Wednesday, August 29, 2012/ 7:00 PM EDT
Theme: We Can Change It
Here are most of the speeches from tonight, along with transcripts. Some of the speeches have not yet been uploaded, but I will update this post as they become available.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senate Republican Leader, Kentucky
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen.
We’re here this week for the simple reason that our nation is in desperate need of leadership.
And we believe Mitt Romney is the man for the moment.
That’s the hopeful message coming from Tampa this week: after four long years, help is on the way.
America is about to turn the page on Barack Obama’s four-year experiment in big government.
And it starts by renewing our belief that we’re called to something better.
Over the past four years Americans have been led to believe we're just like everybody else, that America isn’t unique.
But it’s not true.
We are different.
Not because of where we were born, but because of who we are as a people.
Because of what we have in here.
The President scoffs at this idea. To him, this kind of thinking is the problem, not the solution.
That’s why he’s spent the last four years lowering Americans’ expectations instead of raising them.
That’s why he’s been missing in action on the greatest challenges of the day.
What this administration has in mind for America isn’t a renewal, it’s a great leveling out.It wants the kind of government-imposed equality that in a single generation transformed Western Europe from a place where for centuries high achievement and discovery and innovation were celebrated and prized, to a place where they have elections about whether people should have to work.
Where they make promises they can't keep and write checks they can't cash.
But that's not who we are.
It just doesn't occur to an American that someone else will solve their problems.
Americans take pride in solving problems for themselves.
And if we fail, we get back up and try again.
It’s what we do. It’s who we are.
This President may want to give up on the problems we face, manage the decline.
But the American people don’t.
And that’s why this election is so important. It’s a choice about who we are.
Are we still a country that takes risks, that innovates, that believes anything is possible?
Or are we a country that is resigned to whatever liberty the government decides to dish out?
I tell students all the time the only way to fail in America is to quit.
I truly believe that. And I know Mitt Romney does too.
For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation's problems.
He hasn't been working to earn reelection. He's been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.
Mitt Romney has spent his entire life finding ways to solve problems.
Mitt Romney has never been resigned to what someone else said was possible.
He cut his own path.
That’s why he believes in his heart that America has a future full of opportunity and hope.
And that’s why when Mitt Romney looks down the road, he sees a country that’s ready for a comeback.I firmly believe he's the man to lead it.
As we meet here tonight, America is suffering through an economic calamity of truly historic dimensions. Some are calling it the slowest recovery in our nation’s entire 236-year history.
To call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries.
This is not the result of forces beyond our control. It is not the result of some sinister political plot; as some of the more paranoid inhabitants of the left-wing fever swamps would have you believe.
It is the result of the policies that Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress spent two full years carefully putting into place, and which they are determined to continue, if they win again.
Policies that are meant to gently lull us into a state of lower expectations and diminished dreams.
We’ve gotten a preview of this future over the past few years.
We hear the stories every day now.
…the father who puts on a suit every morning and leaves the house so his daughter doesn’t know he lost his job.
…the recent college grad facing up to the painful reality that the only door that’s open to her after four years of study and a pile of debt is her parents’.
These are the faces of the Obama economy.
And this is America’s future if we don’t do something to change the course this President seems perfectly content to leave us on.
Think about it.
On the same day we learned that unemployment went up in 44 out of 50 states last month, the President of the United States took to the airwaves to tell the people of Albuquerque that he enjoys green chile, but prefers red.
We know what the President's got on his iPod, but we don’t know what he plans to do about a looming tax hike that could trigger yet another serious recession that would result in even more Americans losing their jobs.
Ladies and Gentlemen: America cannot afford another four years of this.
For four years, Americans have waited for the faintest light to flicker at the end of the tunnel.And this President has let them down again and again and again.
It is time to move on.
It is time for a leader who will lead.
That leader is Mitt Romney.
Ron Paul Tribute
The Best of America
The Bushes: 41 & 43
Senator Rand Paul (KY)
U.S. Senator, Kentucky
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
When the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the first words out of my mouth were: I still think it is unconstitutional!
The leftwing blogs were merciless. Even my wife said — can’t you pleeeease count to ten before you speak?
So, I’ve had time now to count to ten and, you know what? I still think it’s unconstitutional!
Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds?
I think if James Madison himself — the father of the Constitution — were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!
This debate is not new and it’s not over. Hamilton and Madison fought from the beginning about how government would be limited by the enumerated powers.
Madison was unequivocal. The powers of the federal government are few and defined. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers.
So, how do we fix this travesty of justice? There’s only one option left.
We have to have a new president!
When I heard the current president say, “You didn’t build that,” I was first insulted, then I was angered, then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around.
Anyone who so fundamentally misunderstands American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation.
The great and abiding lesson of American history, particularly the Cold War, is that the engine of capitalism — the individual — is mightier than any collective.
American inventiveness and desire to build developed because we were guaranteed the right to own our success. For most of our history, no one dared tell Americans: “You didn’t build that.”
In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Taing family owns the Great American Donut shop. Their family fled war-torn Cambodia to come to this country. My kids and I love to eat doughnuts, so we go there frequently.
The Taings work long hours. Mrs. Taing told us that the family works through the night to make doughnuts. The Taing children have become valedictorians and National Merit Scholars.
The Taings from Cambodia are an American success story so, Mr. President, don’t you go telling the Taings: “You didn’t build that.”
When you say they didn’t build it, you insult each and every American who ever got up at the crack of dawn. You insult any American who ever put on overalls or a suit.
You insult any American who ever studied late into the night to become a doctor or a lawyer. You insult the dishwasher, the cook, the waitress.
You insult anyone who has ever dragged themselves out of bed to strive for something better for themselves or their children.
My great grandfather, like many, came to this country in search of the American Dream. No sooner had he stepped off the boat than his father died.
He arrived in Pittsburgh as a teenager with nothing, not a penny. He found the American Dream: not great wealth, but a bit of property in a new land that gave him hope for his children.
In America, as opposed to the old country, success was based on merit. Probably America’s greatest asset was that for the first time success was not based on who you were, but on what you did.
My grandfather would live to see his children become doctors, ministers, accountants and professors. He would even live to see one of his sons, a certain congressman from Texas, run for president of the United States of America.
Immigrants have flocked to our shores seeking freedom. Our forbearers came full of hopes and dreams. So consistent and prevalent were these aspirations that they crystallized into a national yearning we call the American Dream.
No other country has a Dream so inextricably associated with the spirit of its people.
In 1982, an American sailor, John Mooney, wrote a letter to his parents that captures the essence of the American Dream:
“Dear Mom and Dad, today we spotted a boat in the water, and we rendered assistance. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees. As they approached the ship, they were all waving and trying as best they could to say, ‘Hello America sailor! Hello Freedom man!’ It’s hard to see a boat full of people like that and not get a lump somewhere between chin and bellybutton. And it really makes one proud and glad to be an American. It reminds us all of what America has always been — a place a man or woman can come to for freedom.”
