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Republican National Convention

Aired August 30, 2012 - 22:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I said, he's different.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I actually cut spending dollars in Massachusetts and we balanced our budget and went from a $3 billion budget gap in my first year to over $2 billion rainy day fund.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we came into office, we were in fiscal crisis. When he came out, we were on much more solid footing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His whole life has brought him top this point of being able to have the skills and the experience to be able to tackle something as difficult as this, as turning this country around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mitt Romney is in this race, I believe, not just for himself. He's in it to improve the lives of the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's an extraordinary chief executive officer. I know he understands the economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uniquely qualified to get our economy moving again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not a stuffed-shirt guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's charismatic.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Authentic leader. His values are so strong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a man of faith.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Extraordinary character.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He cares about the lives of those voices that are unheard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An amazing, humble man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he has a great deal of pride and love for this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finds a way of turning adversity into opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He knows he's one of the only guys that can do what it's going to take to turn this country around.

ROMNEY: I will devote every waking hour of my energy to getting America strong again. That's what an American president has to do.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Alex Castellanos, Republican consumer, you have made a lot of ads for a lot of candidates. As a political ad, how did that work?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Pretty impressive. They had a lot of material to work with.

It is a life full of accomplishments and good stories about family to tell. But up until now, I think John King was talking earlier that the Obama campaigns have been the only people painting on Mitt Romney's canvas. That changes tonight. Tonight, they painted on it and filled in a lot of the blanks.

COOPER: Here comes Clint Eastwood, surprise speaker, to the stage tonight. Let's watch and listen.


CLINT EASTWOOD, FILMMAKER: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.


EASTWOOD: Save a little for Mitt.


EASTWOOD: Now, I know what you are thinking.

You're thinking, what's a movie tradesman doing out here? You know they are all left-wingers out there, left of Lenin. At least, that is what people think, but that is not really the case. There is a lot of conservative people, and a lot of moderate people, Republicans, Democrats in Hollywood.

It is just that the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play it a little more close to the vest, and they don't go around hotdogging it. But they are there. Believe me, they are there.

And I just -- I in fact, there are some of them around town. I saw Jon Voight. There's a lot of people that are around here in town. Jon is here, an Academy Award winner, terrific guy.

And these are people that are all like-minded like all of us. So I have got. I have got Mr. Obama sitting here.


EASTWOOD: And he's -- I just was going to ask him a couple of questions, but, you know, about -- I remember three-and-a-half years ago, when Mr. Obama won the election.

And though I was not a big supporter, I was watching that night when he was having that thing, and they were talking about hope and change. And they were talking about, yes, we can.

And it was dark and outdoors and it was nice. And people were lighting candles. And they were saying candles -- I just thought, this is great. Everybody's crying. Oprah was crying.


EASTWOOD: And I was even crying.


EASTWOOD: And then finally -- I haven't cried that hard since I found out that there is 23 million unemployed people in this country.


EASTWOOD: And, now, that is something to cry for, because that is a disgrace, a national disgrace. And we haven't done enough, obviously. This administration hasn't done enough to cure that.

And whatever -- whatever interests they have is not strong enough. And I think possibly now it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem.


EASTWOOD: So, Mr. President, how do you handle -- how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election, and how do you handle -- how do you handle it?

What do you say to people? Do you just -- you know, I know people -- people are wondering -- you don't -- you have it. OK.

Well, I know even some of the people in your own party who were very disappointed when you didn't close Gitmo. And I thought -- well, I think closing Gitmo, why close that? We spent so much money on it.

But I thought maybe it's an excuse -- what do you mean shut up?


EASTWOOD: OK. Just -- I thought it was just because somebody had a stupid idea of trying terrorists in downtown New York City.

Maybe that was it.



EASTWOOD: I have got to hand it to you. I have got to give credit where credit is due. You did overrule that, finally. That's -- now we are moving onward.

I know in the -- I know you were against the war in Iraq. And that's OK. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. I mean, you thought that was something that was worth doing. We didn't check with the Russians to see how they did there for the 10 years.


EASTWOOD: But it -- we did it. And it's something to be thought about.

