Romney vows to restore 'US promise'

2012-08-31 07:26

Tampa - Republican Mitt Romney urged voters on Thursday to help him rebuild the US economy and create millions of new jobs, asking them to overcome their disappointment in President Barack Obama and join him in restoring the promise of America.

In a high-stakes speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination, Romney said he would work to unify a divided country that believed Obama's lofty campaign promises but had lost hope they would be fulfilled.

"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," the former Massachusetts governor told a cheering crowd on the final night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Clint Eastwood

The speech was somewhat overshadowed by a bizarre performance on stage by Hollywood star Clint Eastwood, who addressed an imaginary Obama in an empty chair.

A surprise guest who appeared shortly before Romney during TV prime time, Eastwood made a rambling speech that puzzled viewers and interrupted a carefully crafted evening that told the story of Romney's life and why he should lead the country.

Earlier in the evening, the convention heard from a series of Romney's friends and relatives who painted a picture of a humane, compassionate man - part of a three-day effort to humanise a candidate often accused of being cold and formal.

Romney's speech, which launches a two-month dash to the November 6 election, was seen by tens of millions of television viewers and gave some their first extended look at the multimillionaire ex-businessman.

It could be a defining moment for a candidate who has struggled to win over conservatives and connect with independent voters in a campaign against Obama that has been dominated by the sluggish economy and lingering high unemployment.

Romney, who says his experience as a business executive is the cure for the ailing economy, promised to create 12 million jobs. He drew a sharp comparison between the promise of Obama's election in 2008 and the results of the last four years.

'The promise of America'

"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," he said. "Now is the time to restore the promise of America."

He said Americans wanted to believe in Obama but had suffered from his failures of leadership.

"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.

Democrats alternately portray Romney, 65, as a heartless corporate raider, wealthy elitist, tax evader and policy flip-flopper who should not be trusted with the keys to the White House.

To counter that image, the convention heard emotional testimonials about Romney's work as a Mormon leader that made many convention delegates in the Tampa Bay Times Forum cry.

One couple talked of how Romney befriended and comforted their dying teenage son. A woman, Pam Finlayson, recalled how he prayed with her in hospital when her premature baby daughter was close to death.

"His eyes filled with tears and he reached down tenderly and stroked her tiny back," Finlayson said.

Romney also tried to show a softer side, describing his parents and family and defending his work at Bain Capital, the private equity company that critics have accused of raiding companies and cutting jobs.

"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," he said, naming Staples and Sports Authority.

The Obama campaign said Romney failed to lay out a path for America.

"Much like the entire Republican convention, Mitt Romney's speech tonight offered many personal attacks and gauzy platitudes, but no tangible ideas to move the country forward," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said.


Romney's speech concluded the convention, which was cut short by a day because of a storm threat but featured stirring speeches by Romney's wife, Ann, and his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan.

It included a parade of new Republican faces, including several women and Hispanic speakers hoping to broaden the Republicans' appeal to voting blocs that heavily backed Obama in 2008.

It seemed to give Romney a boost. The latest Reuters/Ipsos online poll showed him moving into a narrow lead over Obama – 44% to 42% among likely voters. The Republican had entered the week trailing Obama by four percentage points.

Obama gets his turn at the Democratic nominating convention next week in Charlotte, North Carolina, giving him an opportunity to quickly bounce back.

Romney was introduced by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American with Hispanic appeal who has become a rising Republican star and a favourite of Tea Party conservatives. Rubio had the crowd roaring as he criticised Obama.

"This election is not simply a choice between a Democrat and a Republican," he said. "It's a choice about what kind of country we want America to be."

The nomination caps a political comeback for Romney, who lost the Republican race to Senator John McCain in 2008 but immediately began laying plans for a bid this year. He was tested frequently in a long and bitter primary campaign by a series of conservative alternatives from Newt Gingrich to Rick Santorum.

Despite struggling to win the hearts of conservatives, he eventually outlasted all of them, helped by huge spending on negative ads by "Super PAC" groups that fund campaign advertising to support him.

- Are you there? Send us your thoughts about the US elections.