Hung and Thuan Tringh are brothers and friends of mine. They came to America on one of those leaky, overcrowded boats. They were attacked at sea by pirates. Their family’s wealth was stolen. Thuan spent a year on a South Pacific island existing on one cup of rice and water each day until he was allowed to come to America. Now both of these men and their families are proud Americans. Hung owns his own business and Thuan manages a large company. They are the American Dream.
So, Mr. President, don’t go telling the Tringh family: “You didn’t build that.”
When the president says, “You didn’t build that,” he is flat out wrong. Businessmen and women did build that. Businessmen and women did earn their success. Without the success of American business, we wouldn’t have any roads, or bridges, or schools.
Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share. When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class.
When you seek to punish Mr. Exxon Mobil, you punish the secretary who owns Exxon Mobil stock.
When you block the Keystone Pipeline, you punish the welder who works on the pipeline.
Our nation faces a crisis. America wavers. Unfortunately, we are one of a select group of countries whose debt equals their gross domestic product.
The republic of Washington and Jefferson is now in danger of becoming the democracy of debt and despair. Our great nation is coming apart at the seams and the president seems to point fingers and blame others.
President Obama’s administration will add nearly $6 trillion to our national debt in just one term.
This explosion of debt is unconscionable and unsustainable. Mr. President, we will not let you bankrupt this great nation!
Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows. Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed.
Republicans and Democrats must replace fear with confidence, confidence that no terrorist, and no country, will ever conquer us if we remain steadfast to the principles of our Founding documents.
We have nothing to fear except our own unwillingness to defend what is naturally ours, our God-given rights. We have nothing to fear that should cause us to forget or relinquish our rights as free men and women.
To thrive we must believe in ourselves again, and we must never — never — trade our liberty for any fleeting promise of security.
Author Paul Kengor writes of a brisk evening in small-town Illinois. Returning home from a basketball game at the YMCA, an 11 year old boy is stunned by the sight of his father sprawled out in the snow on the front porch. “He was drunk,” his son later remembered. “Dead to the world, crucified.” The dad’s hair was soaked with melted snow, matted unevenly against the side of his reddened face.
The boy stood over his father for a minute or two. He simply wanted to let himself in the door and pretend his dad wasn’t there. Instead, he grabbed a fistful of overcoat and heaved his dad to the bedroom, away from the weather’s harm and neighbors’ attention.
This young boy became the man – Ronald Reagan – whose sunny optimism and charisma shined so brightly that it cured the malaise of the late seventies, a confidence that beamed so broadly that it pulled us through a serious recession, and a faith that tugged so happily at all hearts that a generation of Democrats became Republicans.
The American Dream is that any among us could become the next Thomas Edison, the next Henry Ford, the next Ronald Reagan.
To lead us forward, away from the looming debt crisis, it will take someone who believes in America’s greatness, who believes in and can articulate the American dream, someone who has created jobs, someone who understands and appreciates what makes America great, someone who will lead our party and our nation forward.
I believe that someone is our nominee: Governor Mitt Romney.
As Reagan said, our freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. If our freedom is taken, the American Dream will wither and die.
To lead, we must transform the coldness of austerity into the warm, vibrant embrace of prosperity.
To overcome the current crisis, we must appreciate and applaud American success. We must step forward, unabashedly and proclaim: You did build that. You earned that. You worked hard. You studied. You labored. You did build that. And you deserve America’s undying gratitude. For you, the individual, are the engine of America’s greatness.
Remarks Jeanine McDonnell
Iraq War Veteran
Chris Devon Young
Remarks The Hon. John McCain (AZ)
U.S. Senator of Arizona
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
It’s an honor, as always, my fellow Republicans, to join you at our national convention, and add my voice to yours as we nominate the next president of the United States, my friend, Governor Mitt Romney.
I had hopes once of addressing you under different circumstances. But our fellow Americans had another plan four years ago, and I accept their decision.
I’ve been blessed for so long to play a role in our nation’s affairs that I’m conscious only of the debt I owe America, and I thank you for the honor.
When we nominate Mitt Romney, we do so with a greater purpose than winning an advantage for our party.
We charge him with the care of a higher cause. His election represents our best hopes for our country and the world.
It is said this election will turn on domestic and economic issues. But what Mitt Romney knows, and what we know, is that our success at home also depends on our leadership in the world.
It is our willingness to shape world events for the better that has kept us safe, increased our prosperity, preserved our liberty and transformed human history.
At our best, America has led.
We have led by our example, as a shining city on a hill. We have led at the direction of patriots from both parties.
We have led, shoulder to shoulder, with steadfast friends and allies. We have led by giving voice to the voiceless, insisting that every human life has dignity and aiding those brave souls who risk everything to secure the inalienable rights that are endowed to all by our Creator.
We have led with generous hearts, moved by an abiding love of justice, to help others eradicate disease, lift themselves from poverty, live under laws of their own making and determine their own destinies.
We have led, when necessary, with the armed might of freedom’s defenders.
And always we have led from the front, never from behind.
This is what makes America an exceptional nation: It is not just a matter of who we are, it is the record of what we have done.
It is the responsibility that generation after generation of Americans has affirmed and carried forward.
It is the cause that many Americans have sacrificed everything — absolutely everything — to defend.
And when they have gone into battle, as they do today, they have done so with the conviction that the country that sent them there is worth their sacrifice, that it stands for something more than the sum of our individual interests.
May God bless all who have served, and all who serve today, as He has blessed us with their service.
We are now being tested by an array of threats that are more complex, more numerous and just as deadly as any I can recall in my lifetime. We face a consequential choice — and make no mistake, it is a choice.
We can choose to follow a declining path, toward a future that is dimmer and more dangerous than our past.
Or we can choose to reform our failing government, revitalize our ailing economy and renew the foundations of our power and leadership in the world.
That is what’s at stake in this election.
Unfortunately, for four years, we’ve drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership — traditions that are truly bipartisan. We’ve let the challenges we face, both at home and abroad, become harder to solve.
We can’t afford to stay on that course any longer.
We can’t afford to cause our friends and allies — from Latin America to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, and especially in Israel, a nation under existential threat — to doubt America’s leadership.
We can’t afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world.
We can’t afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media.
I believe we can’t afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy.
By committing to withdraw from Afghanistan before peace can be achieved and sustained, the president has discouraged our friends and emboldened our enemies, which is why our commanders did not recommend that decision and why they have said it puts our mission at greater risk.
We can’t afford another $500 billion in cuts to our defense budget — on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making. His own secretary of defense has said that cutting our military by nearly $1 trillion would be “devastating.”
And yet, the president is playing no leadership role in preventing this crippling blow to our military.
A wise congressman from Wisconsin has said, “Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course.” And that man is our next vice president, Paul Ryan.
