I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.


Photos from my photoblog.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 RNC Convention Thursday Night Speeches:
Live Coverage Videos and Texts of Speeches

2012 Republican National Convention

Speakers subject to change 
Thursday, August 30, 2012/ 7:00 PM EDT

We Believe in America 

Video of Thursday Night Speeches

I will be posting videos and speech texts below as they become available.

Convention Called to Order
Speaker John Boehner (OH)
Permanent Chairman

Presentation of the Colors U.S. Central Command Joint
Forces Color Guard Team

Pledge of Allegiance Dylan Nonaka
Marine Combat Veteran

The National Anthem

Invocation Ken and Priscilla Hutchins

Remarks The Hon. Connie Mack (FL)
U.S. Representative 

The Hon. Connie Mack
U.S. Representative, Florida 14th District
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

Once again, it’s morning in America.

There are new leaders on the horizon – Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan – America’s comeback team.

Growing up, I had a plaque on my wall that read:

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the fastest or the strongest, sooner or later those who win are those who think they can.”
We’ve always been a people with big dreams and limitless potential.

After all, this is America.

Our success is built on our values and our principles, but so many of them are under attack. Our commitment to freedom and liberty, and to everything that makes our country great, seems to embarrass the blame-America-first crowd.

They penalize individual achievement while praising the power of government. But they have not, cannot and will not destroy our spirit.

We are proud to be Americans. We are proud of our nation, of our heritage and of our success.

And it is our commitment to the American story. It’s our athletes in London who brought home more medals than any other country. It’s our best and brightest who landed an extraordinary rover on Mars.

It’s the Nobel Prize winners, scientists, writers and artists, second-to-none, who inspire us all.

These are the achievements that are brought about by a free society that honors individual effort.

We owe it to those who have given so much to regain our strength, and remain one of the strongest forces for freedom the world has ever seen.

Our allies deserve our unwavering support and our enemies need to know, we stand to defend freedom at all costs.

America was built on the belief in free enterprise, hard work, passion and faith.

We have the awesome responsibility to make that dream a reality.

That dream is not an impossible dream. It’s the American dream. It’s sure, it’s strong and it’s steady.

Mitt Romney’s plans to restore America’s promise and purpose will be realized and the American dream will once again be available to all her children.

We are a nation of dreamers – Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright brothers. Dreamers like Neil Armstrong who sought new lands and took giant leaps into American exceptionalism. And dreamers like my friend, Kiko Villiaon.

You know the story of the others; now let me tell you the story of Kiko.

In 1960, Kiko fled Castro’s Cuba. He came to New York. He became a taxi driver. He worked hard and saved his money. He became a citizen. He moved to Florida. He started a business building boats. He raised a family. He put his children through school. He sold his business. Now he worries about what opportunities lie ahead for his children and their children.

Kiko has lived the American dream, as have so many others. That’s what this election is all about – making the American dream a reality again.

It’s not about the past. It’s not about what was done wrong. It’s not about blaming America. It’s quite the opposite.

Tonight we embark on a renewal of the American dream.

Tonight we honor those who have come before us and done so much. Many even giving their lives.

And tonight we honor our children and their children to ensure their dreams – whether it’s playing under the lights, or starting a business, or being a doctor or a nurse, or a soldier or a sailor, or even a president or a vice president – dreams can become realities.

After all, this is America. And it’s morning once again.

Thank you, God bless the United States of America.

Video President Reagan

Remarks The Hon. Newt and Callista
Gingrich (GA)
Former Speaker of the U.S. House of

The Hon. Newt and Callista Gingrich
Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

Callista: Thank you for that warm welcome. What a wonderful tribute to President Reagan and the spirit of the American people.

Newt: It’s fantastic to see so many friends here. Friends from decades of service to the party, service in public life and those who have helped us over the past few years. And we’re delighted that tonight we come together to once again renew the American spirit and put real leadership back in the White House this November.

Callista: The election of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will decisively move America to a better future. Remembering President Reagan reminds us that the choices we make matter, and this year is as important as the choice we made in 1980.

Newt: Over three decades have passed since Ronald Reagan was first elected to the White House, yet the impact of his leadership is still evident today. While in office, President Reagan had three major goals: To restore the economy; to revive the American spirit; and to defeat totalitarianism, spreading democracy throughout the world.

Callista: By remaining true to his convictions, through his belief in the American people and with tremendous optimism, President Reagan achieved these goals.

Newt: It’s striking how President Carter and President Obama both took our nation down a path that in four years weakened America’s confidence in itself and our hope for a better future.

Callista: Both weakened the respect for America abroad; both increased government programs, filled with waste and inefficiency that failed to produce results; both made promises they couldn’t keep; and, as a consequence of ineffective policies, both were unable to revive our economy and create jobs.

Newt: For example, both crippled American energy production when there were better ways to develop and use our abundant energy resources.

The Romney plan for North American energy independence is exactly the kind of bold, visionary leadership Reagan believed in, and it’s what we need now.

Callista: The Reagan presidency also teaches us that there is a better way to put Americans back to work, create millions of jobs and help every American achieve success. The Reagan program of tax cuts, regulatory reform and spending controls worked.
Newt: Reagan’s belief in small business owners and entrepreneurs is a remarkable contrast with Obama’s class warfare rhetoric, massive deficits and a passion for taxing those who create jobs. The Romney plan for a stronger middle class has deep roots in Reagan’s approach.

Callista: Reagan’s commitment to reform welfare and to create a work requirement was a major achievement when he was governor of California. His pioneering work led to the historic welfare reform bill Congress and the president passed 30 years later. This bipartisan legislation reduced the size of government, made our country more competitive and put millions of Americans back to work.

Newt: Tragically, President Obama gutted this achievement. And, like Jimmy Carter, over four years he produced little effective legislation that brought the two parties together in the interest of the nation. Obama’s waiving of the work requirements in welfare reform is just one example of his direct repudiation of President Reagan’s values.

