CONVENTION SPEECHES (from Republican
The Hon. Rick Santorum
Former U.S. Senator - Pennsylvania
August 28, 2012
(Remarks as Prepared for Delivery)
It's an honor to be here tonight with the love of my life, Karen, my
93-year-old mother and some of our kids.
You think it's crowded in here, good thing I didn't bring all my kids.
I am a first-generation American.
At age seven, my dad came to Johnstown, Pennsylvania from the mountains
of northern Italy, on a ship named Providence.
providential that one day his son would announce for President just
down the road from the deep mines where his father -- my grandfather --
mined coal 'til he was 72 years old.
When my grandfather died, I
remember as a kid kneeling at his casket and not being able to take my
eyes off his thick strong hands -- hands that dug his path in life --
and gave his family a chance -- at living the American Dream.
the mines may not have been the dream he dreamed - I never dared to ask
him - but I think his answer would have been that America gave him more
than he had ever hoped.
America believed in him, that's why he believed in America.
grandfather, like millions of other immigrants, didn't come here for
some government guarantee of income equality or government benefits to
take care of his family.
In 1923 there were no government benefits for immigrants except one:
President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a
nightmare of dependency with almost half of America receiving some
It is no surprise fewer and fewer Americans
are achieving their dreams and more and more parents are concerned
their children won't realize theirs.
President Obama spent four
years and borrowed five trillion dollars, trying to convince you that
he could make things better for you ---- to put your trust in him and
the government to take care of every problem.
The result --
massive debt, anemic growth and millions more unemployed. The
President's plan didn't work for America, because that's not how
In America we believe in freedom and the
responsibility that comes with it to work hard to make that dream of
reaching our God-given potential come true.
We believe it because it still works.
from high school, work hard, and get married before you have children
and the chance you will ever be in poverty is just two percent.
Yet if you don't do these three things you're 38 times more likely to
end up in poverty!
understand many Americans don't succeed because the family that should
be there to guide them, and serve as the first rung on the ladder of
success, isn't there or is badly broken.
The fact is that
marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is
highest. Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising
their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the
assault on marriage and the family.
From lowering taxes to
reforming social programs, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are dedicated to
restoring the home where married moms and dads are pillars of strong
communities raising good citizens.
A solid education should be the second rung on the ladder to success,
but the system is failing.
President Obama's solution has been to deny parents choice, attack
private schools and nationalize curriculum and student loans.
Mitt Romney believes that parents and the local community must be put
in charge -- not the Department of Education.
all know there is one key to success that has helped people overcome
even the greatest of obstacles - hard work. That's why work was the
centerpiece of the bipartisan welfare reform law.
as a condition for receiving welfare succeeded -- and not just because
the welfare rolls were cut in half -- but because employment went way
up, poverty went down and dreams were realized.
It's a sturdy ladder to success that is built with healthy families,
education and hard work.
But President Obama's policies undermine the traditional family, weaken
the education system.
this summer he showed us once again he believes in government handouts
and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare.
helped write welfare reform; we made the law crystal clear - no
president can waive the work requirement. But as with his refusal to
enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above
America take heed, when a president can simply give a
speech or write a memo and change the law to do what the law says he
can't, we weaken our republic.
Yet as my family and I crisscrossed America, something became so
obvious to us.
America is still the greatest country in the world - and with God's
help and good leadership we can restore the American Dream.
I held its hand. I shook the hand of the American Dream. And it has a
I shook hands of farmers and ranchers who made America the bread basket
of the world. Hands weathered and worn. And proud of it.
grasped dirty hands with scars that come from years of labor in the oil
and gas fields, mines and mills. Hands that power and build America and
are stewards of the abundant resources that God has given us.
gripped hands that work in restaurants and hotels, in hospitals, banks,
and grocery stores. Hands that serve and care for all of us.
clasped hands of men and women in uniform and their families. Hands
that sacrifice and risk all to protect and keep us free. And hands that
pray for their safe return home.
I held hands that are in want.
Hands looking for the dignity of a good job, hands growing weary of not
finding one but refusing to give up hope.
And finally, I cradled
the little, broken hands of the disabled. Hands that struggle and bring
pain, hands that ennoble us and bring great joy.
They came to
see us - oh did they come -- when they found out Karen and I are
blessed with caring for someone very special too, our Bella.
and a half years ago I stood over a hospital isolette staring at the
tiny hands of our newborn daughter who we hoped was perfectly healthy.
But Bella's hands were just a little different - and I knew different
wasn't good news.
The doctors later told us Bella was
incompatible with life and to prepare to let go. They said, even if she
did survive, her disabilities would be so severe that Bella would not
have a life worth living.
We didn't let go and today Bella is full of life and she has made our
lives and countless others much more worth living.
thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their hands
in love to lift up all of God's children - born and unborn - and says
that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the
And without you America is not keeping faith with that dream.
are stewards of a great inheritance. In November we have a chance to
vote for life and liberty, not dependency. A vote for Mitt Romney and
Paul Ryan will put our country back in the hands of leaders who
understand what America can and, for the sake of our children, must be
to keep the dream alive.