But most of all, we can’t afford to abandon the cause of human freedom. When long-suffering peoples demand liberation from their jailers and torturers and tyrants, the leader of the free world must stand with them.
Unfortunately, this is not happening.
When Iranians rose up by the millions against their oppressive rulers, when they beseeched our president, chanting in English, “Are you with us, or are you with them?”, when the entire world watched as a brave young woman named Neda was shot and bled to death in a street in Tehran.
The president missed a historic opportunity to throw America’s full moral support behind an Iranian revolution that shared one of our highest interests: ridding Iran of a brutal dictatorship that terrorizes the Middle East and threatens the world.
The situation is far worse in Syria. What began as peaceful protests has now become, 18 months later, a savage and unfair fight.
With the full backing of Iran, and Hezbollah, and Russia—with tanks, and helicopters, and fighter jets, Bashir Assad is murdering men, women and children.
More than 20,000 people have perished. Extremists are gaining ground. And the conflict is becoming more dangerous by the day for our allies, and for us.
In other times, when other courageous people fought for their freedom against sworn enemies of the United States, American presidents — both Republicans and Democrats — have acted to help them prevail.
Sadly, for the lonely voices of dissent in Syria, and Iran, and elsewhere, who feel forgotten in their darkness, and sadly for us, as well, our president is not being true to our values.
For the sake of the cause of freedom, for the sake of people who are willing to give their lives so their fellow citizens can determine their own futures and for the sake of our nation — the nation founded on the idea that all people, everywhere, have the right to freedom and justice — we must return to our best traditions of American leadership, and support those who face down the brutal tyranny of their oppressors and our enemies.
Across the world, people are seizing control of their own destinies. They are liberating themselves from oppressive rulers. And they want America’s support.
They want America’s assistance as they struggle to live in peace and security, to expand opportunity for themselves and their children, to replace the injustices of despots with the institutions of democracy and freedom.
America must be on the right side of history.
The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don’t want less of America.
They want more.
Everywhere I go in the world, people tell me they still have faith in America.
What they want to know is whether we still have faith in ourselves.
I trust that Mitt Romney has that faith, and I trust him to lead us.
I trust him to affirm our nation’s exceptional character and responsibilities.
I trust him to know that our security and economic interests are inextricably tied to the progress of our values.
I trust him to know that if America doesn’t lead, our adversaries will, and the world will grow darker, poorer and much more dangerous.
I trust him to know that an American president always, always, always stands up for the rights, and freedoms, and justice of all people.
I trust Mitt Romney to know that good can triumph over evil, that justice can vanquish tyranny, that love can conquer hate, that the desire for freedom is eternal and universal, and that America is still the best hope of mankind.
And now, my fellow Americans: Let’s elect our next commander-in-chief, and the next leader of the free world, my friend, Governor Mitt Romney.
Israel: Cherished Memories
Remarks The Hon. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
U.S. Representative, Washington, Fifth District
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
While we gather here tonight for the second night of the GOP Convention in Tampa, we’d like to pause to acknowledge those along the Gulf Coast impacted by Hurricane Isaac.
While it's now been downgraded to a tropical storm, our hearts and our prayers remain with them.
And we pledge to help them recover and rebuild.
To find out more about how you can help those affected by Hurricane Isaac, please visit: www.RedCross.Org\give.
Tonight we have a terrific line-up for you. Our theme tonight is, “We can change it.”
We have heard of the challenges America is facing; now let’s talk about the solutions.
Those of you here in the convention, and those of you watching at home, know what needs to be done:
--We need to create more jobs and get our economy moving again.
--We need to make college affordable and within the reach of every child. I was the first in my family to graduate from college, so I know how important that is to the American Dream.
--We need a government that works for us, not against us, and lives within its means (just like you and I do).
--We also need a president who shares these ideas and values. Our current president has a different philosophy.
For every problem, he has the same solution: more taxes, more spending and more government.
We know how those policies have turned out: more unemployment, more poverty, and moredebt.
Friends, we know we can do better – we can change it. And tonight’s program is filled with people who will tell us how.
Senator John Thune will talk to us about how small businesses – like the one I ran with my family in Washington state – are the fuel our economy needs.
Senator Rob Portman will talk to us about the vital role of international trade in jump-starting our economy.
Governor Tim Pawlenty will share with us why he believes Mitt Romney is the man who can get the job done.
We’re so pleased that Mike Huckabee will be with us. We look forward to hearing his candid assessments as one of America's favorite former governors.
And former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will talk about America’s role on the world stage – and how our current economic situation impacts our ability to lead.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez will talk about how she became the first female Hispanic governor in American history – and how she hopes to break down barriers for other young women.
And finally, our keynote speaker is a man with the courage of his convictions, who is not afraid to tackle the tough questions facing our country, the next vice president of the United States, Paul Ryan.
So let’s start by talking about one of the first things that will change under Mitt Romney –Obamacare. Join me in welcoming Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.
Remarks The Hon. Pam Bondi (FL)
The Hon. Pam Bondi
Attorney General, Florida
The Hon. Sam Olens
Attorney General, Georgia
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
OLENS: As Attorneys General, we have been on the front line defending the Constitution – and the American people – from a President driven to exercise government power over our freedoms, our rights, and our lives.
We know that the Constitution limits federal power, but President Obama clearly believes those limits just get in his way.
So he ignores them. Time and again.
He promises to rescue our economy and environment by investing in green jobs, but instead funnels tax dollars into campaign donors’ pockets.
He promised to have the most transparent administration in history but now refuses to come clean with Congress and the American people about Fast and Furious.
BONDI: He talks about giving us more control over health-care decisions, but instead grants that power to government bureaucrats.
He claims that government is responsible for private sector success, but the only thing he is building is bigger government.
And Obamacare is Exhibit A.
OLENS: It distorts our Constitution and endangers our fragile economy.
We did everything in our power to stop it, taking the fight all the way to the United States Supreme Court. We prevailed on our two main arguments:
BONDI: The Court agreed that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not allow the federal government to force you to purchase a product you don’t want.
The Court agreed that the Constitution does not allow the federal government to force states to adopt a budget-busting expansion of Medicaid.
OLENS: Then came the shocker: The Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance mandate by calling it something the President swore it never was – a tax.
At every stage of the process, President Obama and Congressional Democrats promised us that the mandate was not a tax.
Because they knew Americans were hurting, and the last thing we needed was another tax!
Because they knew – if the American public were told that Obamacare was just a massive tax hike, they wouldn’t have a prayer of passing it.
BONDI: Instead, President Obama and the Democrats called it a mandate. Then they turned around, and without a shred of shame, asked the Court to call the mandate a tax.
Yet, the President can’t bring himself to acknowledge publicly that the only reason his “’Unaffordable Care Act” still stands – is because it is a tax.
This is what happens when a President has such total disregard for our individual liberty that he knowingly and purposely imposes unwarranted restrictions against the will of the people.