Obama’s proud of what he’s done and of his politically motivated partisanship, but he should be ashamed for putting politics before people.

Callista: Governor Romney will return America to work, and to the principles that are at the core of President Reagan’s legacy.

This year the American people will once again have an important choice to make.

Newt: Now each of us must commit ourselves in the tradition of Ronald Reagan to come together. President Reagan said, “There is no substitute for victory.” And this November, we cannot settle for anything less.

This is the most critical election of our lifetime. Each of us must do our part now to ensure that America remains, in the tradition of President Reagan, a land of freedom, hope and opportunity. 

Thank you and God bless.

Video & Remarks The Hon. Jeb Bush (FL)
Former Governor

also accompanied by Sean Duffy and Frantz Placide

The Hon. Jeb Bush
Former Governor, Florida
Sean Duffy
Frantz Placide

(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012


Welcome to Florida! Bienvenido a Florida!

This election is about the future of this nation. We can shape that future with what we do here, with what we do November 6.
We can restore America’s greatness.

That starts with a strong economy, a smart energy policy, lower deficits, and a president who puts America’s workers and job-creators first.

But to have a great future - a secure future - a future that is equal to our potential as a nation, we need to do something else.

We must make sure that our children and grandchildren are ready for the world we are shaping today.

It starts in our homes, in our communities, and especially in our schools.

As a candidate and Governor, I visited over 400 schools. I saw children read their first sentences. Solve their first long-division problems. Explore the miracles of chemistry and physics.

That’s the essence of education – students getting a chance at a future.

There are many reasons to believe America’s future is bright, but also reasons to worry.

Of 34 advanced nations in the world, American students rank 17th in science, 25th in math.

Only one-fourth of high school graduates are ready for their next steps.

China and India produce eight times more engineering students each year than the United States.

There is a moral cost to our failing schools.

We say that every child in America has an equal opportunity. Tell that to a kid in whose classroom learning isn’t respected.

Tell that to a parent stuck in a school where there is no leadership. Tell that to a young, talented teacher who just got laid off because she didn’t have tenure.

The sad truth is that equality of opportunity doesn’t exist in many of our schools. We give some kids a chance, but not all.
That failure is the great moral and economic issue of our time. And it’s hurting all of America.

I believe we can meet this challenge.

We need to set high standards for students and teachers and provide students and their parents the choices they deserve.
The first step is a simple one.

We must stop pre-judging children based on their race, ethnicity or household income.

We must stop excusing failure in our schools and start rewarding improvement and success.

We must have high academic standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world.

All kids can learn. Governor Romney believes it, and the data proves it. While he was governor, Massachusetts raised standards and today their students lead the nation in academic performance.

Here in Florida in 1999, we were at the bottom of the nation in education.

For the last decade, this state has been on a path of reform. Under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and local leaders, our focus every day is whether students are learning. That’s it.

Today, more students are reading on grade level, passing rigorous college prep courses and graduating from high school.
And perhaps most exciting, those traditionally left behind are showing the greatest gains.

Among African-American students, Florida is ranked fourth in the nation for academic improvement.

Among low-income students, we’re ranked third for our gains.

Among students with disabilities, we’re ranked first.

And among Latino students, the gains were so big, they required a new metric. Right now, Florida’s fourth grade Hispanic students read as well or better than the average of all students in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

These kids were once written off. But today thanks to teachers like Sean Duffy we're changing that.

I’m honored to be an educator, to help the next generation of leaders, thinkers, builders, and entrepreneurs. Sadly, I’m part of a dwindling field.

I’ve seen too many good teachers come and go, mainly due to poor working conditions and little pay. Bad teachers get locked into the system and good teachers leave for more money.

On top of the bureaucratic challenges, what we’re teaching doesn’t always match what our students need.

To that end, I launched a STEM lab at my high school. These labs focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and help students learn proficiency in these fields.

We turn students away from education each year by not providing a robust curriculum that keeps up with the world in which these students live – and will eventually work.

And at the end of the day, all of what we do from the educators to the policy makers has to be student-focused and student-centered.

Students matter most.

Thanks, Sean. I know Del Valle High School is proud of your efforts.

We need more great teachers like you. Teachers who don’t give up on a kid, who recognize that every child can learn, and don’t waste a precious year of a student’s life.

If you’re a great teacher and your students are mastering their subjects, no matter your age or years of experience, you should have a job.

Education is hard work, but if you follow some core principles, and you challenge the status quo, you get great results.

So here’s another thing we can do: Let’s give every parent in America a choice about where their child attends school.

Everywhere in our lives, we get the chance to choose.

Go down any supermarket aisle - you’ll find an incredible selection of milk.

You can get whole milk, 2% milk, low-fat milk or skim milk. Organic milk, and milk with extra Vitamin D.

There’s flavored milk-- chocolate, strawberry or vanilla – and it doesn’t even taste like milk.

They even make milk for people who can’t drink milk.

Shouldn’t parents have that kind of choice in schools?

Governor Romney gets it. He believes parents – regardless of zip code or income – should be able to send their child to the school that fits them best.

That has set him against some entrenched interests.

There are many people who say they support strong schools but draw the line at school choice.

“Sorry, kid. Giving you equal opportunity would be too risky. And it will upset powerful political forces that we need to win elections.”

I have a simple message for these masters of delay and deferral: Choose. You can either help the politically powerful unions. Or you can help the kids.

Now, I know it’s hard to take on the unions. They fund campaigns. They’re well-organized. Election day? They’ll show up.
Meanwhile, the kids aren’t old enough to vote.
But you and I know who deserves a choice. Governor Romney knows it, too.
Let me introduce you to Frantz Placide. Because we gave him a choice, he got a great education.
I grew up in the inner city of Miami. In a place where your zip code determined your chances of success, my only option was an unproductive and failing school.