And I think that when we get to maybe -- I think you mentioned something about having a target date for bringing everybody home. And you give that target date. And I think Mr. Romney asked the only sensible question on it. He says, why are you giving the date out now? Why don't you just bring them home tomorrow morning?

And I thought...


EASTWOOD: I thought, yes. There's a -- I'm not going to shut up. It's my turn.


EASTWOOD: So, anyway, we got -- we are going to have -- we are going to have to have a little chat about that.

And then I just wondered -- all these promises, and then I wondered about, you know, when the -- what? What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. He can't do that to himself. You're crazy. You are absolutely crazy.


EASTWOOD: You are getting as bad as Biden.



EASTWOOD: Of course, we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party.


EASTWOOD: So we -- just a kind of a kind of a grin with a body behind it, this kind of a thing.

But I just think that there is so much to be done. And I think that Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are two guys that can come along.

See, I never thought that it was a good idea for attorneys to be president anyway because it's...



I think attorneys are so busy -- they're always taught to argue everything and always weigh everything and weigh both sides. And they're always -- you know, they're always devil's advocating this and bifurcating this and bifurcating that, all that stuff.

But I think it's maybe time, what do you think, for maybe a businessman? How about that?


EASTWOOD: A stellar businessman -- quote, unquote -- "a stellar businessman." And I think it's that time. And I think if you just kind of stepped aside and Mr. Romney can kind of take over, you could still use the plane.


EASTWOOD: Though maybe a smaller one, not that big gas guzzler that you are driving around when you're going around to colleges, and talking about student loans and stuff like that.


EASTWOOD: You are an ecological man. Why would you want to drive that truck around?

OK. Well, anyway, all right. I'm sorry. I can't do that to myself either.




EASTWOOD: But I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen, something that I think is very important.

It is that you, we -- we own this country.


EASTWOOD: Thank you. Thank you.

Yes, we own -- And it's not you owning it and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) EASTWOOD: And so they're just going to come around and beg for votes every few years, and it's the same old deal.

But I just think that it's important that you realize that -- and you are the best in the world. And whether you're a Democrat or whether you're a Republican or whether you are a libertarian or whatever, you are the best. And we should not ever forget that. And when somebody does not do the job, we have got to let them go.


EASTWOOD: Let them go.


EASTWOOD: OK. Yes. OK. Just remember that.

I am speaking out for everybody out there. It doesn't hurt. We don't have to be...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Clint, you make my day!

EASTWOOD: I don't say that word anymore.


EASTWOOD: Well, maybe one last time.


EASTWOOD: We don't have to be -- what I am saying is, we don't have to be mental masochists and vote for somebody that we don't even really want in office, just because they seem to be nice guys or maybe not-so-nice guys, if you look at some of the recent ads going out there. I don't know.



You want to make my day, huh? All right.


EASTWOOD: All right. I will start it, you finish it.

Go ahead...

CROWD: Make my day!


EASTWOOD: All right. Thank you. Thank you very much.


ANNOUNCER: Please welcome from the great state of Florida, Senator Marco Rubio.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I think I just drank Clint Eastwood's water. Thank you.


RUBIO: Thank you so much.

Why, thank you so much, thank you so much for having me here today and thank you so much for doing this convention here in Florida.

Before I begin -- thank you. Before I begin, this is such an important night for our country. I want to take just -- with your permission, just a few seconds to talk about another country, a country located just a few hundred miles away from this city, the country of my parents' birth.

There is no freedom or liberty in Cuba. And, tonight, I ask for your prayers that soon freedom and liberty will be theirs as well.


RUBIO: This is a big honor for me.

Not so long ago, I was just a deep underdog candidate. The only people that thought I could win all lived in my house.


RUBIO: Four of them were under the age of 10. But this is incredible. When I was asked to introduce Governor Mitt Romney, who we will hear from in just a moment. I promise you, he is backstage ready to go.


RUBIO: So, I called a few people and I asked them, what should I say? And they had a lot of different opinions. But the one thing they all said is: Don't mess it up.

So I thought the best way to introduce Mitt Romney tonight, the next president of the United States...


RUBIO: ... is to talk about what this election is about.