This is not why our Founding Fathers risked their lives and their fortunes when they created a nation.
This is not why young American men and women today risk their lives in defense of freedom.
OLENS and BONDI: So, tonight, we ask you:
BONDI: Do you want skyrocketing health insurance premiums?
OLENS: Do you want enormous new financial burdens on young people who already shoulder our nation’s crushing debt?
BONDI: Do you want the government to force individuals and religious institutions to violate the tenets of their faith?
OLENS: Do you want over $1 trillion in tax increases?
BONDI: Do you want a job-destroying insurance mandate that strangles businesses?
OLENS: Do you want a federal government that tells you what to do, what to think, or what tobuy when it comes to your health care?
BONDI: Do you want the federal government to steal hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare to hide the true costs of Obamacare?
OLENS: Do you want more of this for four more years?
The health care lawsuit has reminded all of us that the Constitution limits the power of government.
It has reminded us of the precious relationship between federalism and individual liberty.
And though we fundamentally disagree with his decision, Chief Justice Roberts did observe that it is not the Supreme Court’s “job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
BONDI: It is our job to make a new choice.
It is time to stand up and say, in a loud, clear voice, “Enough!”
It is time to repeal Obamacare!
It is time to stop those who ignore the Constitution when it’s expedient!
It is time to remember that our rights are not a gift from government, but from God, and that by
His grace we will defend them!
It is time for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Remarks The Hon. John Thune (SD)
U.S. Senator, South Dakota
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
Good evening, fellow Republicans.
It’s no secret that I’m a sports fan. In fact, I get asked all the time if I’ve ever played basketball with President Obama.
The answer is “no,” I’m still waiting for that invitation.
The next question is, “Do you think you could take him one-on-one?” I say, “I really don’t know, I’ve never seen him play.”
But I can tell you this. President Obama would be easy to defend, because you know he’s always going to go to his left.
Like many Americans, I’ve been blessed by the hard work and sacrifice of those who’ve come before.
Back in 1906, two Norwegian brothers named Nicolai and Matthew Gjelsvik came to this country in search of the American Dream. When they reached the shores of America, the only English words they knew were “apple pie” and “coffee,” which evidently they had plenty of on the trip over.
The immigration officials at Ellis Island determined that their name “Gjelsvik” –G-J-E-L-S-V-I-K – was too difficult to spell and pronounce, so they asked them to change it. The two brothers picked the name of the farm where they worked in Norway, which was called the Thune Farm. And so Nicolai Gjelsvik became Nick Thune, my grandfather.
With their new country and their new name, the two brothers began their new life by working on the railroad. They learned English and saved enough money to start a small hardware store.
And yes, Mr. President, they did build it!
My grandfather raised three sons. The middle son, my father, joined the Navy when World War II broke out. He became a naval aviator, flying combat missions off the aircraft carrier Intrepid in the Pacific theatre. On one mission, he shot down four enemy aircraft, for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, my dad quietly returned to South Dakota, his hardware store and his family.
Many versions of that story are told across this country. The details may be different – but the dream is the same.
I hate to say it, but that dream is in serious jeopardy. We have a sluggish economy, burdened by Obama administration policies that are weighing down our job creators. Middle-class Americans, in cities and on farms, are bearing the brunt.
The big-government bureaucrats of the Obama administration have set their sights on our way of life. Instead of preserving family farms and ranches, President Obama’s policies are effectively regulating them out of business.
His administration even proposed banning farm kids from doing basic chores!
Since President Obama took office, we’ve had 42 consecutive months of unemployment above 8 percent – the longest streak on record.
The cost of family health insurance premiums has risen by nearly 19 percent, college tuition has increased by 25 percent and fuel costs have doubled.
The number of people on food stamps has increased by 45 percent, and the debt we’re piling on the backs of our children and grandchildren has gone up by 50 percent. Yet for all President Obama's talk about the middle class, middle-class incomes are down.
Folks, we won’t be in this situation with Mitt Romney in the White House. He understands what it takes for businesses large and small to thrive.
This knowledge doesn’t come from a textbook (although he’s read plenty of those). It comes from decades of rolling up his sleeves and getting the job done.
It comes from recognizing the strengths and contributions of every individual. His experience tells him that the most valuable insight can be gained – not by lecturing – but by listening.
And when he does use his presidential bully pulpit, it will be to champion the cause of small business and make it clear to all companies that it is safe to hire again.
On Day One of Mitt Romney’s presidency, the transformation of Washington will begin. Gone will be the arrogance of a president whose first instinct is to condemn achievement.
Gone will be the attitude that government knows best and solves all. What you will see and hear is a president who will do everything in his power to make sure government is a catalyst for growth, not an obstacle to success. And, a president with a plan to strengthen the middle class.
May it never be said of us that when confronted with the economic peril before us, we averted our eyes, turned away and did nothing.
Our children’s future depends on our willingness to act and our decision to elect Mitt Romney president of the United States.
May God continue to bless the United States of America.
Remarks Tad True
Vice President of Belle Fourche and Bridger Pipelines, Casper, Wyoming
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen: Energy powers everything we do and America depends on reliable and affordable energy.
This is a simple concept, but the Obama administration does not get it. His policies are driving us away from energy independence, not towards it.
Mitt Romney knows that we need an “All of the Above” energy policy that includes oil, gas, and coal and renewable sources — like wind and solar — so that we can finally secure energy independence for our country.
Infrastructure is fundamental to all energy systems. And infrastructure is critical to achieving energy independence infrastructure — like pipelines.
Which prompts me to ask: Mr. President, where is the Keystone Pipeline?
I am part of the third generation of family-owned businesses, and we operate pipelines in the great states of Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana. These companies were started by my grandfather, and then run by my father and uncles.
Between them — and our 152 dedicated and incredibly talented employees — we built almost 4,000 miles of pipeline.
A lot of our recent work has been constructing new pipeline infrastructure in western North Dakota to support the development of the Bakken oil shale — an exciting and important development for America.Some time ago, we agreed to build the “on-ramp” to the Keystone XL pipeline, so that it could take American produced oil to American markets. If Keystone had received timely approval of their permit, it would be under construction today.
Instead, Americans have missed out on jobs from this pipeline because the Obama Administration has played politics with the Keystone project.
My hope is that my 3 boys — Henry, Sam, and Charlie — will be part of the fourth generation of our family business. And although my kids think pipelines are boring, I know and you know and Mitt Romney knows that pipelines are vital to America’s energy system.
Ladies and Gentlemen: This is not about just one pipeline. This is about a fundamental transformation of America’s energy system so that we can achieve that long-sought after goal of energy independence.
More importantly, it’s about my 3 boys and your children and about re-building a nation that can once again power itself.
We need a president who understands that we need all of that energy all of that oil all of those jobs. And we need a president that understands that America needs that pipeline.