I knew that could lead to an unproductive and failing future. Thanks to Governor Bush’s school choice program, I got the chance to choose a better school.

Making my education my priority, I enrolled at one of the toughest private schools in Miami - Archbishop Curley Notre Dame.
I’m sure like a lot of us, it was my mother, Carlette, who really pushed for a choice in my education.

I’m glad she did. Her devotion to my future has given me a chance to succeed.

I’ve graduated from Wagner College, and am looking forward to a life of learning, and serving my community.

Who knows what the future would have held, if there hadn’t been a choice in my education?

But I do know the numbers for failure, and I probably wouldn’t have had a very good chance.

Governor Bush’s school choice program gave me the chance to achieve academic success, in the school that was the best fit for me.

I took it from there.

Thank you Frantz, it’s been an honor to see you grow up. Your story is driving powerful change across this nation. And some of the biggest reformers are Republicans.

Governor Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Governor Jindal in Louisiana have expanded school choice beyond what we have in Florida.

Governor Martinez in New Mexico is raising expectations - holding schools accountable for students gaining critical reading skills.

Governor LePage in Maine and Deal in Georgia are transforming education by pushing schools to harness the power of technology and digital learning.

Idaho’s Governor Otter and Superintendent Luna are raising up the best teachers and separating out the ineffective ones. That earned some enemies. Some of them slashed the superintendent’s tires. But he didn’t back down.

Governor Walker in Wisconsin led his state to adopt reforms that promote early literacy and require that teacher evaluations incorporate student achievement.

In Nevada, Governor Sandoval pushed for reforms to end the damaging practice of “last in, first out” – where teachers are hired or fired based on their years in the system, not on their impact in the classroom.

Governor Haslam in Tennessee is making sure every classroom has an effective teacher.

Because he is a former governor, Mitt Romney understands that states must lead this national movement. In Massachusetts, Governor Romney narrowed the gap between students of different races, raised testing standards, and put into place a merit scholarship, the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship that gives students four tuition free years, at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning.

He’s a champion for bringing hope to education.

And he intends to be a champion for equality of opportunity, a president who always puts students first.

So in this election, remember this: Our future as a nation is at stake.

Fact is, this election is not about just one office. It is about one nation. If we want to continue to be the greatest nation on the planet, we must give our kids what we promise them: An equal opportunity. That starts in the classroom. It starts in our communities. It starts where you live.

And it starts with electing Mitt Romney the next President of the United States.

Thank you. God bless you, God bless our excellent teachers and God bless the United States of America.

Video Craig Romney

Craig Romney

(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

I am honored and humbled to speak with you tonight. I am incredibly proud of my father, and love him dearly.

It is my privilege to say a few words in Spanish, so please bear with me for a moment.

Buenas Noches. Es un placer estar con ustedes.

Yo pase dos años viviendo y trabajando en Chile. A través de esa experiencia, pude valorar aún mas como hispanos han aportado a la diversa riqueza de los Estados Unidos.

Mi padre – Mitt Romney – es un hombre de familia. Él es un gran esposo, padre y abuelo. Él sabe como unir a nuestro país y valora que somos una nación de inmigrantes, unidos en el deseo de lograr el sueno americano.

El ama a nuestra nación. El luchará para confrontar los retos que tenemos y restaurar la grandeza de los Estados Unidos.

It’s easy to forget that the story of my father’s success begins with the story of two immigrants – my grandfathers – who came to this country with little more than hope in the opportunity of America.

Through their hard work and perseverance they lived the American dream, and gave opportunities to their children they wouldn’t have had anywhere else. The Republican Party is dedicated to preserving that opportunity for all Americans.

We’ve had the privilege of hearing about different chapters of this same inspiring American story from Governors Sandoval and Martinez and soon-to-be-Senator Cruz.

We’re seeing this story play out in the lives of many other Hispanic Americans who have become leaders in the Republican Party and throughout our nation.

These leaders, along with Hispanics across the country, will play a vital role in the Romney-Ryan comeback, as we fight to put America back on the path to prosperity.

Thank you.

Video Believe

Remarks The Hon. Cathy McMorris
Rodgers (WA)
U.S. Representative

Remarks & Introductions Grant Bennett


Grant Bennett
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

I have spent thousands of hours over many years with Mitt Romney.

We spent our time together serving our fellow men and women – we spent it serving in our church.

We embraced Christ’s admonition: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an unpaid, lay clergy. While raising his family and pursuing his career, Mitt Romney served in our church, devoting 10, 15, even 20 hours a week doing so.

Like all Mormon leaders, he did so on his own time and at his own expense.

I was an assistant to Mitt when he was our pastor. As we began working together, Mitt asked, "How early can I call you in the morning?" I said 6 a.m.

I regret my answer – for several years, Mitt became my alarm clock.

A typical morning call: "Grant, it’s Mitt. I’m at the airport. Hazel Young tripped last night and bruised her hip -- please visit her this evening and give her my love; I’ll arrange for meals and I will visit her on my way home from the airport tomorrow."

In our early morning calls, Mitt didn’t discuss questions of theology. He found the definition of religion given by James in the New Testament to be a practical guide: “Pure religion … is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction."
So, what specifically did Mitt Romney do as our pastor?

For one or two evenings each week and several hours every weekend -- week after week and year after year -- he met with those seeking help with the burdens of real life, burdens we all face at one time or another: unemployment, sickness, financial distress, loneliness.

Mitt prayed with and counseled church members seeking spiritual direction, single mothers raising children, couples with marital problems, youth with addictions, immigrants separated from their families, and individuals whose heat had been shut off.

To uphold the dignity -- and respect the privacy -- of those who came, he met with them in private and in confidence. He has upheld that trust.

