CONVENTION SPEECHES (from Romney for
Former Gov. Mitt Romney
[Remarks Prepared for Delivery]
Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the
United States of America.
do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you have placed in me.
It is a great honor. It is an even greater responsibility.
I am asking you to join me to walk together to a better future. By my
side, I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He
represents the best of America, a man who will always make us proud –
my friend and America’s next Vice President, Paul Ryan.
the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna better. But last
night America got to see what I saw in Paul Ryan – a strong and caring
leader who is down to earth and confident in the challenge this moment
I love the way he lights up around his kids and how he's not
embarrassed to show the world how much he loves his mom.
But Paul, I still like the playlist on my iPod better than yours.
years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the
possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of
our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a
good and generous people who are united by so much more than what
that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and
the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were
eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always
have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.
That very optimism is uniquely American.
is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are
the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who
wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night
hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America
could be better.
They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the
richness of this life.
Freedom of religion.
Freedom to speak their mind.
Freedom to build a life.
And yes, freedom to build a business. With their own hands.
This is the essence of the American experience.
We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.
every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty,
or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from
Castro’s tyranny, these new Americans surely had many questions. But
none doubted that here in America they could build a better life, that
in America their children would be more blessed than they.
today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the
first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will
have a better future.
It is not what we were promised.
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.
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.
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.
It’s not just what we wanted. It’s not just what we expected.
It’s what Americans deserved.
deserved it because during these years, you worked harder than ever
before. You deserved it because when it cost more to fill up your car,
you cut out movie nights and put in longer hours. Or when you lost that
job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9
bucks an hour and fewer benefits. You did it because your family
depended on you. You did it because you’re an American and you don’t
quit. You did it because it was what you had to do.
driving home late from that second job, or standing there watching the
gas pump hit 50 dollars and still going, when the realtor told you that
to sell your house you’d have to take a big loss, in those moments you
knew that this just wasn’t right.
what could you do? Except work harder, do with less, try to stay
optimistic. Hug your kids a little longer; maybe spend a little more
time praying that tomorrow would be a better day.
wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.
But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This
something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do
something. With your help we will do something.
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.
was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a
classic baby boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning
war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things
were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go
the moon, the question wasn’t whether we'd get there, it was only when
we'd get there.
soles of Neil Armstrong's boots on the moon made permanent impressions
on OUR souls and in our national psyche. Ann and I watched those steps
together on her parent's sofa. Like all Americans we went to bed that
night knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the
God bless Neil Armstrong.
that American flag is still there on the moon. And I don't doubt for a
second that Neil Armstrong's spirit is still with us: that unique blend
of optimism, humility and the utter confidence that when the world
needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.
That's how I was brought up.
dad had been born in Mexico and his family had to leave during the
Mexican revolution. I grew up with stories of his family being fed by
the US Government as war refugees. My dad never made it through college
and apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. And he had big dreams.
He convinced my mom, a beautiful young actress, to give up Hollywood to
marry him. He moved to Detroit, led a great automobile company and
became Governor of the Great State of Michigan.
were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual
or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends
cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went
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.
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
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.
and Dad were married 64 years. And if you wondered what their secret
was, you could have asked the local florist – because every day Dad
gave Mom a rose, which he put on her bedside table. That's how she
found out what happened on the day my father died – she went looking
for him because that morning, there was no rose.
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?”
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.
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.
grew up in Detroit in love with cars and wanted to be a car guy, like
my dad. But by the time I was out of school, I realized that I had to
go out on my own, that if I stayed around Michigan in the same
business, I’d never really know if I was getting a break because of my
dad. I wanted to go someplace new and prove myself.
weren’t the easiest of days – too many long hours and weekends working,
five young sons who seemed to have this need to re-enact a different
world war every night. But if you ask Ann and I what we’d give, to
break up just one more fight between the boys, or wake up in the
morning and discover a pile of kids asleep in our room. Well, every mom
and dad knows the answer to that.
days were toughest on Ann, of course. She was heroic. Five boys, with
our families a long way away. I had to travel a lot for my job then and
I’d call and try to offer support. But every mom knows that doesn't
help get the homework done or the kids out the door to school.
knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine. And I knew without
question, that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine. And
as America saw Tuesday night, Ann would have succeeded at anything she
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 congregants from 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
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.
is the bedrock of what makes America, America. In our best days, we can
feel the vibrancy of America’s communities, large and small.
when we see that new business opening up downtown. It’s when we go to
work in the morning and see everybody else on our block doing the same.
when our son or daughter calls from college to talk about which job
offer they should take….and you try not to choke up when you hear that
the one they like is not far from home.