That president is Mitt Romney.
Remarks The Hon. Rob Portman (OH)
U.S. Senator, Ohio
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
Good evening America, and hello to the fired-up delegation from the Buckeye State right in front of me.
My name is Rob Portman and they say I was on Governor Romney’s short list of vice presidential candidates.
Apparently, it wasn’t short enough.
But it’s been a great convention and I am delighted to be here tonight to talk about the fundamental differences between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama when it comes to understanding our economy.
Let’s begin by talking about something the Democrats love to demonize - Mitt Romney’s success in the private sector. He built a company from the ground up, created lots of jobs, and yes, he made money.
He made it the old fashioned way . . . He earned it.
Then you have Barack Obama, who has never started a business—never even worked in business. And he claims those who have should give credit to the government or someone else for their success.
So, you have one candidate who understands that success comes from working hard, competingand taking risks.
And you have another candidate who believes success comes from government.
Which one do you think knows how to turn this economy around?
Which one would you choose to invest your life’s savings?Should it be any different for safeguarding our nation’s economy?
Or let’s say you don’t have any savings. Let’s say you’re worried about how to pay September’s rent or mortgage.
Let’s say you are one of the millions of Americans out of work or the millions more who have given up looking.
You’ve gotta be running out of patience – and hope. You have to be tired, looking for a new start.
Well, you don’t have to be patient any longer. Through your vote this fall you can change the leadership of this country and the opportunities for you and your family.
America, it has been nearly four years of over eight percent unemployment – and double digit unemployment for young people, Hispanics and African-Americans.
Four years. FDR and Truman won an entire world war in four years.
America is tired of waiting.
In business, if you don’t move rapidly, you are out of business. You are finished.
We want a president who operates at business speed not government speed.
President Obama says he deserves reelection because his economic policies have worked.
NOT in this universe they haven’t.
In fact, the experts tell us that if we don’t change our policies we are going back into recession next year.
Tens of millions of Americans are not out of the last recession!
Governor Romney had a plan to build his business. He now has a detailed plan to restore our economy and strengthen the middle class.
I ask you: Where is the president’s economic plan?
Blaming others does not qualify as a plan. Now the president did submit a budget. It was so bad that not a single Republican or a single Democrat in the entire United States Congress would vote for it.
He got zero votes. That is a failure of leadership.President Obama has been right about at least one prediction he’s made about the economy. He said, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
I think you are right about that, Mr. President.
It hasn’t worked, because you cannot spend your way, regulate your way, tax your way or blame your way out of the economic mess we are in.
You have to liberate the productive power of the American people through policies that encourage innovation, risk taking, investment and jobs.
And you have to compete and win in the global economy. Governor Romney understands this.
In contrast, President Obama is the first president in 75 years—Democrat or Republican—who hasn’t even sought the ability to negotiate export agreements and open markets overseas. Now why is this important?
Because 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside our borders. And to create jobs, our workers and our farmers need to sell more of what we make to those people.
While this administration has been dragging its feet, other countries have been busy negotiating hundreds of new trade agreements to benefit their workers and their farmers, taking away our opportunities.
President Obama has been so driven to advance his big government ideology that he has abandoned the daily economic work that a government must do to open markets, restore business confidence and create the climate for job growth.
This is the work President Romney would begin on day one.
Take trade with China. China manipulates its currency giving it an unfair trade advantage. So why doesn’t the president do something about it?
I’ll tell you one reason – President Obama could not run up his record trillion dollar deficits if the Chinese did not buy our bonds to finance them.
We are as beholden to China for bonds as we are to the Middle East for oil.
This will end under Mitt Romney.
We need to knock down these trade barriers abroad, but we also need to knock down the selfimposed barriers to success right here at home.
We need to reform our outdated and complicated tax code. We need to fix our burdensome regulatory system and we need an energy policy that encourages development of our resources right here, in the ground, in America. America has a choice between Mitt Romney, who seeks to grow the economy, and Barack Obama who seeks to redistribute it.
Which one do you think will liberate America’s entrepreneurial spirit?
At the other party’s convention, you will hear the chant, “Four more years. Four more years.”
Folks – we can’t afford four more years. How about no more years?
Governor Romney chose a terrific partner in Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – Paul is a close friend with a great family and a reformer’s heart.
Vice President Biden has told people out of work to just, “hang in there.” So much for hope and change.
Paul Ryan is not asking America to continue to hang in there. He is proposing new policies that will give poor and middle class families opportunities and hope for the future.
Mitt Romney made his mark turning around businesses and solving problems.
Paul Ryan made his mark as a respected reformer focused on results.
Together they will do what President Obama has not done: They will lead in breaking through the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.
America, give them the chance to restore America’s economy and restore the American dream.
I have seen that dream up close. When I was a kid, my dad left his job as a salesman and started his own business selling forklift trucks. My Mom was the bookkeeper. He had to borrow money
from her uncle because the bank wouldn’t give him a loan. He lost money for the first few years,
but he never lost his dream.
And by the time he retired and my brother took over, the business had 200 employees –supporting 200 families in Southwest Ohio.
This is the classic American story – not of government telling us what to do – but of free men and free women willing to work hard and take a risk to build something of value for themselves, their families and their community.
About a year into the Obama Administration – I asked my dad whether he would do it again. He said, “Rob – with all the uncertainty out there today – I don’t know if I would take the risk.”
In that one sentence, he summed up what I’ve heard from hundreds of small business owners across Ohio and around this great country. They’re afraid to make the investment and jobs are the casualty.Ladies and gentlemen, we need new leadership and new policies to bring back the dream and renew America’s promise.
No more excuses, no more blaming others, no more waiting.
We need Romney /Ryan and we need them now! And with your help, it will happen.
Thank you and God bless our great country.
Remarks Steve Cohen
President, Screen Machine Industries, Inc., Etna, Ohio
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
My name is Steven Cohen and I am president of Screen Machine Industries, a family-owned manufacturer of construction and mining equipment located in the great Buckeye State of Ohio.
And, yes, we did build this company.
Our country’s nearly 30 million small businesses serve as the American backbone for job creation and product innovation.
The opportunity to create new products and open new markets is the American Dream. This capitalistic spirit has supported our economy since its founding.
As a manufacturer, our products are the heartbeat of our business.
We can’t tolerate other companies stealing our hard work without compensation.
It can take several years and tens of thousands of dollars to achieve patent status. Once granted, we expect it to be protected. Our products are often stolen and copied overseas for a mere fraction of the price.
All too often tariffs and unfair trade practices make it difficult for American businesses to export.
We need a new president that will protect America’s patented inventions, guard the value of our currency and open new markets for American products.
American small businesses face a mountain of regulations and taxes.
In addition, our international competitors do not have to face the upcoming costs associated with funding a multibillion dollar health care plan, overreaching emission standards, and the unnecessary “War on Coal.” These factors create a tremendous disadvantage in the global market place.