Mitt’s response to those who came was compassion in all its beautiful varieties: He had a listening ear and a helping hand.
Drawing on the skills and resources of those in our congregation, Mitt provided food and housing, rides to the doctor and companions to sit with those who were ill.

He shoveled snow and raked leaves for the elderly; he took down tables and swept the floors at church dinners.
Years later, I became the pastor. Only then did I understand the dedication this calling requires -- and the clarity this service provides into the full range of our shared human experience.

Mitt challenged each of us to find our life by losing it in service to others. He issued that challenge again and again.
The church itself was a marvelous vehicle for extending that challenge.

Mitt seldom delivered the sermon himself – he gave that opportunity to fellow church members.

He sought to involve everyone so everyone could grow.

Mitt taught faith in God, personal integrity, self-reliance and service to our fellow men.

And Mitt did what he challenged us to do. He led by example.

I treasure every minute we served together.

I am grateful for my apprenticeship in "the things that matter most" under the hands of a deeply good man named Mitt Romney.
Now it is my privilege to introduce two families from our congregation. First, Pat and Ted Oparowski. They will be followed by Pam Finlayson.

Remarks Ted & Pat Oparowsky 


Ted and Pat Oparowski
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

Good evening, folks.

My wife and I are people of modest means. I made my living as a professional firefighter for 27 years.
Prior to moving to Randolph, Vermont, we lived in Medford, Massachusetts. It was there where we met Mitt Romney and his family.

It has been over 30 years since we lost our son, David. The memories are still vivid and painful. But we wanted to share them with you because David’s story is part of Mitt’s story.

And America deserves to hear it.

Back in the early 1970s, Mitt visited our home numerous times with his oldest son, Tagg, tagging along. He was in the vanguard of our support system when we received the news that no parent is prepared to confront.

You cannot measure a man’s character based on words he utters before adoring crowds during happy times. The true measure of a man is revealed in his actions during times of trouble. The quiet hospital room of a dying boy, with no cameras and no reporters – that is the time to make an assessment.

In 1979, tragedy struck our family when our youngest son, David, age 14, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Over a period of seven months, he was in and out of Children’s Hospital in Boston for treatment. Throughout that agonizing period, Mitt took time from his busy schedule to visit David. They developed a loving friendship.

On one of his visits, Mitt discovered that David was very fond of fireworks. He went out and bought a box full of “BIG TIME” fireworks that had to sit on the closet shelf because they couldn’t be set off in the city. We waited until we were able to go to Ogunquit, Maine, where we set them off on the sand dunes – with permission from the fire and police departments.

Through that simple but thoughtful gift, Mitt brought joy to a young boy who hadn’t experienced any for too long. He also gave the rest of us a welcome release.

On another visit, David, knowing Mitt had gone to law school at Harvard, asked Mitt if he would help him write a will. He had some prized possessions he wanted to make sure were given to his closest friends and family.

The next time Mitt went to the hospital, he was equipped with his yellow legal pad and pen. Together, they made David’s will. That is a task that no child should ever have to do. But it gave David peace of mind.

So, after David’s death, we were able to give his skate board, his model rockets, and his fishing gear to his best friends. He also made it clear that his brother, Peter, should get his Ruger 22 rifle.

How many men do you know would take the time out of their busy lives to visit a terminally ill 14 year old and help him settle his affairs?

David also helped us plan his funeral. He wanted to be buried in his Boy Scout uniform. He wanted Mitt to pronounce his eulogy. Mitt was there to honor that request. We will be ever grateful to Mitt for his love and concern.

The Finlayson Family


Pam Finlayson
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

In 1982, my husband Grant and I moved from California to Massachusetts, with our newborn son.

Being a church-going family, we looked for the nearest chapel and soon found ourselves in a congregation led by a clearly bright and capable man, named Mitt Romney.

I knew Mitt was special from the start.

We didn’t own a dryer, and the day he stopped by to welcome us, I was embarrassed to have laundry hanging all over the house.

Mitt wasn't fazed.

In fact, as we spoke, without a word, he joined me and started helpfully plucking clothes from around the room and folding them.

By the time Mitt left, not only did I feel welcome, my laundry was done!

As Grant and I juggled school, jobs, church and family, we grew to love the Romneys.

They became role-models and friends, and we were honored when Mitt and Ann regularly trusted us to stay with their five rambunctious - but very loving - sons when they traveled.

It was when our daughter Kate was born three and a half months early that I fully came to appreciate what a great treasure of friendship we had in Mitt and Ann.

Kate was so tiny and very sick.

Her lungs not yet ready to breathe, her heart unstable, and after suffering a severe brain hemorrhage at three days old, she was teetering on the very edge of life.

As I sat with her in intensive care, consumed with a mother's worry and fear, dear Mitt came to visit and pray with me.

As our clergy, he was one of few visitors allowed.

I will never forget that when he looked down tenderly at my daughter, his eyes filled with tears, and he reached out gently and stroked her tiny back.

I could tell immediately that he didn't just see a tangle of plastic and tubes; he saw our beautiful little girl, and he was clearly overcome with compassion for her.

During the many months Kate was hospitalized, the Romneys often cared for our two-year old son, Peter. They treated him like one of their own, even welcoming him to stay the night when needed.

When Thanksgiving rolled around, Kate was still struggling for life.

Brain surgery was scheduled, and the holiday was the furthest thing from our minds.

I opened my door to find Mitt and his boys, arms loaded with a Thanksgiving feast.

Of course we were overcome. When I called to thank Ann, she sweetly confessed it had been Mitt's idea, that most of the cooking and chopping had been done by him.

She and the boys had just happily pitched in.

Eventually we moved from Boston. Our daughter Kate grew into an amazing girl of faith and love.

But complications of her birth remained with her, and after 26 years of both miracles and struggle, she passed away just a year and a half ago.

