Romney promises to create jobs, help families in acceptance speech
TAMPA — Mitt Romney takes the stage to close out the Republican National Convention Thursday night with one overarching goal: making Americans more comfortable with the idea of him as their president.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and millionaire businessman, accepted the GOP presidential nomination and presented himself as a more competent alternative to President Obama, who he cast as a disappointing and ineffective executive with fundamentally different values.
“Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us,” Romney said. “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.”
Romney described how his policies can create 12 million jobs in his first four years in office; and he offered a dire warning about an ominous future should Obama get a second term.
“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,” Romney will say.
Romney’s five point plan to create those jobs, which he first outlined in Jefferson County earlier in this month, focuses on increasing America’s energy independence, educating the workforce, finding new opportunities for trade, reducing the deficit and getting closer to a balanced budget, and support small business.
In his address tonight, just as he often does in his stump speech, Romney briefly touched on those imperatives broadly but avoided a lot of specifics.
Romney also described his upbringing and the importance of his faith. He expressed disappointment in Obama’s presidency and a different, hopeful vision for the country’s future.
Here are more excerpts from the speech:
INTRODUCING HIMSELF: “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.
APPEAL TO WOMEN VOTERS: “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.
EXPLAINING HIS FAITH: “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 congregations of 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.”
RECASTING “HOPE AND CHANGE”: “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.”
“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.”
ON A STAGNANT ECONOMY: “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.”
A PROMISE TO UNITE AMERICA: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family…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…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.”
CLOSING WITH A VISION FOR THE FUTURE: “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.”