And I am so honored to be able to do it here in Florida at the Republican National Convention, in front of all you patriots.


RUBIO: I watched my first convention in 1980 with my grandfather.

My grandfather was born to a farming family in rural Cuba. Childhood polio left him permanently disabled. Because he couldn't work the farm, his family sent him to school. He was the only one in the family that knew how to read.

He was a huge influence on me growing up. As a boy, I used to sit on the porch of our house and listen to his stories about history, and politics and baseball, as he would puff on one of his three daily Padron cigars.

I don't remember -- it's been three decades since we last sat on that porch. And I don't remember all the things he talked to me about, but the one thing I remember is the one thing he wanted me never to forget, that the dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve. But there was no limit how far I could go because I was an American.


RUBIO: Now, for those of us -- here's why I say that. Here's why I say that, because for those of us who were born and raised in this country, sometimes, it becomes easy to forget how special America is.

But my grandfather understood how different America was from the rest of the world, because he knew life outside America. Tonight, you will hear from another man who understands what makes America exceptional.


RUBIO: Mitt Romney knows America's prosperity didn't happen because our government simply spent more money. It happened because our people used their own money to open a business.

And when they succeed, they hire more people, who invest or spend their money in the economy, helping others start a business or create jobs.

Now, tonight, we have heard for a long time now about Mitt Romney's success in business. It is well known. But we have also learned that he's so much more than that.

Mitt Romney is a devoted husband, a father, a grandfather. A generous member of his community and church, a role model for younger Americans like myself.

Everywhere he's been, he's volunteered his time and talent to make things better for those around him.

And we are blessed a man like this will soon be the president of these United States.


RUBIO: Now, let me be clear so no one misunderstands.

Our problem with President Obama isn't that he's a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, and a good father -- and thanks to lots of practice, a good golfer.


RUBIO: Our problem is not that he's a bad person. Our problem is that he's a bad president.


RUBIO: You think he's watching tonight?


RUBIO: Because his new slogan for his campaign is the word forward.

Forward? A government that spends $1 trillion more than it takes in?

An $800 billion stimulus that created more debt than jobs?

A government intervention into health care paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare.

Scores of new rules and regulations.

These ideas don't move us forward. These ideas move us backwards.


RUBIO: These are tired and old big government ideas that have failed every time and everywhere they have been tried.

These are ideas that people come to America to get away from.


RUBIO: These are ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the rest of the world become more like America.


RUBIO: As for his old slogan, under Barack Obama, the only change is that hope is hard to find.


RUBIO: Now, sadly, millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes us special, he divides us against each other. He tells Americans that they're worse off because others are better off, that rich people got rich by making other people poor.

Hope and change has become divide and conquer.


RUBIO: But in the end, this election, it doesn't matter about how you feel about President Obama, because this election is about your future, not about his.


RUBIO: And this election is not simply a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It's a choice about what kind of country we want America to be.

As we prepare to make this choice, we should remember what made us special. You see, for most of human history, almost everybody was poor. Power and wealth only belonged to a few, your right to whatever your rulers allowed you to have. Your future was determined by your past.

If your parents were poor, so would you be. If you were born without opportunities, so were your children. But America was founded on the principle that every person has God-given rights...


RUBIO: ... founded on the belief that power belongs to the people, that government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests and that no one should be trapped in the circumstances of their birth.

We should be free to go as far as our talents and our work can take us.


RUBIO: And we are special -- we are special because we are united not as a common race or a common ethnicity. We are bound together by common values, that family's the most important institution in society...


RUBIO: ... and that almighty God is the source of all we have.


RUBIO: We are special -- we are special because we have never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or on our government.

Our national motto, "In God we trust," reminding us that faith in our creator is the most important American value of them all.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) RUBIO: And we are special -- we are special because we have always understood the scriptural admonition that for everyone to whom much is given, from him, much will be required.


RUBIO: Well, my fellow Americans, we are a uniquely blessed people. And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America.

I know for many of you watching at home tonight, the last few years have tested your faith in the promise of America. Maybe you are at an age when you thought you would be entering retirement, but now because your savings and investments are wiped out, your future's uncertain.

