Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: 2012 Republican National Convention Day 1 Roundup

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: 2012 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: A “ROUSING” AND “PITCH PERFECT” NIGHT IN TAMPA

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-28-12

CNBC’s John Harwood: “They Got Underway With A Bang.” HARWOOD: “They got underway with a bang. Chris Christie, who’s known as a very good speaker, came out very powerful delivery in his speech.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 8/29/12)

The New York Times: “A Full-Throated Defense Of Entrepreneurship And Free Enterprise…” “Sher Valenzuela, a candidate for Delaware lieutenant governor, kicked off the Republican National Convention’s theme du jour Tuesday evening with a full-throated defense of entrepreneurship and free enterprise against what she called President Obama’s stifling regulations. The message: We Built It.” (The New York Times, 8/28/12)

Los Angeles Times: “Giving Voice To Those Disillusioned By The Promise Of The Obama White House.” “One of the president’s early supporters, former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, emerged on the prime-time stage at the Republican convention – giving voice to those disillusioned by the promise of the Obama White House.” (Los Angeles Times, 8/28/12)

Politico: “Romney Spoke Directly To The Women Of America…” “The Romney campaign rolled out its most powerful female surrogate on Tuesday night: Ann Romney, who delivered a single-minded speech aimed directly at women. Addressing the opening night of the Republican National Convention here, Romney spoke directly to the women of America, telling them ‘you are the best of America, you are the hope of America, there would not be an America without you.’” (Politico, 8/28/12)

CBS’s Jan Crawford: “Christie’s Speech Was Pitch Perfect, A Speech For Our Time.” CRAWFORD: “In many ways, Christie’s speech was pitch perfect, a speech for our time. He talked directly to all those people, Charlie and Norah, who are worried our best days are behind us. And he said, you know, we’re not going to sugar coat this. He made an indirect hit on President Obama and said we’re not going to pander to you. We’re going to tell you the truth, the hard truths, and we’re going to get this done. It was never, never give up, almost like Winston Churchill. But also morning in America, Reagan, we can get to those better days.” (CBS’s “This Morning,” 8/29/12)

MSNBC’s Willie Geist: “A Rousing Keynote Address … An Appeal To Women…” “It started a day late but with a bang on a rousing keynote address from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie preceded as you saw there by an appeal to women from Ann Romney.” (MSNBC’s “Way Too Early,” 8/29/12)

Tampa Bay Times: “Ann Romney Caressed And Chris Christie Punched, Delivering Rousing Speeches Tuesday Night…” “Ann Romney caressed and Chris Christie punched, delivering rousing speeches Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention that were designed to rally Republicans behind Mitt Romney and show him on more personal terms.” (Tampa Bay Times, 8/28/12)

The Hartford Courant: “The Night Belonged To Ann Romney” (The Hartford Courant, 8/29/12)

ABC’s Rick Klein: “Ann Romney Handled The Man, Chris Christie The Message.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

NBC’s David Gregory: “Appealed To Independent Voters…” GREGORY: “I think he did say some things that also appealed to independent voters that are tough messages that would apply to both parties.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 8/29/12)

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Ann Romney Isn’t — And Never Has Been — A Politician. That Makes Her Performance That Much More Impressive.” “Unlike almost everyone who spoke on Tuesday night, Ann Romney isn’t — and never has been — a politician. That makes her performance that much more impressive.” (The Washington Post, 8/28/12)

The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone: “A Brilliant Job…” “Ann Romney. A brilliant job of relating her and Mitt’s experiences to those of millions of ordinary Americans.” (The Washington Examiner, 8/29/12)

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “No One In The GOP Gives A Speech Like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.” “No one in the GOP gives a speech like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Clapping his hands and punching the air he strode onto the stage at the RNC, and then he proceeded to wow the crowd. If Ann Romney was empathetic, he was tough. If she vouched for her husband, he vouched for Americans. They were the yin and yang of the first night of the convention.” (The Washington Post, 8/29/12)

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Full Text Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: Gov. Chris Christie’s Keynote Address Speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: 2012 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

DAY 2

CHRIS CHRISTIE’S REMARKS TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

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Chris Christie’s keynote speech at the Republican National Convention (as prepared for delivery):

This stage and this moment are very improbable for me.

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight.

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother.

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable.

My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer. She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger. Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives. Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing. She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day. And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children — her two younger siblings. She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to. She spoke the truth — bluntly, directly and without much varnish.

