Not exactly. The closing was announced during presidency of George W. Bush, but the plant actually closed while Obama was in office.

Meanwhile, some members of the Illinois Republican delegation said they were confident presidential hopeful Mitt Romney would connect with a national audience Thursday as he accepted the GOP nomination.

“He’s warm, he’s nice, he’s kind. He’s got a great sense of humor. He can make you sit down and laugh and laugh and laugh,” says Illinois delegate Ron Gidwitz.

Gidwitz concedes that side of Romney is not evident in public.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

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