Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivered his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., making a direct appeal for his candidacy to delegates and voters at home. He focused on what he said was President Barack Obama's failure to create jobs and improve the economy, saying he has the experience and answers necessary to solve the country's problems.
He emphasized the disillusionment he said many voters feel about Obama, acknowledging that the president ran a powerful campaign that had convinced Americans he really would bring change. But Romney said that is not enough:
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. 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.
The Republican candidate repeated the convention litany that Democrats are antibussiness and don't recognize the achievements of business owners. He emphasized his own business experience at the venture capital firm he started, Bain Capital. He pointed to the success of companies the firm backed, like Staples and Steel Dynamics, as proof that he can create jobs.
These 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.
Romney presented his five-point economic plan, which included achieving American energy independence by 2020, balancing the federal budget, and cutting healthcare costs while repealing Obamacare. During his campaign, the Republican has been criticized for failing to provide specifics about his policy plans, and again failed to present more concrete details in his speech.
Romney also touched on foreign policy, a topic on which he has little practical experience and has again failed to provide any specific policy plans. He said he will show more "backbone" than Obama has in standing up to Russia and Iran, and accused the president of abandoning key allies like Israel.
In his speech, Romney was also challenged with showing voters his softer side, as he's been notoriously stiff on the campaign trail. The multi-millionaire is not skilled at relating to voters, and shies away from telling personal stories. His wife Ann also sought to humanize her husband when she addressed the convention Tuesday night, but Thursday was Romney's chance to prove he understands Americans' needs enough to turn the country around and give them "the future they deserve."
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