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore.

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old.

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade.

And I am still her son today, as Governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth.

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved.

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times.

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path.

It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues. And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.

But tonight, I say enough.

I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid. We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it.

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey.

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do — to do the big things.

There were those who said it couldn’t be done. The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix. But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow.

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit. Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy.

With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful. Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it.

The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice.

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth. History shows that we stand up when it counts and it’s this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America.

Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats.

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities. Telling them what they already know — the math of federal spending doesn’t add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government.

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government.

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements.

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren.

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election.

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children.

We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future — demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.

They believe in teacher’s unions.

We believe in teachers.

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles.

It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party.

We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing.

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose — the slowest economic recovery in decades, a spiraling out of control deficit, an education system that’s failing to compete in the world.

It doesn’t matter how we got here. There is enough blame to go around.

What matters now is what we do.

I know we can fix our problems.

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it’s possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results.

The people have no patience for any other way.

It’s simple.

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.

Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses.

Leadership delivers.

Leadership counts.

Leadership matters.

We have this leader for America.

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction. And now he has a running mate who will do the same.

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey.

It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real.

This moment is real.

It’s a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.

How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge.

Not to look around and say “not me,” but to say, “YES, ME.”

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo.

I have faith in us.

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history.

There’s only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll.

You see, Mr. President — real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.

That’s what we need to do now.

Change polls through the power of our principles.

Change polls through the strength of our convictions.

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation.

We look back and marvel at their courage — overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world.

Now it’s our time to answer history’s call.

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we.

What will our children and grandchildren say of us? Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century.

I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship.

I want them to live in a second American Century.

A second American Century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.

A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one.

This is the American way.

We have never been victims of destiny.

We have always been masters of our own.

I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you.

It’s now time to stand up. There’s no time left to waste.

If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you.

If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you’re willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I’m here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling.

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history.

Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us.

Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States.

And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: GOVERNOR CHRISTIE’S “POWERFUL” KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-29-12

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “A Powerful, Powerful Keynote Address.” BLITZER: “All right. So there you have it, Chris Christie delivering a powerful, powerful keynote address.” (CNN, 8/28/12)

PBS’s Judy Woodruff: “Literally Bringing The Crowd To Its Feet…” WOODRUFF: “New Jersey Governor Chris Christie literally bringing the crowd to its feet, firing up the Republican troops, a speech full of energy, full of strong words, no ambiguity Gwen from Governor Christie that Mitt Romney is the man to turn this country around.” (PBS, 8/28/12)

Woodruff: “A Very Strong A Kick Off For This Fall Campaign For Mitt Romney.” WOODRUFF: “I kept thinking Bill Clinton has a tough job next week when he gives the keynote. He’s a great speaker but this is a very strong a kick off for this fall campaign for Mitt Romney.” (PBS, 8/28/12)

The Associated Press: “With A Rowdy Fist-Pump, Blunt And Brash New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Lit A Fire Tuesday Night Under The Republican National Convention…” “With a rowdy fist-pump, blunt and brash New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lit a fire Tuesday night under the Republican National Convention, labeling Democratic President Barack Obama part of the complacent status quo.” (The Associated Press, 8/28/12)

Fox News: “Chris Christie Brought The Tough Love, The Swagger, The Fight — And Even The Boss — To Tampa Tuesday Night.” (Fox News, 8/28/12)

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz: “He Offered Up The Trademark Combination Of Jersey Pride, Humor, Direct Talk And Sharp Words…” “He offered up the trademark combination of Jersey pride, humor, direct talk and sharp words aimed at President Obama — things that have made him a folk hero to conservatives.” (The Washington Post, 8/28/12)

CNN’s Erin Burnett: “Powerful…” BURNETT: “Certainly seems like both of those speeches were powerful in totally different ways.” (CNN, 8/28/12)

Reuters’ Steve Holland: “Drew Sustained Applause From The Thousands Of Delegates Who Gathered To Formally Nominate Romney…” “The rotund, combative governor drew sustained applause from the thousands of delegates who gathered to formally nominate Romney as their candidate to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.” (Reuters, 8/28/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan: “Important … Serious … Really Hopeful.” NOONAN: “I thought Chris Christie’s speech was big. I thought it was important in a number of ways. I had a funny feeling as I was watching it in the stands at one moment. … I thought he had a serious statement. I thought it was really hopeful.” (Fox News, 8/28/12)

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Salena Zito: “Boom Chris Christie Nails It” (Twitter.com, 8/29/12)

NBC New York: “Tough-Talking N.J. Gov. Chris Christie Fires Up GOP In Convention Keynote” (NBC New York, 8/28/12)

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: Ann Romney’s Speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

IN FOCUS: 2012 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

DAY 2

ANN ROMNEY DELIVERS REMARKS TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-28-12

Ann Romney today delivered remarks to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

Luce, thank you for that kind introduction.

