Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night and offered up himself as an alternative to what he contended was President Obama’s failure to deliver on “hope and change."
In a sweeping broadside against Obama's economic policies, Romney told delegates in Tampa that the president's promises “gave way to disappointment and division;” that families and businesses expected to be doing better by now; college graduates “thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own ...” and the nation expected by now to be “paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.”
(SEE FULL TEXT: Romney's RNC speech)
The Republican nominee harkened back to Obama’s history-making election and made an explicit pitch to people who supported Obama back then. “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,” Romney said.
Obama “promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet," he said in a mocking reference to Obama's goal of reducing global warming. "My promise is to help you and your family.”
Romney outlined a five-point plan that he said will create 12 million new jobs: energy independence by 2020 by taking “full advantage” of oil, coal, gas, nuclear, and renewables; raising skills and school choice; new trade agreements and enforcement of existing ones; cutting the deficit; and reducing taxes and regulation on businesses, including repeal of “Obamacare.”
"I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began his presidency with an apology tour," Romney said, an assertion which fact-checkers have found to be wrong.
Americans are less secure because Obama "has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat," Romney said. He also said Obama has thrown Israel "under the bus," another questionable claim.
Romney used part of the speech to reclaim the narrative of his business career, which has taken a battering by Obama, his campaign, and his allies. He said he and his partners founded Bain Capital as a way to “bet on ourselves and on our advice” by investing in companies that could improve and grow.
“That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story,” he said. “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.”
Romney, who needs to bolster his share of the women’s vote, noted that as Massachusetts governor, he chose women as his lieutenant governor and chief of staff, and half his Cabinet and senior officials were women. He also said he wished his mother -- who once ran for Senate -- could have been at the convention to hear speeches by high-level GOP leaders like Govs. Nikki Haley and Susana Martinez, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.