In the midst of making the final decision to run for President – which had to be the most difficult of their lives – when they heard of Kate's passing, both Mitt and Ann paused, to personally reach out to extend us sympathy, and express their love.

It seems to me when it comes to loving our neighbor, we can talk about it, or we can live it.

The Romney's live it every single day.

When the world looks at Mitt Romney, they see him as the founder of a successful business, the leader of the Olympics, or a Governor.

When I see Mitt, I know him to be a loving father, man of faith and caring and compassionate friend.

It is with great excitement and a renewed hope, to know that our country will be blessed as it is led by a man who is not only so accomplished and capable, but who has devoted his entire life quietly serving others.

That man is Mitt Romney.

Entertainment Seven (A Mighty Sound)

Remarks Bob White
Chairman, Romney-Ryan Campaign

Video Bain Trailer

Remarks Tom Stemberg


Tom Stemberg
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

Twenty-five years ago I had a crazy idea for a new business.

I wanted to do to office supplies what Home Depot had done with home improvement. I pictured an office superstore for regular customers and small businesses. The business would be called Staples.

It wasn’t easy at first. I had a vision and a business plan.

Then I met Mitt Romney. He helped make it come alive.

Now Mitt was an unusual guy. He had already enjoyed great success at Bain & Company. But he knew the value of a dollar.

When I told him about Staples, he really got excited at the idea of saving a few cents on paper clips.

Funny thing.
But I ask you. Who would make a better president: Someone who knows how to save a dollar on pens and paper or someone who knows how to waste $535 million on Solyndra?

The truth is Mitt was not a typical investor. He was a true partner. Where some saw an unproven new business, he saw a store that could save people money. He recognized that efficiency creates consumer value.

He never looked at Staples as merely a financial investment. He saw the engine of prosperity it could become.

Today Staples employs nearly 90,000 people. It has over 2,000 stores. Over 50 distribution centers. It is part of a competitive industry that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses get started on their own.

For me, as a founder, it was the realization of a dream.

So you can imagine my dismay, when I see this White House and their campaign demonizing Mitt Romney. Demonizing Bain Capital.

Demonizing the private equity industry that created so many new jobs.

Over and over again: Fiction. Half truths. Down-right lies.

You have to ask yourself: why would an Administration that can’t create any jobs demonize someone who did?

I’ve got a theory.

I think when it comes to jobs, new businesses, and economic growth – they just don’t get it.

They say that Mitt Romney is out of touch with ordinary Americans.

They just don’t get it.

The night before we opened the first store, I asked our people to do back-to-back all-nighters.

That’s when I got a call from Mitt. He wanted to come over and talk with the team, spend time with them. He told me in very clear terms: This business is all about the people.

But this Obama-Biden campaign; they just don’t get it.

They will tell you that private equity is focused only on the short-term.

Tell that to the founders of Bright Horizons Day Care, a company that has transformed corporate day care.

Most people didn’t give the business a chance. It went for five straight years without making a profit – but Mitt and Bain Capital stood by them.

Mitt and Bain Capital believed in the vision.

They understood how important it was for women to join the workforce and have on-site care for their children. It was an overdue revolution in the American workplace.

Today the company employs over 19,000 people.

But President Obama and his friends, they just don’t get it.

The Obama campaign will tell you that Bain Capital was a form of “Vampire Capitalism.” Drain the blood from a company and move on.

They just don’t get it.

Where were they when Mitt stayed with Staples for 15 years – long after Bain Capital had sold its stock?

Where were they when Bain Capital helped start Steel Dynamics, when most people had given up on the American steel industry?

Eighteen years later that company employs 6,000 people.

But this administration they just don’t get it.

They've got a Jobs Council that never meets.

A Democratic Senate that doesn't act.

A President who doesn't believe and a Vice President who won't stop talking.

They just don't get it.

They don’t get it because they don’t believe in the spirit of the entrepreneur. They don’t understand what it means to risk money to create something new.

They don’t understand the hard work it takes to get a business off the ground. The sacrifices you make, the Little League games you miss.

They don’t see that this is a country of opportunity, where someone like myself, the son of immigrants born in Newark, New Jersey – and proud of it, Governor Christie – can live the American dream.

Well, let me tell you: my friend Mitt Romney gets it.

And I could not be more confident in saying that the American people get it.

That’s why, this November, they will elect Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States of America.

Video Bain Steel Dynamics

Video Massachusetts Record

Remarks The. Hon. Kerry Healey (MA)
Former Lt. Governor

The Hon. Kerry Healey
Former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

Ten years ago, as chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, I flew to Salt Lake City -- not to see the Olympics, but to meet the man who had saved them.

I had a message from the grassroots: “Come back to Massachusetts. Our state needs you!”

Mitt Romney had turned around companies and he had turned around the Olympics. Now Massachusetts needed Mitt Romney to turn us around.

Massachusetts was in deep trouble. We had a massive budget gap and soaring unemployment.

People in my state were losing hope -- for themselves, their families and their children. Sadly, very much like our country finds itself today.

Mitt Romney answered the call of service and accepted the challenge.

How did he fix our state?

Well, he quickly assembled a cabinet of the best and the brightest, drawing on both parties, Republicans and Democrats, half women, half men, to give him the full spectrum of ideas and advice.

He respected different opinions, valued open debate, and when it was all said and done, Mitt Romney knew how to make a decision.

Governor Romney did what many thought was impossible. He turned around a $3 billion budget gap and created a $2 billion rainy day fund.

Even as he worked to streamline government, he made certain to safeguard protections for the elderly, children and the homeless.

In education, Governor Romney gave parents more choices, insisted on tough standards for both teachers and students, and Massachusetts schools became the best in the nation.

We cleared out regulations on small businesses. We cut taxes 19 times. And, as a result, unemployment dropped to only 4.7 percent.

And, unlike President Obama, Governor Romney’s economic policies were rewarded with a credit upgrade.