I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party.

And while there are many important issues we’ll hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts.

I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours.

Tonight I want to talk to you about love.

I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country.

I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.

And I want us to think tonight about the love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done.

They are here among us tonight in this hall; they are here in neighborhoods across Tampa and all across America. The parents who lie awake at night side by side, wondering how they’ll be able to pay the mortgage or make the rent; the single dad who’s working extra hours tonight, so that his kids can buy some new clothes to go back to school, can take a school trip or play a sport, so his kids can feel… like the other kids.

And the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy. Or that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.

I’ve been all across this country for the past year and a half and heard these stories of how hard it is to get ahead now. I’ve heard your voices: “I’m running in place,” “we just can’t get ahead.”

Sometimes I think that late at night, if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day, and know that they’ll make it through another one tomorrow. But in that end of the day moment, they just aren’t sure how.

And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it?

It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.

It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters.

You know it’s true, don’t you?

You’re the ones who always have to do a little more.

You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done.

You know what those late night phone calls with an elderly parent are like and the long weekend drives just to see how they’re doing.

You know the fastest route to the local emergency room and which doctors actually answer the phone when you call at night.

You know what it’s like to sit in that graduation ceremony and wonder how it was that so many long days turned into years that went by so quickly.

You are the best of America.

You are the hope of America.

There would not be an America without you.

Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.

I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!

And that’s fine. We don’t want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It’s all the little things — that price at the pump you just can’t believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. It’s all the little things that pile up to become big things.  And the big things  — the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder.  Everything has become harder.

We’re too smart to know there aren’t easy answers. But we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.

And that is where this boy I met at a high school dance comes in.

His name is Mitt Romney and you really should get to know him.

I could tell you why I fell in love with him — he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous — girls like that, it shows the guy’s a little intimidated — and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren’t around.

That’s a good thing.  And he made me laugh.

I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines. My dad got his first job when he was six years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms.

When he was 15, dad came to America. In our country, he saw hope and an opportunity to escape from poverty. He moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan.  There, he started a business — one he built himself, by the way.

He raised a family. And he became mayor of our town.

My dad would often remind my brothers and me how fortunate we were to grow up in a place like America.  He wanted us to have every opportunity that came with life in this country — and so he pushed us to be our best and give our all.

Inside the houses that lined the streets of our town, there were a lot of good fathers teaching their sons and daughters those same values.  I didn’t know it at the time, but one of those dads was my future father-in-law, George Romney.

Mitt’s dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter.

He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon.

We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know?  We just didn’t care.  We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish.  Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses.  Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen.  Those were very special days.

Then our first son came along.  All at once I’m 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who’s going to business school and law school at the same time, and I can tell you, probably like every other girl who finds herself in a new life far from family and friends, with a new baby and a new husband, that it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.

That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and I’m still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.

I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage.” Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.

A storybook marriage?  No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.

I know this good and decent man for what he is — warm and loving and patient.

He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one’s fellow man. From the time we were first married, I’ve seen him spend countless hours helping others. I’ve seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble, and been there when late-night calls of panic came from a member of our church whose child had been taken to the hospital.

You may not agree with Mitt’s positions on issues or his politics. Massachusetts is only 13% Republican, so it’s not like that’s a shock.

But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President:

No one will work harder.

No one will care more.

No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!

It’s true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked.  Are those really the values that made our country great?  As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success?

Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, “Try to do… okay?”

And let’s be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney’s success?

Of course not.

Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. He had two loving parents who gave him strong values and taught him the value of work.  He had the chance to get the education his father never had.

But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success.

He built it.

He stayed in Massachusetts after graduate school and got a job. I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company.  I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work.  Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on.

Today that company has become another great American success story.

Has it made those who started the company successful beyond their dreams?

Yes, it has.