Maybe after years of hard work, this was the time you expected to be your prime earning years, but instead, you have been laid off and your house is worth less than your mortgage. Maybe you did everything you were told you needed to do to get ahead, you studied hard and finished school. But now you owe thousands of dollars in student loans. You can't find a job in your field. And you've had to move back in with your parents.

You want to believe that we're still that place where anything is possible. But things just don't seem to be getting any better. And you wonder if things will ever be the same again.

Yes, we live in a troubled time. But the story of those who came before us reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings.

And Mitt Romney is running for president because he knows that if we are willing to do for our children what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been.


RUBIO: My mother was one of seven girls whose parents often went to bed hungry so their children wouldn't. My father lost his mother when he was 9. He had to leave school and go to work. And he would work for the next 70 years of his life.

They emigrated to America with little more than the hope of a better life.

My dad was a bartender. My mom was a cashier, a hotel maid, a stock clerk at K-Mart. They never made it big. They were never rich. And yet they were successful, because just a few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that had been impossible for them.

Many nights growing up, I would hear my father's keys jingling at the door as he came home after another 16-hour day. Many mornings, I woke up just as my mother got home from the overnight shift at K-Mart. When you're young, and you're in a hurry, the meaning of moments like these escape you. But now, as my own children get older, I understand it better.

My dad used to tell us: "En este pais, ustedes van a poder lograr todas las cosas que nosotros no pudimos."


RUBIO: "In this country, you are going to be able to accomplish all the things we never could."

A few years ago, during a speech, I noticed a bartender behind a portable bar in the back of the ballroom. I remembered my father who worked for many years as a banquet bartender.

He was grateful for the work he had, but that's not the life he wanted for us.

You see he stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room.


RUBIO: That journey, from behind that bar to behind this podium, goes to the essence of the American miracle -- that we're exceptional not because we have more rich people here.

We're special because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, they come true here.

But that's not just my story. That's your story. That's our story.

That's the story of your mothers who struggled to give you what they never had.

That's the story of your fathers who worked two jobs so that the doors that had been closed for them would open for you.

That's the story of that teacher or that coach that taught you the lessons that made who you are today.

And it's the story of a man who was born into an uncertain future in a foreign country. His family came to America to escape revolution.

They struggled through poverty and the Great Depression. And yet he rose to be an admired businessman and public servant.

And, in November, his son, Mitt Romney, will be elected president of these United States.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) RUBIO: In America -- in America, we are all just a generation or two removed from someone who made our future the purpose of their lives. America is the story of everyday people who did extraordinary things. A story woven deep into the fabric of our society. Their stories may never be famous, but in the lives they live, you will find the essence of America's greatness.

And to make sure that America is still a place where tomorrow is always better than yesterday, that is what our politics should be about, and that is what we are deciding this election. We decide: do we want our children to inherit our hopes and dreams or do we want them to inherit our problems? Because Mitt Romney believes if we succeed in changing the direction of the country, our children and grandchildren will be the most prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish the world.

The story of our time will be written by Americans who haven't yet even been born. Let us make sure they write that we did our part. That in the early years of this new century, we lived in an uncertain time, but we did not allow fear to cause us to abandon what made us special. We chose more government instead of more freedom. We chose the principles of our founding to solve the challenges of the time. We chose a special man to lead us in a special time. We chose Mitt Romney to lead our nation, and because we did, the American miracle lived on for another generation to inherit.

My fellow Republicans, my fellow Americans, I am proud to introduce to you the next president of the United States of America, Mitt Romney.

And so as Mitt Romney is walking into the aisle of the convention floor, it sort of reminds me of a State of the Union address where the president walks on to the floor in the House of Representatives before a joint session of Congress.

He's being received by all of his friends, all of the supporters shaking hands. They are thrilled. They're getting ready for this acceptance speech by Mitt Romney.

Excellent introductory set of remarks by the senator from Florida, Anderson Cooper, Marco Rubio. He did his job. I]m not sure that Clint Eastwood did much in setting the stage for this, but that will be a subject for debate down the road to be sure.

That video, I believe, that excellent ten-minute video probably should have gone right into the Marco Rubio speech.