Those are the facts and figures, but when people find out that I served as Mitt Romney’s lieutenant governor, they always ask me the same question: What's he like?

First and foremost, Mitt is a good and honorable man, committed to public service and his country.

On the morning he took the oath of office, his first act was to focus public attention on those in need. We served breakfast to homeless veterans -- encouraging volunteerism, and acknowledging the special debt we owe to those who sacrifice for our country.

Mitt never took a salary as governor. But he worked harder than anyone I know.

Early every morning, before the rest of us arrived, Mitt would meet with his economic secretary. They worked tirelessly -- because for Mitt, creating jobs was his top priority.

Mitt was always a hands-on leader. When one of Boston's tunnels collapsed, tragically killing a passenger in her car, Mitt didn’t blame others. He dove in and fixed the problem.

Mitt immersed himself in the engineering challenges, personally oversaw safety inspections, abolished cronyism and corruption, and restored public confidence.

That’s the Mitt Romney I know.

And he is ready to bring that same work ethic, vision and integrity to the White House.

He will never let our children’s education be second-best or allow their future prosperity to be mortgaged by today’s political cowardice.

And he will respect those who build things with their own minds and their own hands.

Mitt Romney won't just talk about family values, he will live them.

And I'll tell you another thing, Mitt Romney understands that the world is a safer place when our country leads, and he will never apologize for America.

He will lead us back to an America we can be proud of -- and ahead to a future where the American dream is alive again, and within every man and woman's reach.

Thank you, Mitt Romney, for believing in America.

And America, you can believe in Mitt Romney!

Video Abigail Adams

Remarks The Hon. Jane Edmonds
Former Secretary, MA Department of
Workforce Development

The Hon. Jane Edmonds
Former Secretary, Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

Thank you for the warm welcome.

I am honored to be here with you tonight to share my feelings about Mitt Romney.

By way of background, my politics is as a liberal Democrat. My passion is about education, workforce training, and leadership.

When I first met Governor Romney, I was struck by his humanity, his grace, his kind manner.

It was just the two of us, in his office when I met him, as a finalist for a cabinet position in his Administration.

I could tell immediately, just by our interaction, that he is the real thing — authentic. He struck me then — and now — as honest, transparent and inclusive.

I somehow knew, during that meeting, that he is demanding of himself and that he would be demanding of anyone who is a part of his Administration.

I wanted to be around him, and in that kind of environment, where my energy, skills, and talent could be channeled – along with others – toward the public good.

I could tell by our conversation that the Governor was in office not for himself or to promote himself, but for the people.
My initial size-up of the man held true. During the 4 years I served in his cabinet, I saw him up close and personal many times, and he always drove us in his Administration to make government better for the people.

One area where he made a positive difference is in improving the representation of women in senior positions in Massachusetts State Government.

Before Governor Romney took office in 2003, women were significantly underrepresented among top roles in government, with 52% of the population but just 30% of the jobs.

Over the next two and a half years, 42% of the new appointments made by Governor Romney were women.

In fact, based on a survey by the State University of New York, Massachusetts was ranked first in percentage of women holding top state positions.

This led the Boston Globe to note, “Women fill 10 of 20 top positions in Governor Mitt Romney’s administration, making the Commonwealth one of five states that come close to matching the percentage of top women appointees to the proportion of women in the overall population.

This achievement happened because Mitt Romney cared about the issue, he took action to fix it and he delivered results!
He is unquestionably an amazing steward and leader, a servant leader and someone whom I respect very much. That's the kind of leadership that has always inspired me.

Unselfish leadership!

The late Stephen Covey writes about 2 kinds of people: one type is all about themselves and their success. The other type works as hard as they can – and certainly succeeds, but their success is motivated by doing good for others.

That's how I see Governor Romney. He is authentic.

He is open to good ideas wherever they come from. It doesn't matter if they are from a liberal Democrat like me. He'll listen and he's inclusive. As a great leader, he brought out the best in me and I know, as President, he will bring out the best in our country!

Thank you.

Entertainment Taylor Hicks (Taking it to the

Remarks Olympians

Remarks To Be Announced
Clint Eastwood

Entertainment Bebe Winans & Choir

Remarks The Hon. Marco Rubio (FL)
U.S. Senator 

The Hon. Marco Rubio
U.S. Senator, Florida
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
August 30, 2012

In 1980, I watched my first Republican convention with my grandfather. 

He was born to a farming family in rural Cuba. Childhood polio left him permanently disabled. 
Because he couldn't work the farm, his family sent him to school, and he became the only one in the family who could read.

As a boy, I would sit on our porch and listen to his stories about history, politics and baseball while he puffed on one of his three daily Padron cigars.

I don't recall everything we talked about, but the one thing I remember, is the one thing he wanted me to never forget. The dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve. 

But there was no limit to how far I could go, because I was an American.

For those of us who were born and raised in this country, it's easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America is from the rest of the world, because he knew what life was like outside America. 

Tonight, you'll hear from another man who understands what makes America exceptional. 

Mitt Romney knows America's prosperity didn't happen because our government simply spent more. It happened because our people used their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who then invest or spend their money in the economy, helping others start a business and create jobs. 

 Mitt Romney's success in business is well known. But he's more than that. 

He's a devoted husband, father and grandfather. A generous member of his community and church. 

Everywhere he's been, he's volunteered his time and talent to make things better for those around him. 

We are blessed that soon, he will be the president of the United States. 

Our problem with President Obama isn't that he's a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, and a good father -- and thanks to lots of practice, a pretty good golfer.

Our problem is he's a bad president. 

The new slogan for the president's campaign is "Forward."

A government that spends $1 trillion more than it takes in. 

An $800 billion stimulus that created more debt than jobs. 

A government intervention into health care paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare. 

Scores of new rules and regulations.

These ideas don't move us "Forward," they take us "Backwards."

