Democrats skewer Romney

2012-09-05 12:05
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Charlotte - Democrats assailed Mitt Romney on the opening night of their convention on Tuesday, skewering the wealthy Republican presidential hopeful as elite and out-of-touch.

In a rowdy start to three days of political theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina, speaker after speaker hammered the multi-millionaire businessman as a ruthless corporate raider with little interest in helping ordinary Americans while hailing President Barack Obama as a champion of the middle class.

The headline act was First Lady Michelle Obama, who didn't mention Romney by name but contrasted her husband's hard-scrabble journey with the more cosseted upbringing of his privileged rival.

Others were more blunt, like rising Hispanic star Julian Castro, who claimed "Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn't get it" as he mocked the candidate's suggestion that aspiring entrepreneurs could borrow money from their parents.

Critics even emerged from beyond the grave, with a video tribute to the late Democratic icon Ted Kennedy carefully crafted to show him annihilating Romney during a one-on-one debate from the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race.

"I am pro-choice, my opponent is multiple choice," Kennedy famously jibed, exposing Romney's shifting convictions after his opponent flip-flopped on the hot-button issue of abortion.

Neck-and-neck

In less than nine weeks, Americans must decide if the country's first black president should serve another four-year term or if Romney should take over.

National polls put the rivals neck-and-neck, but a closer inspection of swing states reveals that Romney has his work cut out, especially as the bounce he was hoping for from last week's Republican convention failed to materialise.

The arena in Charlotte, packed with thousands of Democratic delegates and Obama supporters, erupted whenever Romney came under attack, with chants of "Four more years! "Four more years!" echoing across the auditorium.

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland dismissed the notion that Romney created jobs while running the private equity firm he co-founded, Bain Capital.

"If Mitt was Santa Claus, he'd fire the elves and liquidate the inventory," he said.

After the support cast had warmed up the crowd, the First Lady took to the stage to make the argument that life experiences "make you who you are".

Michelle's biggest fans


"Barack was raised by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help," she said.

"Barack knows what it means when a family struggles. So in the end, for Barack, these issues aren't political - they're personal. He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grand kids."

As if to drive the message home, the Obama campaign later tweeted a picture of the smiling president on a couch with daughters Sasha and Malia, with the caption: "Michelle's biggest fans were watching from home."

The first lady's speech was clearly intended to draw stark contrasts with Romney, who was born into wealth and privilege as the son of former presidential candidate and American Motors chairperson George Romney.

Democrats have made hay out of the wealth issue throughout the presidential campaign, attacking Romney for keeping much of his estimated $250m fortune in offshore havens and asking why he will not release more tax returns.

The Republicans have in turn accused Obama of disparaging success and waging "class warfare", while failing to spur a more robust economic recovery or bring the unemployment rate down from a stubborn 8.3%.

'Incomplete'

"On the first night of President Obama's convention, not a single speaker uttered the words 'Americans are better off than they were four years ago'," said Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul.

With an economic malaise gripping much of the country, Democrats are fighting hard to counter the Republican narrative that while Obama's 2008 election was historic his presidency has been a bust.

Obama was asked to grade his performance on the economy during an interview with a Colorado news programme broadcast on Monday and unwittingly provided an opening for his opponents. "You know, I would say 'incomplete'," he said.

The president flies to Charlotte on Wednesday on the eve of a nomination acceptance speech in which he will try to persuade the American people to give him a second term despite the grim economic backdrop.

The graying 51-year-old president will seek to rekindle some 2008 magic on Thursday as he leaves the confines of the convention hall for a 70 000-seater outdoor football stadium.

Bill Clinton, a hugely popular former Democratic president remembered for steering a more prosperous age, lends his star power to proceedings on Wednesday with a speech making the economic argument for four more Obama years.

Read more on:    michelle obama  |  barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2815.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.