We need an administration that will lessen tax burdens and government regulations that strangle small businesses.
While we face higher government-imposed costs, cheaper imports from overseas companies flood our markets.
Unnecessary regulations and mandates imposed on business make our products more expensive to make and less competitive to sell.
We need a Romney administration to ensure our country's competitiveness and give our companies the opportunity to expand and hire again.
Let’s bring back that original American will to invent, employ and prosper!
Remote & Introduction Puerto Rico Watch Party
Remarks The Hon. Luis Fortuño (PR)
Governor of Puerto Rico
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
Buenas noches Puerto Rico!
Buenas noches America!
As a proud American serving the nearly 4 million American citizens of Puerto Rico, I am honored to be with you tonight.
We gather to celebrate the hopes and dreams of every American. We all believe in the greatness of this nation, and this greatness lies within each of us.
Hard-working Americans are fighting every day to provide for themselves and their families, and to leave a more prosperous country for the next generation.
That’s true here in Florida, it’s true in Puerto Rico, and it’s true throughout this great land of ours.
But, as families have tightened their budgets, Washington continues its wasteful spending.
Unless we elect leaders who take responsibility now, our children and theirs will pay for it later.
You and I know there is a better way, and like many conservative governors around the country, we are proving it.
When I took office, I inherited a $3.3 billion budget deficit, per person the largest anywhere inthe nation.
We couldn’t even meet our payroll. We were on the brink of bankruptcy.
But we did not shy away from our responsibility to lead. We cut government expenses by almost 20 percent, starting with my own salary.
We reduced our deficit 90 percent, while continuing to invest in our schools, hospitals, and highways.
At the same time, we slashed taxes 50 percent on individuals and 30 percent on businesses, the largest tax cuts in Puerto Rico’s history.
And our private sector – the real economy – began to create jobs again.
Imagine if we had national policies that support rather than prevent growth! We’d then be able to truly unleash the engine of prosperity that our country and our people deserve.
That’s what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will do for America. They understand that each community’s challenges are unique, but the answers are the same.
Our families cannot grow their budgets if politicians keep growing Washington’s budget.
Get government out of our way, and let freedom and the spirit of the American people shine through.
We can out-think, out-dream, out-work, and out-produce anybody in the world.
I know it, you know it, and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know it.
They have a plan and a vision that places our faith in you, the American people, not in Washington.
Ask any small-business owner in America today — from the dairy farmer in Appleton, Wisconsin, to the bodega owner in Kissimmee, Florida: they want to grow, to produce and to hire.
But they’re concerned, worried that Washington will continue to punish them with more taxes, more red tape, and more government control.
Give them the freedom to grow, and you’ll see how many jobs they create!
I like to talk a lot about freedom, because freedom is the essence of who we are as Americans.
Over 200,000 Puerto Ricans have served in uniform to defend our nation and the freedom we hold so dear.
Like in your home states, we raise and salute the American flag.
Just like our fellow citizens in Florida or Virginia, we share the same undying spirit that all Americans have.Allow me to share an example of that spirit.
I visited a soldier from Puerto Rico at Walter Reed Army Medical Center several years ago.
This young man had bravely served in combat and was given little chance to live.
Without knowing if he could hear me, in every visit, I would whisper into his ear.
I would tell him how proud and thankful we were for his dedication and sacrifice, adding, no te rindas: don’t give up.
Months later, after his miraculous recovery, I had the honor of awarding him the Purple Heart.
He never gave up.
For him, and for every American in uniform, we will never give up.
For every mother who struggles, saves, and sacrifices so her children will have greater opportunities, we will never give up.For every small-business owner who builds it to make a better life, we will never give up.
For Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who know what it takes to put America back to work and back on track, we will never give up.
And for the values that make America great: the justice that is our right, the freedom to unleash the greatness within each of us, and the liberty that God endowed every American.
For that, I will never give up, you will never give up, we will never give up!
God Bless you, and God bless the United States of America!
And muchas gracias, thank you, Puerto Rico – I'll be home tomorrow!
Remarks The Hon. Tim Pawlenty (MN)
Former Governor, Minnesota
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
Thank you. Thank you very much. Good evening everyone, and welcome to Barack Obama’s retirement party!
Four years ago, we came together for this convention back in my home state of Minnesota, and a lot’s happened since then.
We’ve had four years of Barack Obama in the White House.
Ah, the Obama White House, one bad decision follows another. Hard to say exactly just what his worst mistake has been.
There’s so many to choose from: The stimulus. His energy policy. Obamacare. Taxes. Joe Biden.
I hear Joe’s particularly interested in tonight’s proceedings. He even thought about coming here to Tampa. And he’s taking notes because when Paul Ryan speaks, Joe will finally get to hear what a real vice president sounds like!
But you know, President Obama isn’t as bad as people say, he’s actually worse.
The president takes more vacations than that guy on the Bizarre Foods show.
And I’ll give Barack Obama credit for creating jobs these last four years for golf caddies.
Actually, Barack Obama is the first president to create more excuses than jobs! In his view, it’s George’s fault. It’s the bank’s fault. It’s Europe’s fault. It’s the weather’s fault. It’s Congress’ fault. Mr. President, if you want to find fault, I suggest you look in the mirror!
I’ve come to realize that Barack Obama is the tattoo president. Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young.
But later on, that decision doesn’t look so good, and you wonder: what was I thinking?
But the worst part is you’re still going to have to explain it to your kids.
Next week, Barack Obama will plead with America to give his failed ideas another chance. He’s asking Americans to give him more time and more money.
Well sorry, Mr. President, but you’re out of time, and we’re out of money.
Barack Obama’s failed us. But look, it’s understandable. A lot of people fail at their first job.
Now, our opponents claim to be the party of the middle class. But Democrats don’t understand this fundamental point: it’s really hard for people to be part of the middle class if they don’t have a job!
I know a bit about these things. I grew up in a meatpacking town.
For much of his life, my dad was a truck driver. My mom was a homemaker. She died when I was 16, and my dad lost his job not long after that. And I was the only one of the five kids in our family who had a chance to go to college.
When I traveled the country these past few years, I met Americans from all different walks of life.
If you ask middle-class Americans about their hopes and dreams, they’ll share their heart, but also their concerns.
Can they pay the mortgage? Will they have enough money to buy groceries, or gas for the car? Will they be able to get their kids into college or pay the tuition?
But jobs don’t come from politicians. They come from entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators and risk-takers.
America’s entrepreneurs know taxes are too high, and regulations are too costly and complex. Obamacare frightens them. And they want more American energy.
And they’re collectively making one common plea. They’re saying: I want to grow my business and employ people, but they’re also saying this: Just get the government off my back!
We need to let them know help’s on the way, and help’s name is Mitt Romney.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have the best candidate. This isn’t his first job, or the first time he’s been a leader who has produced results.