These are tired and old big government ideas. Ideas that people come to America to get away from.  Ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the world become more like America. 

Under Barack Obama, the only "Change" is that "Hope" has been hard to find. 

Now millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes us special, he divides us against each other. 

He tells Americans they're worse off because others are better off. That people got rich by making others poor. 

Hope and Change has become Divide and Conquer.

No matter how you feel about President Obama, this election is about your future, not his. And it's not simply a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. 

It's a choice about what kind of country we want America to be.

As we prepare to make this choice, we should remember what made us special. For most of history almost everyone was poor. Power and wealth belonged to only a few. 

Your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past. 

If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children. 

But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights. That power belongs to the people. That government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests. 
That we shouldn't be trapped in the circumstances of our birth. That we should be free to go as far as our talents and work can take us.

We are special because we've been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We're bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have. 

Special, because we've never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government. 

Our national motto is "In God we Trust," reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.

And special because we've always understood the scriptural admonition that "for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required." 

We are a blessed people. And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America.

I know that for so many of you, these last few years have tested your faith in the promise of America. 

Maybe you are at an age when you thought you would be entering retirement. But now, because your savings and investments are wiped out, your future is uncertain. 

Maybe, after years of hard work, this was the time you expected to be your prime earning years. But instead, you've been laid off, and your house is worth less than your mortgage. 

Maybe you did everything you were told you needed to do to get ahead. You studied hard and finished school. But now, you owe thousands of dollars in student loans. You can't find a job in your field. And you've moved back in with your parents. 

You want to believe we're still that place where anything is possible. But things just don't seem to be getting better. And you are starting to wonder if things will ever be the same again. 

Yes, we live in a troubled time. But the story of those who came before us reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings. 

And Mitt Romney is running for president because he knows that if we are willing to do for our children what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been. 

My mother was one of seven girls whose parents went to bed hungry so their children wouldn't. My father lost his mother when he was nine. He left school and went to work for the next 70 years. 

They emigrated to America with little more than the hope of a better life.

My dad was a bartender. My mom was a cashier, a maid and a stock clerk at K-Mart. They never made it big. They were never rich.  And yet they were successful. Because just a few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that had been impossible for them.

Many nights I heard my father's keys jingling at the door as he came home after another 16-hour day. Many mornings, I woke up just as my mother got home from the overnight shift at K-Mart

When you're young, the meaning of moments like these escapes you. But now, as my own children get older, I understand it better.

My Dad used to tell us: "En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos" "In this country, you will be able to accomplish all the things we never could." 

A few years ago during a speech, I noticed a bartender behind a portable bar at the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father who had worked for many years as a banquet bartender. 

He was grateful for the work he had, but that's not the life he wanted for us. 

He stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room. 

That journey, from behind that bar to behind this podium, goes to the essence of the American miracle -- that we're exceptional not because we have more rich people here. 

We're special because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, come true here.

That's not just my story. That's your story. That's our story. 

It's the story of your mother who struggled to give you what she never had. 

It's the story of your father who worked two jobs so doors closed for him would open for you. 

The story of that teacher or that coach who taught you the lessons that shaped who you are today. 

And it's the story of a man who was born into an uncertain future in a foreign country. His family came to America to escape revolution. 

They struggled through poverty and the great depression. And yet he rose to be an admired businessman, and public servant. 

And in November, his son, Mitt Romney, will be elected President of the United States.

We are all just a generation or two removed from someone who made our future the purpose of their lives. 

America is the story of everyday people who did extraordinary things. A story woven deep into the fabric of our society. 

Their stories may never be famous, but in the lives they lived, you find the living essence of America's greatness. To make sure America is still a place where tomorrow is always better than yesterday, that is what our politics should be about. 

And that is what we are deciding in this election. 

Do we want our children to inherit our hopes and dreams, or do we want them to inherit our problems? 

Mitt Romney believes that if we succeed in changing the direction of our country, our children and grandchildren will be the most prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish the world. 

The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven't yet been born. 

Let's make sure they write that we did our part.  That in the early years of this new century, we lived in an uncertain time.  But we did not allow fear to cause us to abandon what made us special. 

We chose more freedom instead of more government. 

We chose the principles of our founding to solve the challenges of our time. 

We chose a special man to lead us in a special time. 

We chose Mitt Romney to lead our nation.

And because we did, the American Miracle lived on for another generation to inherit. 

Video The Hon. Mitt Romney (MA)


Remarks The Hon. Mitt Romney (MA)

Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America.

I do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you have placed in me. It is a great honor. It is an even greater responsibility.

Tonight I am asking you to join me to walk together to a better future. By my side, I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He represents the best of America, a man who will always make us proud my friend and America's next Vice President, Paul Ryan.

In the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna better. But last night America got to see what I saw in Paul Ryan a strong and caring leader who is down to earth and confident in the challenge this moment demands.

I love the way he lights up around his kids and how he's not embarrassed to show the world how much he loves his mom.

But Paul, I still like the playlist on my iPod better than yours.

Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than what divides us.

When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have optimistic and positive and confident in the future.

That very optimism is uniquely American.

It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.

They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.


Freedom of religion.

Freedom to speak their mind.

Freedom to build a life.

And yes, freedom to build a business. With their own hands.

This is the essence of the American experience.

We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.

When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from Castro's tyranny, these new Americans surely had many questions. But none doubted that here in America they could build a better life, that in America their children would be more blessed than they.

But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future.

It is not what we were promised.

Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who's living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.

Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.

Every new college graduate thought they'd have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.

This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.

This was the hope and change America voted for.

It's not just what we wanted. It's not just what we expected.

It's what Americans deserved.

You deserved it because during these years, you worked harder than ever before. You deserved it because when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out movie nights and put in longer hours. Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits. You did it because your family depended on you. You did it because you're an American and you don't quit. You did it because it was what you had to do.