It allowed us to give our sons the chance at good educations and made all those long hours of book reports and homework worth every minute.  It’s given us the deep satisfaction of being able to help others in ways that we could never have imagined.  Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point.  And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities.  They don’t do it so that others will think more of them.

They do it because there IS no greater joy.

“Give and it shall be given unto you.”

But because this is America, that small company which grew has helped so many others lead better lives. The jobs that grew from the risks they took have become college educations, first homes.  That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions, and retirement funds.  This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams.

At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others.  He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up.

He did it in Massachusetts, where he guided a state from economic crisis to unemployment of just 4.7%.

Under Mitt, Massachusetts’s schools were the best in the nation. The best.  He started the John and Abigail Adams scholarships, which give the top 25% of high school graduates a four-year tuition-free scholarship.

This is the man America needs.

This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:

This man will not fail.

This man will not let us down.

This man will lift up America!

It has been 47 years since that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance. Not every day since has been easy.

But he still makes me laugh. And never once did I have a single reason to doubt that I was the luckiest woman in the world.

I said tonight I wanted to talk to you about love. Look into your hearts.

This is our country.

This is our future.

These are our children and grandchildren.

You can trust Mitt.

He loves America.

He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.

Give him that chance.

Give America that chance.

God bless each of you and God Bless the United States of America.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: ANN ROMNEY’S “SWEEPING” SPEECH

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 8-28-12

NBC’s Brian Williams: “A Sweeping Job…” WILLIAMS: “Emphasis on well-delivered. That was a sweeping job at that speech.” (NBC, 8/28/12)

CBS’s Bob Schieffer: “Wow. … That Was One Heck Of A Speech.” SCHIEFFER: “Wow. Just what you said, that was a speech. … That was a fine speech. She took her own life, she took personal anecdotes and welded it into a presentation that made the point she wanted to make. … That was one heck of a speech.” (CBS, 8/28/12)

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “A Love Letter To America’s Moms.” STEPHANOPOULOS: “She said her theme was love. It was a love letter to Mitt Romney, to be sure. But also a love letter to America’s moms. And that is how she started, Matt Dowd, basically telling all those moms out there, I feel your pain.” (ABC, 8/28/12)

NBC’s Tom Brokaw: “Mrs. Romney Made A Very Strong Case, Not Just For Her Husband But Also For Why He Ought To Be President.” (NBC, 8/28/12)

CNN’s David Gergen: “In 2004, Barack Obama Was Born As A National Star At The Democratic Convention. Tonight It Was Ann Romney’s Turn.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

Fox News’ Brit Hume: “I Think That Was The Single Most Effective Political Speech I’ve Ever Heard Given By A Political Wife.” (Fox News, 8/28/12)

The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta: “I’m Not Sure I’ve Seen Better From A Potential First Lady.” “Ann Romney is giving a great speech. I’m not sure I’ve seen better from a potential first lady.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

Tampa Bay Times’ Alex Leary: “Projected Confidence And Warmth…” “The 63-year-old Mrs. Romney — with her five sons watching from a box in the Tampa Bay Times Forum — projected confidence and warmth, attributes that have made her a valuable presence on the campaign trail.” (Tampa Bay Times, 8/28/12)

USA Today’s David Jackson: “A Thunderous Ovation…” “Ann Romney appears on stage to a thunderous ovation, as the video board behind her flashes old family pictures.” (USA Today, 8/28/12)

Real Clear PoliticsScott Conroy: “Ann Romney Making This Look Easy.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe: “Impressive.”  “I’m surprised about how perfectly relaxed Ann Romney seems in front of such a massive crowd. Impressive.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas: “Ann Romney Is Killing It – With Crowd, Applause, Charm.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

NBC News’ Michael O’Brien: “Ann Romney Making A Strong Pitch To Women Voters.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Murray: “The Floor Goes Wild.” “Mitt Romney takes the stage, and the two kiss. The floor goes wild.” (The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/12)

BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller: “And Ann Romney Finishes To A Massive Standing Ovation” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker: “But The Moment Ann Romney Stepped On Stage In A Radiant Red Dress, The Tampa Bay Times Forum Fell Silent.” (The Washington Post, 8/28/12)

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by Speaker of the House John Boehner at the Republican National Convention

Source: Politico, 8-28-12

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.

Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

John Boehner’s remarks Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, as prepared for delivery.
___

Delegates and alternates, ladies and gentlemen, the convention will be in order.

We begin tonight with a fundamental question: Can we do better?

