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While race was obliquely referenced in Mia Love's criticism of Barack Obama, earlier drafts of her speech hit the issue head-on.

In the draft of her speech leading up to the convention, Love had planned to say that Obama has "attempted to pit us against each other based on the color of our skin, our gender, income level, age and social status."

The reference to skin color was scratched from the speech a few days beforehand and the final version she delivered said that Obama is "pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status."

Also gone was a later reference to race, where Love said: "The truth is that the president's policies have made minorities and the most vulnerable in society more desperate and dependent on government, less self-reliant, less upwardly mobile and ultimately less free."

Had it remained intact, the passages would have been a bit of a departure for Love, who normally downplays the significance of becoming the first black Republican congresswoman, saying that the color of her skin didn't help balance Saratoga Springs' budget or maintain its bond rating.

And it would have marked a direct confrontation based on race between Love and the first black president. As it was, her challenge Tuesday was implicit and much more muted.

— Robert Gehrke Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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