  • Zoolie - 2012-08-31 07:32

    How to restore American Economy? Find a rich oil field, convince congress they are a threat to the freedom of the world, sent in your troops, sell ammo and weapons to them. "Win" the threat and get oil. sounds very much like an old way of making everything out of nothing !!!

      ianon.ym - 2012-08-31 08:09

      @Zoolie - Spot On!!!

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-08-31 09:26

      That was because Bush Jnr was jealous of Bush Snr (who was a real life war hero in WW11), however he wasn't a chip off the old block just the class dummy. Romney will probably target large companies offshore rather than oilfileds because he was a "banker" not an "oilman". The result will be the same however. So far Romney's plan is reduce the tax on the super wealthy and fund this out of a reduction in benefits to the poorest Americans. Sounds a**e about face because it is.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-08-31 10:04

      I thought that was a powerful speech. Fair enough Obama had to clean up Bush's mess, but the main concern in the US is the economy. This guy is a genius businessman worth millions. If he applies his knowledge, who knows he could do something great.

      Havokreeka - 2012-08-31 11:36

      Boom, you're right, but you also need to realise: Republicans AND Democrats are all owned by the same people, it's all just a façade to give the illusion of freedom. The only way to fix the economy is to tax the super wealthy and kick the Federal Reserve Bank out of the country. The top bankers and super rich elites are to blame for our current economic crisis. President's are just puppets with hidden agenda's paid for by whom ever funds the political campaign. America needs Ron Paul.

      james.rossouw - 2012-08-31 13:29

      Hey Zoolie we actually make a few things in the US. a GDP $48,000pp pa v SA $11,000 pp pa. The Romney critics know nothing about the man, I do suggest you research prior to spewing. He made $250,000,000 from scratch, Gives 15% to his Church.

  • gkleingeld - 2012-08-31 07:57

    How has Obama failed, please Mr Romney tell us? One man can only do so much when the Republican run congress blocks any changes he wants to make! Republicans are what has lead to this world economic crises, their America has lead to suffering for more people than this naive business man can percieve!

      john.plaskett.14 - 2012-08-31 11:45

      Agree. Obama has been hamstrung by congress, even more so as the next election approaches. By trying to reach some concensus with congress in order to get bills passed, he has been accused of weakness and poor leadership. What exactly was the man to do? The Republicans conveniently ignore the fact that the entire world is currently in financial crisis, with huge manufacturing power now being vested in the East. Romney's talk of massive job creation in this context is a pipedream. His speech last night was full of "That America........" but the only job at hand is with this America, as it now is, warts and all. If America votes Romney in it will be another 4 dark years, but then maybe they don't deserve the intelligence and humanity of Obama. - 2012-08-31 15:08

      As much as we enjoy bashing old Bushy, the democrats under Clinton are to blame for the economic crisis. In 1998 Clinton "encouraged" financial institutions to make housing loans to people who couldn't afford it (Eg: a person earning $40K p.a. could buy a house of $600K). In addition, he also created "Freddie Mac" and "Fannie Mae" to lend to these less than credit worthy persons. When they couldn't keep up with their payments (on a grand scale), the economy came crashing down. The rest is history...

      trudy.cashel - 2012-08-31 19:45

      Sorry Goodstuff but he said he would fix things when he campaigned for the job. So blaming the previous guy means he was wrong. Doesn't it?

  • rick.kabose - 2012-08-31 08:01

    Democrats are a bunch of boeties. Time for some Republican power

      Adil Smit - 2012-08-31 08:47

      You know a Republican recently said if a woman that is raped, becomes pregnant as a result the rape is not legitimate and she should not be allowed to terminate the pregnancy. Very,very strange reasoning to say the least.

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-08-31 09:30

      Adil he reasoned this out by stating that a womans body kows that this is rape and does not get pregnant. And we worry about our education system, the US should be in panic mode about theirs. This man is completely stupid, is short on reading, however there are voters in the US who have actually elected him several times to Congress. Shows how stupid their voters must be.

      rick.kabose - 2012-08-31 11:34

      Look, definitely agree that rape is a vile cowardly crime.Rapists should get hung along with murderers.At the end of the day the president of the US is merely a figurehead of his or her party. The democrats are becoming more and more like a bunch of socialists. The US didn't become the richest(yes i know the average dept of americans), most powerful nation in history by playing socialism.