The answer, in my view, is obvious: You bet we can.

The American people are still asking “where are the jobs,” but President Obama only offers excuses instead of answers. His record is a shadow of his rhetoric. Yet he has the nerve to say that he’s moving us forward, and the audacity to hope that we’ll believe him.

Allow me to illustrate.

I’m what you’d call a regular guy with a big job. I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters. My dad and my uncles owned a bar outside of Cincinnati. I worked there growing up, mopping floors, waiting tables.

Believe me when I say I learned how to deal with every character who walked in the door.

So let’s say right now, a guy walked into our bar – full of guys looking for work, having a tough go of it – and said, “THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS DOING FINE.”

Well, do you know what we’d do?

That’s right: We’d throw him out.

If a guy walked into our bar – full of people paying more for health care, more for gas, more for everything – and said, “WE’RE BETTER OFF THAN WE WOULD HAVE BEEN.”

Do you know what we’d do? Throw him out.

If a guy walked into our bar – full of folks who couldn’t tell you the last time they got a raise or their house was above water – and said, “WE TRIED OUR ECONOMIC PLAN – AND IT WORKED.”

Do you know what we’d do? Throw him out.

Now let’s say a guy walked into our bar and before he could say anything he overheard a regular telling his story. Turns out this man runs a small business. Got involved with it while he was still working his way through school. Then, out of nowhere, his business partner died. They had just one customer at the time. So he fought like hell, through sleepless nights and close calls. They made it, thank God, paid their dues, proud of what they managed to do.

Now if a guy walked into our bar, heard all that, and said, “IF YOU’VE GOT A BUSINESS, YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT.”

You know what we’d do. Throw him out.

By the way, that small business guy at the bar: That was my story. That was our business. We did build that.

It could just as easily have been the story of anyone who’s built something from nothing. No guarantees. No government there to hold your hand. Just a dream and the desire to do better. President Obama just doesn’t get this. He can’t fix the economy because he doesn’t know how it was built.

So in 70 days when the American people walk into the voting booth, what should we do? Throw him out.

Because we can do better. We can do a lot better. It starts with throwing out the politician who doesn’t get it, and electing a new president who does.

Mitt Romney comes from a family of builders. His father built houses, built businesses, built industry. George Romney was a can-do kind of guy. He was fond of the old saying that when things are at their worst, “that’s just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

Delegates, this is that time and this is that place. We’re here to preserve this country the same way we built it: by exercising our God-given right to set a new course.

Who better to turn this tide than a man who has dedicated his career to doing just that – for states, for businesses, for the Olympic Games.

President Romney – boy, I like the sound of that – President Romney will keep his word and his courage, too. He’ll keep faith with the idea that government exists to serve the people, and the people build the economy.

Mitt’s jobs plan will build a stronger middle class through energy independence; schools where our kids – not the teachers unions – come first; free trade, the path to a balanced budget; and an end to the uncertainty – and the tax hikes – that threaten small businesses.

It’s a big job, so we’re fortunate that Mitt has chosen as his running mate a leader who is second to none when it comes to rooting out and fixing Washington’s worst habits.

When I met Paul Ryan 22 years ago, he was a student at Miami of Ohio volunteering on my campaign. Soon, he will be our party’s nominee for vice president of the United States. Who says this isn’t the greatest country on Earth?

They call this “America’s comeback team.” Well, any good comeback needs some true believers.

So if you believe we can do better, if you want to leave our children a stronger, more prosperous America, then Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan need your help. Because we can turn this tide, but only if all of us are all in, all the way to the 6th of November.

It starts here with a convention that will lead to victory for our party – and more importantly, victory for our people and the great cause of freedom.

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: Rep. Artur Davis’ Speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by Artur Davis at the Republican National Convention

Source: Politico, 8-28-12

Former Representative Artur Davis addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

J. Scott Applewhite, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Enlarge photo»

Artur Davis’s remarks Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention as prepared for delivery.
___

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.

Some of you may know, the last time I spoke at a convention, it turned out I was in the wrong place.

So, Tampa, my fellow Republicans, thank you for welcoming me where I belong.

We have a country to turn around. This week you will nominate the most experienced executive to seek the presidency in 60 years in Mitt Romney.

He has no illusions about what makes America great, and he doesn’t confuse the presidency with celebrity, or loftiness with leadership.

What a difference four years makes.