He made a success of failing companies. He made a success of the Olympics. He even made government in Massachusetts more effective and efficient.
And now he’s ready to help get America back on track and Americans back to work. He has a plan to strengthen and grow America’s middle class with lower taxes; a government that works for the American people instead of dashing their hopes and dreams; lower energy prices; and greater access to a quality education for all.
There’s one other thing I want to leave you with tonight. It’s important for America to know that Mitt Romney is not only a great leader, he’s also a remarkable person. He’s smart, gracious and wise. And he has this infectious good cheer about him – something I appreciate and something America needs.
Mitt Romney never quits moving. When he sees a problem, he goes after it and finds the solution.
It’s that can-do spirit, combined with a lifetime of service and success that convinced me to support him. And it’s that can-do spirit that we need in the White House, leading America now.
As a former governor, I know that leadership takes optimism, but not blind optimism.
We need a leader who understands the depth of our challenges, but who also doesn’t shy away from them.
Mitt Romney knows what our problems are, and he has the tools, the experience, the energy and the right polices to fix them.
After four years of this president, we need Mitt Romney now, more than ever.
I’m proud to be supporting him for president of the United States, and I know you are too.
And with any luck, in a few months, Barack Obama will at last get some experience in the private sector.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
Remarks The Hon. Mike Huckabee (AR)
SPEECH NOT UPLOADED YET
Remarks The Hon. Condoleezza Rice
Former Secretary of State
Good evening. Distinguished delegates, fellow Republicans, fellow Americans...
We gather here at a time of significance and challenge. This young century has been a difficult one. I will never forget the bright September day, standing at my desk in the White House, when my young assistant said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center – and then a second one – and a third, the Pentagon. And then the news of a fourth, driven into the ground by brave citizens that died so that many others would live. From that day on our sense of vulnerability and our understanding of security would be altered forever.
Then in 2008 the global financial and economic crisis stunned us and still reverberates as unemployment, economic uncertainty and failed policies cast a pall over the American recovery so desperately needed at home and abroad.
And we have seen once again that the desire for freedom is universal – as men and women in the Middle East demand it. Yet, the promise of the Arab Spring is engulfed in uncertainty; internal strife and hostile neighbors are challenging the fragile democracy in Iraq; dictators in Iran and Syria butcher their own people and threaten the security of the region; China and Russia prevent a response; and all wonder, “Where does America stand?”
Indeed that is the question of the moment- “Where does America stand?” When our friends and our foes, alike, do not know the answer to that question – clearly and unambiguously — the world is a chaotic and dangerous place. The U.S. has since the end of World War II had an answer – we stand for free peoples and free markets, we are willing to support and defend them – we will sustain a balance of power that favors freedom.
To be sure, the burdens of leadership have been heavy. I, like you, know the sacrifices that Americans have made – yes including the ultimate sacrifice of many of our bravest. Yet our armed forces remain the sure foundation of liberty. We are fortunate to have men and women who volunteer – they volunteer to defend us on the front lines of freedom. And we owe them our eternal gratitude.
I know too that it has not always been easy – though it has been rewarding – to speak up for those who would otherwise be without a voice – the religious dissident in China; the democracy advocate in Venezuela; the political prisoner in Iran.
It has been hard to muster the resources to support fledgling democracies– or to help the world’s most desperate— the AIDs orphan in Uganda, the refugee fleeing Zimbabwe, the young woman who has been trafficked into the sex trade in Southeast Asia; the world’s poorest in Haiti. Yet this assistance – together with the compassionate works of private charities – people of conscience and people of faith— has shown the soul of our country.
And I know too that there is weariness – a sense that we have carried these burdens long enough. But if we are not inspired to lead again, one of two things will happen – no one will lead and that will foster chaos —- or others who do not share our values will fill the vacuum. My fellow Americans, we do not have a choice. We cannot be reluctant to lead – and one cannot lead from behind.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand this reality — that our leadership abroad and our well being at home are inextricably linked. They know what needs to be done.
Our friends and allies must be able to trust us. From Israel to Poland to the Philippines to Colombia and across the world — they must know that we are reliable and consistent and determined. And our adversaries must have no reason to doubt our resolve — because peace really does come through strength. Our military capability and technological advantage will be safe in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s hands.
We must work for an open global economy and pursue free and fair trade – to grow our exports and our influence abroad. In the last years, the United States has ratified three trade agreements, all negotiated in the Bush Administration. If you are concerned about China’s rise – consider this fact – China has signed 15 Free Trade Agreements and is negotiating 20 more. Sadly we are abandoning the playing field of free trade – and it will come back to haunt us.
We must not allow the chance to attain energy independence to slip from our grasp. We have a great gift of oil and gas reserves here in North America that must be and can be developed while protecting our environment. And we have the ingenuity in the private sector to tap alternative sources of energy.
And most importantly, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild the foundation of American strength – our economy – stimulating private sector led growth and small business entrepreneurship. When the world looks at us today they see an American government that cannot live within its means. They see a government that continues to borrow money, mortgaging the future of generations to come. The world knows that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny. That is not the America that has inspired others to follow our lead.
After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful political and economic experiment in human history. That is the true basis of “American Exceptionalism.” The essence of America – that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.
Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other’s success. Ours has been a belief in opportunity and a constant battle – long and hard — to extend the benefits of the American dream to all – without regard to circumstances of birth.
But the American ideal is indeed endangered today. There is no country, no not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we fail to accomplish the tasks before us here at home.
More than at any other time in history –the ability to mobilize the creativity and ambition of human beings forms the foundation of greatness. We have always done that better than any country in the world. People have come here from all over because they believed in our creed – of opportunity and limitless horizons. They have come from the world’s most impoverished nations to make five dollars not fifty cents– and they have come from the world’s advanced societies – as engineers and scientists — to help fuel the knowledge based revolution in the Silicon Valley of California; the research triangle of North Carolina; in Austin, Texas; along Route 128 in Massachusetts – and across our country.
We must continue to welcome the world’s most ambitious people to be a part of us. In that way we stay perpetually young and optimistic and determined. We need immigration laws that protect our borders; meet our economic needs; and yet show that we are a compassionate people.
We have been successful too because Americans have known that one’s status at birth was not a permanent station in life. You might not be able to control your circumstances but you could control your response to your circumstances. And your greatest ally in doing so was a quality education.
Let me ask you, though, today, when I can look at your zip code and can tell whether you are going to get a good education – can I really say that it doesn’t matter where you came from – it matters where you are going. The crisis in K-12 education is a grave threat to who we are.
My mom was a teacher – I have the greatest respect for the profession – we need great teachers – not poor or mediocre ones. We need to have high standards for our students – self-esteem comes from achievement not from lax standards and false praise. And we need to give parents greater choice – particularly poor parents whose kids – most often minorities — are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights struggle of our day.