But driving home late from that second job, or standing there watching the gas pump hit 50 dollars and still going, when the realtor told you that to sell your house you'd have to take a big loss, in those moments you knew that this just wasn't right.

But what could you do? Except work harder, do with less, try to stay optimistic. Hug your kids a little longer; maybe spend a little more time praying that tomorrow would be a better day.

I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.

Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, "I'm an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!"

So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.

To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.

I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn't whether we'd get there, it was only when we'd get there.

The soles of Neil Armstrong's boots on the moon made permanent impressions on OUR souls and in our national psyche. Ann and I watched those steps together on her parent's sofa. Like all Americans we went to bed that night knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the world.

God bless Neil Armstrong.

Tonight that American flag is still there on the moon. And I don't doubt for a second that Neil Armstrong's spirit is still with us: that unique blend of optimism, humility and the utter confidence that when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.

That's how I was brought up.

My dad had been born in Mexico and his family had to leave during the Mexican revolution. I grew up with stories of his family being fed by the US Government as war refugees. My dad never made it through college and apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. And he had big dreams. He convinced my mom, a beautiful young actress, to give up Hollywood to marry him. He moved to Detroit, led a great automobile company and became Governor of the Great State of Michigan.

We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don't remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.

My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO.

Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family and God's love this world would be a far more gentle and better place.

Mom and Dad were married 64 years. And if you wondered what their secret was, you could have asked the local florist because every day Dad gave Mom a rose, which he put on her bedside table. That's how she found out what happened on the day my father died she went looking for him because that morning, there was no rose.

My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, "Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?"

I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.

I grew up in Detroit in love with cars and wanted to be a car guy, like my dad. But by the time I was out of school, I realized that I had to go out on my own, that if I stayed around Michigan in the same business, I'd never really know if I was getting a break because of my dad. I wanted to go someplace new and prove myself.

Those weren't the easiest of days too many long hours and weekends working, five young sons who seemed to have this need to re-enact a different world war every night. But if you ask Ann and I what we'd give, to break up just one more fight between the boys, or wake up in the morning and discover a pile of kids asleep in our room. Well, every mom and dad knows the answer to that.

Those days were toughest on Ann, of course. She was heroic. Five boys, with our families a long way away. I had to travel a lot for my job then and I'd call and try to offer support. But every mom knows that doesn't help get the homework done or the kids out the door to school.

I knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine. And I knew without question, that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine. And as America saw Tuesday night, Ann would have succeeded at anything she wanted to.

Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregants from all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.

And that's how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.

That is the bedrock of what makes America, America. In our best days, we can feel the vibrancy of America's communities, large and small.

It's when we see that new business opening up downtown. It's when we go to work in the morning and see everybody else on our block doing the same.

It's when our son or daughter calls from college to talk about which job offer they should take....and you try not to choke up when you hear that the one they like is not far from home.

It's that good feeling when you have more time to volunteer to coach your kid's soccer team, or help out on school trips.

But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?

Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's President Obama? You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.

The President hasn't disappointed you because he wanted to. The President has disappointed America because he hasn't led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government.

I learned the real lessons about how America works from experience.

When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.

So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.

So we started a new business called Bain Capital. The only problem was, while WE believed in ourselves, nobody else did. We were young and had never done this before and we almost didn't get off the ground. In those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a really big mistake. I had thought about asking my church's pension fund to invest, but I didn't. I figured it was bad enough that I might lose my investors' money, but I didn't want to go to hell too. Shows what I know. Another of my partners got the Episcopal Church pension fund to invest. Today there are a lot of happy retired priests who should thank him.

That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples where I'm pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we'd ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.

These are American success stories. And yet the centerpiece of the President's entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success, we don't apologize for it.

We weren't always successful at Bain. But no one ever is in the real world of business.

That's what this President doesn't seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving. It is about dreams. Usually, it doesn't work out exactly as you might have imagined. Steve Jobs was fired at Apple. He came back and changed the world.

It's the genius of the American free enterprise system to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow's prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today's.

That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: "you are better off today than you were four years ago."

Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.

This president can ask us to be patient.

This president can tell us it was someone else's fault.

This president can tell us that the next four years he'll get it right.

But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office.

Americahas been patient. Americans have supported this president in good faith.

But today, the time has come to turn the page.

Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.

To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.

To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.

Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven't ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.

What America needs is jobs.

Lots of jobs.

In the richest country in the history of the world, this Obama economy has crushed the middle class. Family income has fallen by $4,000, but health insurance premiums are higher, food prices are higher, utility bills are higher, and gasoline prices have doubled. Today more Americans wake up in poverty than ever before. Nearly one out of six Americans is living in poverty. Look around you. These are not strangers. These are our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans.

His policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them. And this I can tell you about where President Obama would take America:

His plan to raise taxes on small business won't add jobs, it will eliminate them;

His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to China;

His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;

His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today's seniors, and depress innovation and jobs in medicine.

And his trillion-dollar deficits will slow our economy, restrain employment, and cause wages to stall.

To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.

I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.

And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.

Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.

Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.

Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.

And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America's engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Today, women are more likely than men to start a business. They need a president who respects and understands what they do.

And let me make this very clear unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.

As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America's first liberty: the freedom of religion.

President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY to help you and your family.

I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.

Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat.

In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.

President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

We will honor America's democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.

You might have asked yourself if these last years are really the America we want, the America won for us by the greatest generation.

Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China? No.

Does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23 million people and for half the kids graduating from college? No.

Are its schools lagging behind the rest of the developed world? No.

And does the America we want succumb to resentment and division? We know the answer.

The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.

Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.

That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother's confidence that their children's future is brighter even than the past.

That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.

That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.

That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.

That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.

If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.

Entertainment Bebe Winans & Choir

Benediction His Eminence Timothy Cardinal
Archbishop of New York

Adjournment Sine Die

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