The Democrats’ ads convince me that Governor Romney can’t sing, but his record convinces me he knows how to lead, and I think you know which skill we need more.

Now, America is a land of second chances, and I gather you have room for the estimated 6 million of us who know we got it wrong in 2008 and who want to fix it.

Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don’t end well.

Maybe the Hollywood stars and the glamour blinded us a little: you thought it was the glare, some of us thought it was a halo.

But in all seriousness, do you know why so many of us believed? We led with our hearts and our dreams that we could be more inclusive than America had ever been, and no candidate had ever spoken so beautifully.

But dreams meet daybreak: the jobless know what I mean, so do the families who wonder how this Administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting.

So many of those high-flown words have faded.

Remember the President saying of negative politics and untrue ads, “not this time?”

Who knew “not this time” just meant “not unless the economy is still stuck and we can’t run on our record?”

Remember, too, when he said, “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal?”

Who knew the plain English version of it was, “middle America, get ready to shell out 60 bucks to fill up your car?”

And in terms of their crown jewel legislative achievement: who knew that when asked, “will government impose a new federal mandate requiring middle class Americans to buy health insurance whether they can afford it or not?”

The answer would be “Yes we can!”

So, this time, in the name of 23 million of our children and parents and brothers and sisters who are officially unemployed, underemployed, or who have stopped looking for work, let’s put the poetry aside, let’s suspend the hype, let’s come down to earth and start creating jobs again.

This time, instead of moving oceans and healing planets, let’s get our bills in order and pay down the debt so we control our own future.

And of course, we know that opportunity lies outside the reach of some of our people.

We don’t need flowery words about inequality to tell us that, and we don’t need a party that has led while poverty and hunger rose to record levels to give us lectures about suffering.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are Americans who are listening to this speech tonight who haven’t always been with you, and I want you to let me talk — just to them – for a moment.

I know how loaded up our politics is with anger and animosity, but I have to believe we can still make a case over the raised voices.

There are Americans who voted for the president, but who are searching right now, because they know that their votes didn’t build the country they wanted.

To those Democrats and independents whose minds are open to argument: listen closely to the Democratic Party that will gather in Charlotte and ask yourself if you ever hear your voice in the clamor.

Ask yourself if these Democrats still speak for you.

When they say we have a duty to grow government even when we can’t afford it, does it sound like compassion to you — or recklessness?

When you hear the party that glorified Occupy Wall Street blast success; when you hear them minimize the genius of the men and women who make jobs out of nothing, is that what you teach your children about work?

When they tell you America is this unequal place where the powerful trample on the powerless, does that sound like the country your children or your spouse risked their lives for in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Do you even recognize the America they are talking about?  And what can we say about a house that doesn’t honor the pictures on its walls?

John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America.  This Democratic Party asks what can government give you.  Don’t worry about paying the bill, it’s on your kids and grandkids.

Bill Clinton took on his base and made welfare a thing you had to work for; this current crowd guts the welfare work requirement in the dead of night.

Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson reached out across the aisle and said meet me in the middle; but their party rammed through a healthcare bill that took over one-sixth of our economy, without accepting a single Republican idea, without winning a single vote in either house from a party whose constituents make up about 50 percent of the country.

You know, the Democrats used to have a night when they presented a film of their presidential legends: if they do it in Charlotte, the theme song should be this year’s hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

My fellow Americans, when great athletes falter, their coaches sometimes whisper to them “remember who you are.” It’s a call to their greatness at a moment when their bodies and spirit are too sapped to remember their strength.

This sweet, blessed, God-inspired place called America is a champion that has absorbed some blows.

But while we bend, we don’t break.

This is no dark hour; this is the dawn before we remember who we are.

May it be said of this time in our history: 2008 to 2011: lesson learned.

2012: mistake corrected.

God bless you, God bless America. Thank you.

Full Text Campaign Buzz August 28, 2012: Sen. Rick Santorum’s Speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by Rick Santorum at the Republican National Convention

Source: Politico, 8-28-12

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rick Santorum’s remarks Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention as prepared for delivery.
___

It’s an honor to be here tonight with the love of my life, Karen, my 93-year-old mother and some of our kids.

You think it’s crowded in here, good thing I didn’t bring all my kids.

I am a first-generation American.

At age seven, my dad came to Johnstown, Pennsylvania from the mountains of northern Italy, on a ship named Providence.

How providential that one day his son would announce for President just down the road from the deep mines where his father — my grandfather — mined coal ’til he was 72 years old.