If we do anything less, we will condemn generations to joblessness, hopelessness and dependence on the government dole. To do anything less is to endanger our global economic competitiveness. To do anything less is to tear apart the fabric of who we are and cement a turn toward grievance and entitlement.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild us at home and inspire us to lead abroad. They will provide an answer to the question, “Where does America stand?”
The challenge is real and these are tough times. But America has met and overcome difficult circumstances before. Whenever you find yourself doubting us – just think of all the times that we have made the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect.
America’s victorious revolutionary founding – against the greatest military power of the time; a Civil War – hundreds of thousands dead in a brutal conflict – but emerging a stronger union; a second founding – as impatient patriots fought to overcome the birth defect of slavery and the scourge of segregation; a long struggle against communism – that ended with the death of the Soviet Union and the emergence of Europe, whole free and at peace; the will to make difficult decisions, heart-wrenching choices in the aftermath of 9/11 that secured us and prevented the follow-on attacks that seemed preordained at the time.
And on a personal note– a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham – the most segregated big city in America - her parents can’t take her to a movie theater or a restaurant – but they make her believe that even though she can’t have a hamburger at the Woolworth’s lunch counter – she can be President of the United States and she becomes the Secretary of State.
Yes, America has a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect. But of course it has never been inevitable – it has taken leadership, courage and an unwavering faith in our values.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have the experience and the integrity and the vision to lead us – they know who we are, what we want to be and what we offer the world.
That is why this is a moment – an election – of consequence. Because it just has to be – that the most compassionate and freest country on the face of the earth – will continue to be the most powerful!
May God Bless You – and May God continue to bless this extraordinary, exceptional country – the United States of America.
Remarks The Hon. Susana Martinez (NM)
Governor of New Mexico
(Remarks Prepared for Delivery)
August 29, 2012
Thank you and good evening.
On behalf of the great state of New Mexico, let me express my gratitude for being invited to speak tonight.
Growing up, I never imagined a girl from a border town could one day become a governor.
But this is America
Y, en America todo es posible.
My parents taught me to never give up and to always believe that my future could be whatever I dreamt it to be.
Success, they taught me, is built on the foundation of courage, hard-work and individual responsibility.
Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fears.
We grew up on the border and truly lived paycheck to paycheck. My dad was a golden gloves boxer in the Marine Corps, then a deputy sheriff. My mom worked as an office assistant.
One day, they decided to start a security guard business. I thought they were absolutely crazy—we literally had no savings, but they always believed in the American Dream.
So, my dad worked to grow the business.
My mom did the books at night. And at 18, I guarded the parking lot at the Catholic Church bingos.
Now, my dad made sure I could take care of myself. I carried a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum -- that gun weighed more than I did!
My parents grew that small business—from one 18-year-old guarding a bingo—to more than 125 people in three states.
And sure, there was help along the way. But my parents took the risk. They stood up. And you better believe that they built it.
My parents also taught me about having the courage to stand for something. So, I went to law school and became a prosecutor.
I took on a specialty that very few choose to pursue – I prosecuted child abuse and child homicide cases. Cases that were truly gut-wrenching.
But standing up for those kids, being their voice for justice, was the honor of a lifetime.
Sometimes you pay a price for standing up.
When I was a young prosecutor, I got called to testify against my boss. I could have backed down, but I didn’t. I stood up to him. And he fired me for it.
So I took him on, ran against him for district attorney and beat him by a landslide!
I fear some of our leaders today have lost the courage to stand up.
What we have now are politicians. They won’t offer real plans, and only stand up when they want to blame someone else.
And I don’t say that just because a Democrat is in the White House. I was a Democrat for many years. So were my parents.
Before I ran for District Attorney, two Republicans invited my husband and me to lunch. And I knew a party-switch was exactly what they wanted.
So, I told Chuck, we’ll be polite, enjoy a free lunch and then say goodbye.
But we talked about issues—they never used the words Republican, or Democrat, conservative or liberal.
We talked about many issues, like welfare – is it a way of life, or a hand-up?
Talked about the size of government -- how much should it tax families and small businesses?
And when we left that lunch, we got in the car and I looked over at Chuck and said, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.”This election should not be about political parties. Too many Americans are out of work, and our debt is out of control. This election needs to be about those issues.
And it is the responsibility of both parties to offer up real solutions and have an honest debate.
In New Mexico, I inherited the largest structural deficit in state history.
And our legislature is controlled by Democrats.
We don’t always agree.
But we came together – in a bi-partisan manner—and turned that deficit into a surplus, all without raising taxes.
That’s not the kind of leadership we are seeing from President Obama.
He promised to bring us all together, to cut unemployment, to pass immigration reform in his first year and even promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term.
Do you remember that?
But he hasn’t come close.
They haven’t even passed a budget in Washington, DC in three years!
If he can take credit for government building small businesses, then he can accept responsibility for breaking his promise and adding 5 trillion dollars to the national debt.
Because he did build that.
As the first Hispanic female governor in history, little girls often come up to me in the grocery store or the mall. They look and point, and when they get the courage, they ask “Are you Susana?” and they run up and give me a hug.
And I wonder. How do you know who I am?
But they do. And these are little girls.
It’s in moments like these when I’m reminded that we each pave a path. And for me, it’s about paving a path for those little girls to follow.
No more barriers.
In many ways Mitt Romney and I are very different. Different starts in life. Different paths to leadership. Different cultures.But we’ve each shared in the promise of America, and we share a core belief that the promise of America must be kept for the next generation.
El sueno Americanos es tener exito.
Success is the American Dream.
And that success is not something to be ashamed of, or to demonize.
There is one candidate in this election who will protect that dream, one leader who will fight hard to keep the promise of America for the next generation.
And that’s why we must stand up and make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.
Remarks The Hon. Paul Ryan (WI)
Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.
I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this.
I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.
Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.
I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.
They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.
With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.
For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn. It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.
The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida. There she is – my Mom, Betty.
My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul. Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life. I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.
I live on the same block where I grew up. We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place.
The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I’ve tried to live up to their trust. And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.
When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.
President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.
A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.
Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.
Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.
So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?
The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.
It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.
What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.
Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.
But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.
Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.
The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.
And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.
You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it."
"In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.
We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today. Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.
So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.
Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.
It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis.
It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.
It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.
It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.
President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?
Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?
In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.
Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.
He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.
Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.
So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.
They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.
My Dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.
And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.
After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.
My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison. She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud. And to this day, my Mom is my role model.
Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.
We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.
In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.
I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp. What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair. We need that same optimism right now.
And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side. Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known.
President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record. But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.
College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you. "
"None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.
Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.
It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.
By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.
We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.
A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by. And we both know it can be that way again.
We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.
Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.
Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.
Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.
We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.
Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.
The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them.
The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.
We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.
We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.
We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.
The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.
We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.
Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.
Thank you, and God bless.
Adjournment until 7:00 pm (EDT) Thursday, August 30