All right. So let's listen in with a little bit of the nat sound as we like to say with Mitt Romney walking in to deliver the most important speech of his political life. He's got a lot of potential undecided voters there who will have to make a decision by November 6, do they vote for him, or do they vote to keep President Obama in the White House for another four years.

Here he is. He's on the stage. You know what? Let's just get ready to listen to Mitt Romney deliver the speech. MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, and delegates -- Mr. Chairman and delegates, I accept your nomination for president of the United States.

I do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you've placed in me. It's a great honor. It' an even greater responsibility, and tonight, I'm asking you the join me to walk together to a better future.

And by my side I've chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He represents the best of America, a man who will always make us very proud, my friend and America's next vice president, Paul Ryan.

In the days ahead, you're going to 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's down to earth and confident in the challenge that this moment demands. I love the way he lights up around his kids, and how he is 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.

Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That choice was not the choice of our party, but Americans always come together after elections. We're a good and generous people, and we're united by so much more than what divides us.

When that 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. It's what brought us to America. We're a nation of immigrants with the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life. The driven ones, the ones who woke up at the night hearing that voice telling them that life in the 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, freedom of religion, freedom to speak their mind, freedom to build a life, and yes, freedom the 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.

When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just 90 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 blessed more than they.

But today, four years from the excitement of that last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future. It's not what we were promised. Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get a little ahead, puts aside a little more for college, do more for the elderly mom that's now living alone, or give a little more to their church or their charity.

Every 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 up a new store or sponsor that Little League team.

And every new college graduate thought they'd have a good job by now: a place of their own. 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.




ROMNEY: You 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 -- cut out moving lights 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.




ROMNEY: You deserve it, because your family depended on you. And 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 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.

But 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.

I wish President Obama had succeeded, because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division.

This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something, and with your help, we will do something. Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, "I'm an American. I make my destiny. 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 where I'd lead our country.

I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, the classic Baby Boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn't whether we'd get there, it was only when we'd get there.

The soles of Neil Armstrong's boots on the moon made permanent impressions on our souls. Ann and I watched those steps together on her parents' sofa. Like all Americans, we went to bed that night knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the world.




ROMNEY: God bless Neil Armstrong. Tonight 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.

My 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 U.S. government as war refugees. My dad never made it through college, and he apprenticed as a lathe and plaster carpenter. He had big dreams. He convinced my mom, a beautiful young actress, to give up Hollywood to marry him and move to Detroit. He led a great -- he led a great automobile company and became governor of the great state of Michigan.

We were -- we 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 to.

My 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. Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass onto our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and the legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers.

You know, 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.

My mom and dad were married for 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.

My 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 see her saying in her beautiful voice, "Why should women have any less say than men about the great decisions facing our nation?"

Don't you wish she could have been here at this convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallon and Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice?

As governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman lieutenant 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.

I 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.

Those weren't the easiest of days. Many long hours and weekends working, five young sons who seemed to have this need to reenact 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.

Those days were the -- these were tough days, on Ann particularly. She was heroic through it all. Five boys with our families a long way away. I had to travel a lot for my job, and I'd call to try to offer some support. But every mom knows that doesn't help get the homework done or get the kids out the door to school.

And I 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 succeed at anything she wanted to do.

Like 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 into town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations 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 ways.

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's 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 the power and goodness of our communities, our families and our faiths. That's the bedrock of what makes America, America.

In our best days we can feel the vibrancy of America's communities large and small, so when we see that new business opening up downtown, so when we go to work in the morning and see everybody else on the block doing the same thing.

It's 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 best is not too far from home. It's that good feeling when you have more time to volunteer to coach your kids' soccer teams or help out on school trips.

But for too many Americans, those kind of good days are harder to come by. 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 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 qualifications that most of the Americans have and one that was essential to the task at hand. He had almost no experience working at a business. Jobs to him are about government.

I learned the real lessons about how America works from experience. And when 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 businesses. So 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 our advice. So we started a new business called Bain Capital.

The only problem was, while we believed in ourselves, not many other people 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'd made a really big mistake. And by the way, I thought about asking for my church's pension fund to invest, but I didn't. I figured it was bad enough that I might lose any investors' money, but I didn't want to go to hell, too. Shows what I know.