  • Trevorcentury - 2012-08-31 08:05

    Politicians_ white , black, green, yellow or pink they all lie, are all corrupt. They all promise world peace and jobs and all the idiots believe every word. Down with politics...

      msard - 2012-08-31 16:12

      Well Trevorcentury you will soon have to eat your words ! Because as a Mormon myself,living in South Africa and not knowing Mitt Romney personally, I can tell you that being a Mormon or (Latter-Day Saint)means that we try to live the higher law. Striving to live Christ Like Lives and to quote the Thirteen article of Faith which we strive to live being: "We believe in being honest,true,chaste,benevolent,virtuous,and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul- We believe all things,we hope all things,we have endured many things,and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous,lovely,or of good report or praiseworthy,we seek after these things. Having a man of that stature and who is a Priesthood holder, I am inclined to know that America will do far better and in fact succeed greatly in the near future. My prayers are for Mitt Romney to do just that.............succeed and bring millions of people out of poverty and be GOD fearing people. Amen to bro Mitt Romney.

  • craig.king.7505 - 2012-08-31 08:15

    Well done Mr Romney. Time for some real leadership in the world instead of that corrupt liar in the White House and his useless Democrats.

      abram.spamers - 2012-08-31 08:26

      Romney will be equally useless. They all fight each other VERY hard about legislation to make it sound like something is happening... in the end everything (good or bad) is blocked by the opponent and America is still stuck with all its problems.

      ianon.ym - 2012-08-31 09:49

      Wait until the lies they tell today, catch up with them tomorrow -

  • rsholmes - 2012-08-31 08:24

    American politics is so full of empty promises. Do you think the American electorate will ever catch on? In South African Politics there are no smoke screens; so when we are confronted with the greedy, egotistical interests of our leaders, we are not disappointed.

  • veldt66 - 2012-08-31 08:31

    You will hve to move a mountain b4 this guy can win.

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-31 08:48

      do not underestimate the stupidity of large portions of the US public!!

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-31 08:44

    How can you restore what is going to take ages to fix? Your Bush buddies made such a royal mess of the country and you want us to believe that by going backwards you will suddenly start going forward? Despite the facts on the table? I really am quite shocked that there are so many Americans that continue to vote Republican - WAKE UP and look at the state of your economy!! It is not Obama's policies that did the damage - he is trying to get things back on track but thanks to Bush, it is going to take at least a decade!!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-31 09:03

      It was Bill Clinton's policy which caused the financial crisis , Bush even warned congress it was going to get out of hand . Anyway .... OBAMA!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-08-31 09:17

      Do not agree Ninja - Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history. George more or less immediately declared war (Afghanistan in 2001 and the Iraq 2003) when he took over from Clinton and also implemented broad tax cuts. So he increased spending and decreased revenue and had to start "printing money" to sustain the economy. The US economy went into recession after 6 years under Bush?

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-31 15:38

      Rinus- Clinton admited this in a 2008-09-25 interview with Clinton on the Today Show . Its called policy legacy ,not that GW hasn't got an responsibility as he did remove the uptick rule which saw some 'bad' behaviour as a result. Buzz-bar 16 hit it on the head , the going was good until interest rates rose and floating rate mortages started causing mass defaults , banks played hot potato on the credit default swaps until the music stopped(illiquidity at banks) and Lehmen Bro's bit it.

  • hendri.joubert - 2012-08-31 09:32

    Who to actually vote for, the Democrats who actually doing something, or the Republicans who actually want to reverse all positive changes,like ban gay marriages, I mean really what happened to freedom of speech, or human rights. My support is all the way for Obama

      mark.barker.370 - 2012-08-31 10:54

      you sound like a fool

  • mzakes.matabata - 2012-08-31 09:32

    I cant believe this guy is mocking Obama on the issue of global warming, while he was making that speech tropical storms where pounding parts of the US at the same time they experiencing the heaviest droughts in decades. If the Democrats are smart they will jump on that statement he made and ride it for all it's with.

  • andile.mali.73 - 2012-08-31 09:48

    I wonder how long does it take him to do his hair...

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-31 15:24

    BLA bla bla bla!! every damn republican and president has said these words and still they only free themselves... HATE FOR GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES!!

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