When my grandfather died, I remember as a kid kneeling at his casket and not being able to take my eyes off his thick strong hands — hands that dug his path in life — and gave his family a chance — at living the American Dream.

Working the mines may not have been the dream he dreamed – I never dared to ask him – but I think his answer would have been that America gave him more than he had ever hoped.

America believed in him, that’s why he believed in America.

My grandfather, like millions of other immigrants, didn’t come here for some government guarantee of income equality or government benefits to take care of his family.

In 1923 there were no government benefits for immigrants except one: Freedom!

Under President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a nightmare of dependency with almost half of America receiving some government benefit.

It is no surprise fewer and fewer Americans are achieving their dreams and more and more parents are concerned their children won’t realize theirs.

President Obama spent four years and borrowed five trillion dollars, trying to convince you that he could make things better for you —— to put your trust in him and the government to take care of every problem.

The result — massive debt, anemic growth and millions more unemployed. The President’s plan didn’t work for America, because that’s not how America works.

In America we believe in freedom and the responsibility that comes with it to work hard to make that dream of reaching our God-given potential come true.

We believe it because it still works.

Even today.

Graduate from high school, work hard, and get married before you have children and the chance you will ever be in poverty is just two percent.

Yet if you don’t do these three things you’re 38 times more likely to end up in poverty!

We understand many Americans don’t succeed because the family that should be there to guide them, and serve as the first rung on the ladder of success, isn’t there or is badly broken.

The fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is highest. Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family.

From lowering taxes to reforming social programs, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are dedicated to restoring the home where married moms and dads are pillars of strong communities raising good citizens.

A solid education should be the second rung on the ladder to success, but the system is failing.

President Obama’s solution has been to deny parents choice, attack private schools and nationalize curriculum and student loans.

Mitt Romney believes that parents and the local community must be put in charge — not the Department of Education.

We all know there is one key to success that has helped people overcome even the greatest of obstacles – hard work. That’s why work was the centerpiece of the bipartisan welfare reform law.

Requiring work as a condition for receiving welfare succeeded — and not just because the welfare rolls were cut in half — but because employment went way up, poverty went down and dreams were realized.

It’s a sturdy ladder to success that is built with healthy families, education and hard work.

But President Obama’s policies undermine the traditional family, weaken the education system.

And this summer he showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare.

I helped write welfare reform; we made the law crystal clear – no president can waive the work requirement. But as with his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above the law.

America take heed, when a president can simply give a speech or write a memo and change the law to do what the law says he can’t, we weaken our republic.

Yet as my family and I crisscrossed America, something became so obvious to us.

America is still the greatest country in the world – and with God’s help and good leadership we can restore the American Dream.

Why?

I held its hand. I shook the hand of the American Dream. And it has a strong grip.

I shook hands of farmers and ranchers who made America the bread basket of the world. Hands weathered and worn. And proud of it.

I grasped dirty hands with scars that come from years of labor in the oil and gas fields, mines and mills. Hands that power and build America and are stewards of the abundant resources that God has given us.

I gripped hands that work in restaurants and hotels, in hospitals, banks, and grocery stores. Hands that serve and care for all of us.

I clasped hands of men and women in uniform and their families. Hands that sacrifice and risk all to protect and keep us free. And hands that pray for their safe return home.

I held hands that are in want. Hands looking for the dignity of a good job, hands growing weary of not finding one but refusing to give up hope.

And finally, I cradled the little, broken hands of the disabled. Hands that struggle and bring pain, hands that ennoble us and bring great joy.

They came to see us – oh did they come — when they found out Karen and I are blessed with caring for someone very special too, our Bella.

Four and a half years ago I stood over a hospital isolette staring at the tiny hands of our newborn daughter who we hoped was perfectly healthy. But Bella’s hands were just a little different – and I knew different wasn’t good news.

The doctors later told us Bella was incompatible with life and to prepare to let go. They said, even if she did survive, her disabilities would be so severe that Bella would not have a life worth living.

We didn’t let go and today Bella is full of life and she has made our lives and countless others much more worth living.

I thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God’s children – born and unborn – and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream.

And without you America is not keeping faith with that dream.

We are stewards of a great inheritance. In November we have a chance to vote for life and liberty, not dependency. A vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will put our country back in the hands of leaders who understand what America can and, for the sake of our children, must be to keep the dream alive.

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