Election 2012: Romney Accepts Nomination
Republican presidential nominee closes out convention
The Republican National Convention came to an exciting end Thursday night as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney formerly accepted his party's nomination for President.
"Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America," Romney said. "I 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."
The Tampa Bay Times Forum was buzzing with anticipation all night. But before Romney took the stage, delegates and party members heard speeches from former Speaker of the House and former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, actor/director Clint Eastwood, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
Rubio introduced Romney, who made his way to the stage by walking through the thick crowd of delegates on the floor. When he finally made it to the podium, the convention went berserk.
The Forum was so loud, in fact, that Romney was unable to make it all the way through the beginning of his speech without being interrupted by roars of cheers and applause.
But once he accepted the Republican nomination, Romney launched into his remarks.
He began by remembering the 2008 presidential election. He said that Americans hoped for the best from the election of Barack Obama, but that's not what they got.
"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," Romney said. "It is not what we were promised."
In his speech, Romney touched on issues like immigration, education, and natural resources. But he focused squarely on jobs and the American economy and jobs — and he hammered President Obama for what he said was Obama's failure to improve it.
"What America needs is jobs. Lots of jobs," Romney said. "[Obama's] policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them."
He added that Obama's tax plan, cuts to the defense budget, and Obamacare would all eliminate jobs, not create them.
Romney told the crowd at the Forum and viewers watching at home that he has a five-point plan to create 12 million new jobs. The proposal included making America energy independent by 2020, provide job-training, forging new trade agreements, protecting investments, and championing small businesses.
As President, Romney added, he would embark on a "jobs tour." But he didn't say what he hoped to accomplish with this tour or how it would help him enact his five-point plan.
"I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour," Romney said. "America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators."
Romney took jabs like this at the President early and often throughout his speech. But he also developed a theme of unifying the country by preserving the American Dream.
"Now is the time to restore the promise of America," Romney said. "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."
Romney concluded his speech by pledging to work "with all my energy and soul" to restore America and bring it to a brighter future.
"Let us begin that future together tonight," he said.
With that, the Forum went berserk again and erupted in loud and raucous cheers and applause. Romney was joined on the stage by his wife, Ann, their children and grandchildren, his running mate, Paul Ryan, and Ryan's family. Balloons and confetti fell from the rafters, and the Forum took on the feeling of one big party.
Afterwards, people had nothing but good things to say about Governor Romney's speech.
"I think [Romney] started like a lot of speakers, kind of slow, but as he got into it and the momentum built I found myself getting really fired up," Carol Ellertson, one of the crowd members, said. "I was pleasantly surprised."
Others found themselves connecting with Romney when he talked about his family.
"I love when he was talking about his family, his wife, his sons, everything," Christina Jaeger said. "That was my ultimate favorite part because they are a truly an all-American family and it really showed that."
With the Republican National Convention now over, the country turns its attention to the Democratic National Convention, which begins next week. And after that, the general election campaign officially begins!
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Shelby Fallin is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.