It’s that good feeling when you have more time to volunteer to coach
your kid’s soccer team, or help out on school trips.
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?
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
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.
President hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to. The President
has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America in the right
direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most
Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no
experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government.
I learned the real lessons about how America works from experience.
I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been
working for a company that was in the business of helping other
some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was
helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on
ourselves and on our advice.
we started a new business called Bain Capital. The only problem was,
while WE believed in ourselves, nobody else did. We were young and had
never done this before and we almost didn’t get off the ground. In
those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a really big mistake. I
had thought about asking my church’s pension fund to invest, but I
didn't. I figured it was bad enough that I might lose my investors’
money, but I didn’t want to go to hell too. Shows what I know. Another
of my partners got the Episcopal Church pension fund to invest. Today
there are a lot of happy retired priests who should thank him.
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. An office supply company called Staples – where I'm pleased
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. At a time when nobody thought we'd ever see a new steel mill
built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in
Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in
the United States.
are American success stories. And yet the centerpiece of the
President’s entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any
wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic
recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success,
we don't apologize for it.
We weren’t always successful at Bain. But no one ever is in the
real world of business.
what this President doesn’t seem to understand. Business and growing
jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but
always striving. It is about dreams. Usually, it doesn't work out
exactly as you might have imagined. Steve Jobs was fired at Apple. He
came back and changed the world.
the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the
extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people
with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity
rather than trying to redistribute today's.
is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the
American people asking for a second term could look back at the last
four years and say with satisfaction: "you are better off today than
you were four years ago."
Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.
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.
America has been patient. Americans have supported this president in
But today, the time has come to turn the page.
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.
To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.
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.
is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It
doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America
What America needs is jobs.
Lots of jobs.
the richest country in the history of the world, this Obama economy has
crushed the middle class. Family income has fallen by $4,000, but
health insurance premiums are higher, food prices are higher, utility
bills are higher, and gasoline prices have doubled. Today more
Americans wake up in poverty than ever before. Nearly one out of six
Americans is living in poverty. Look around you. These are not
strangers. These are our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans.
policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them. And
this I can tell you about where President Obama would take America:
His plan to raise taxes on small business won't add jobs, it will
His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing
jobs to China;
trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of
thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;
$716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt
today's seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine.
And his trillion-dollar deficits will slow our economy, restrain
employment, and cause wages to stall.
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.
am running for president to help create a better future. A future where
everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the
security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that
their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a
And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.
It has 5 steps.
by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full
advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of
today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your
child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child
should have a chance.
we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements.
And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable
to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their
investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will
cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job
growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It
means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small
business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing
cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Today, women are more likely than men to start a business. They need a
president who respects and understands what they do.
And let me make this very clear – unlike President Obama, I will not
raise taxes on the middle class.
president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the
institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America's first liberty:
the freedom of religion.
Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the
planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family.
will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with
an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No
Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.
American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal
Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American
is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear
his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran.
We're still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning.
Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has
relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland
by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to
give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the
election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty,
and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.
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.
might have asked yourself if these last years are really the America we
want, the America won for us by the greatest generation.
Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China? No.
Does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23 million people and
for half the kids graduating from college? No.
Are its schools lagging behind the rest of the developed world? No.
And does the America we want succumb to resentment and division? We
know the answer.
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.
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.
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
That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so
strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights
that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.
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
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.
MESSINA: Romney Leaves This Convention No Stronger Than He Came
TAMPA, FL—Tonight, Obama for America
Campaign Manager Jim Messina
released the following statement on Mitt Romney’s convention speech:
“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. What he didn't share were
his actual proposals, which would take our country backwards: another
$5 trillion in budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy paid for by the
middle class; transforming Medicare into a voucher program on the backs
of seniors; an end to fuel efficiency standards and tax credits for
renewable energy; deep cuts in student grants and loans; and the
rollback of Wall Street reforms. And in an almost 45-minute speech,
Mitt Romney didn't find a moment to mention Afghanistan. With no
plans and evasion about his real plans, Mitt Romney leaves this
convention no stronger than he came.”