Another of my partners got the Episcopal Church's pension fund to invest, and today, there are a lot of happy retired priests who should thank him. That business we started with ten people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are some of the names you know and you've heard from tonight. An office company called Staples, where I'm pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping. The Sports Authority, which of course, became a favorite of my boys. We helped start an early childhood learning company called Bright Horizons that first lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. And at a time when nobody thought we'd ever see a new steel mill in America, we took a chance and built one in a cornfield in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States. These -- these are American success stories.

And yet at 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, and we don't apologize for success.

Now -- now, we weren't always successful at Bain. But no one ever is in the real world of business. That's what this president doesn't seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about taking risks; sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving. It's about dreams. Usually, it doesn't work out exactly as you might have imagined.

Steve Jobs was fired at Apple. And then he came back and changed the world. It's 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's dedicated to creating tomorrow's prosperity, not trying to redistribute today's.

That's why -- that's 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're better off 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're better off today than when he took office.


America has been patient. Americans have supported this president in good faith, but today the time has come the time 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. Now is the time to restore the promise of America.


Many Americans have given up on this president, but they haven't ever thought of giving up, not on themselves, not on each other, and not on America. What is needed in our country is not complicated or profound. It doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America needs. What America needs is jobs, lots of jobs.


In 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, they've 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 aren't strangers. These are our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans. His policies have not helped create jobs. They've depressed them, and this I can tell you about where President Obama would take America. His plan to put taxes on small businesses won't not add jobs. It will eliminate them.


His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to china.


His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs and also put our security at greater risk.


His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will hurt today's seniors and depress innovation in jobs and medicines. And his trillion dollar deficits, they slow our economy, restrain employment, and cause wages to stall. To the majority of Americans who now believe the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this -- if Barack Obama is reelected, you will be right.


I am running for president to help create a better future, a future where everyone who wants a job can find a job, 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 to a good job and a bright horizon, and unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.


Paul Ryan and I have five steps. First, by 2020, North America will be an energy independent by taking invented of our oil, are coal, our gas, our nuclear, and renewables.


Second, 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.


Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements, and when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.


And fourth, 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.


And 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 businesses the most, and it means we must rein in skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing Obamacare.


Today women are more likely than men to start of business. They need a president who respect and understand what they do. And let me make this clear. Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class of America.


As president, I'll respect the sanctity of life. I'll honor the institution of marriage.


And I will guarantee America's first liberty, the freedom of religion.


President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans.


And to heal the planet. My promises to help you and your family.


I will begin my presidency with the jobs tour. President Obama began his with an apology to our.


America he said had dictated to other nations. No, Mr. President America has feed other nations from dictators. (APPLAUSE)



Every American...


ROMNEY: Every American was relieved the day President Obama I gave the order and SEAL Team 6 took out Osama Bin Laden.


On another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat. In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We are still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.

President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castor's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from missile defense commitments


ROMNEY: But he's eager to give Russia's president Putin the flexibility he desires after the election.


ROMNEY: Under my presidency our friends will see more loyalty and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.


ROMNEY: We will honor America's Democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign legacy of Truman and Reagan, and under presidency we will return to it once again.


You might have asked yourselves if these last years were really the America we want, the America that was won for us by the greatest generation. Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China?

Does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23 million and for half the kids graduating from college?

Are those schools lagging behind the rest of the developed world?

And does America that we want succumb to resentment and division among Americans? The America we all know has been a story of many becoming one. United to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest the economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.

Everywhere I go there are monuments and now for 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've pledge allegiance to the United States of America. That 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 will restore every father and mother's confidence that their children's future is brighter even than the past. That American, that united America will preserve a military that's so strong no nation will ever dare to test it.


That America, that America, that united America will of uphold the consolation of rights that were endowed by our creator and codified in our Constitution.


That United States of America will care for the poor and sick, will honor and respect the elderly and will giving a helping hand to those in need. That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.

If 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 on it. The peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us the begin that future for America tonight.

Thank you so very much. May God bless you! May god bless the American people, and may God bless the United States of America!