Clint Eastwood (and his chair) may have stolen the show at the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Fla. Thursday (Aug. 30), but Mitt Romney was the main attraction. The former governor officially accepted the Republican nomination for president, debuting a speech which he wrote himself.
During his address, Romney picked up where his wife, Ann, left off earlier in the week, by further humanizing himself in the eyes of the American people. Throughout the course of his campaign, the 65-year-old has been written off as being urelatable to average voters, yet during last night's speech he attempted to paint himself as an average American, a father, son, husband, and grandfather looking to bring about the change that he feels President Obama has failed to accomplish. “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,” he said. “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?”
Romney told the crowd that Obama's time has simply expired. “This president can ask us to be patient. This president can tell us it was someone else's fault. This president can tell us that the next four years he'll get it right. But this president cannot tell us that you are better off today than when he took office,” he added using the same line made famous by Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign against Jimmy Carter.
The father of five also spoke fondly of his children, as well as his parents' marriage, which lasted over five decades. Romney recalled his father, George's, love for his mother, whom he gifted with a rose every day until he died. In fact, according to Romney, his mother was alerted that his father had passed when she noticed the absence of the flower.
The love story was an obvious pull for the heartstrings of female voters, but he also came right out and started groveling. “I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Gov. Mary Fallin, Gov. Nikki Haley, Gov. Susana Martinez, Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,” he said of his mom. “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.”
With unemployment rates and the economy among the main issues on voter's mind, Romney did his best to tackle the subject, and like many candidates before him, pledged to make the country no longer dependent on foreign oil.
Obama's campaign was virtually quiet after the speech, but the president opted for a simple, yet ingenious rousing rebuttal to Eastwood's constant references to (ad conversations with) the empty chair behind him. The chair was Eastwood's way of bringing the president to task, to which he responded by posting a photo of himself seated in a chair under the header “This Seat's Taken.”
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