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Romney: 'Need jobs, lots of jobs'

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney addresses delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday.

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney addresses delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mitt Romney launched his fall campaign for the White House in a rousing Republican National Convention finale Thursday night, proclaiming America needs "jobs, lots of jobs" and promising to create 12 million of them in perilous economic times.

"Now is the time to restore the promise of America," Romney said in excerpts released in advance of his prime-time speech to a nation struggling with 8.3 percent unemployment and the slowest economic recovery in decades.

He muted his criticism in the advance excerpts of President Barack Obama, his quarry in a close and uncertain race for the White House.

"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed," he said in the excerpts. "But his promises gave way to disappointment and division."

Clint Eastwood, legendary Hollywood tough guy, put it more plainly. "When somebody does not do the job, you've got to let 'em go," he said to the cheers of thousands in the packed convention hall.

He spoke moments before Romney walked on stage.

"This isn't something we have to accept ," he said, appealing to millions of voters who say they are disappointed in the president yet haven't yet decided to cast their votes for his Republican challenger.

"Now 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!"

Romney's remarks came on a night when other speakers filled out a week-long portrait of the GOP nominee as a man of family and faith, savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics, savvy and successful in business, yet careful with a buck. A portion of the convention stage was rebuilt overnight so he would appear surrounded by delegates rather than speaking from a distance, an attempt to soften his image as a sometimes-stiff and distant candidate.

"He shoveled snow and raked leaves for the elderly. He took down tables and swept floors at church dinners," said Grant Bennett, describing Romney's volunteer work as an unpaid lay clergy leader in the Mormon church.

Following him to the podium, Ted and Pat Oparowski tenderly recalled how Romney befriended their 14-year-old son David as he was dying of cancer. "We will be ever grateful to Mitt for his love and concern," she said simply.

Beyond the heartfelt personal testimonials and political hoopla, the evening marked one of a very few opportunities any presidential challenger is granted to appeal to millions of voters in a single night.

The two-month campaign to come includes other big moments -- principally a series of one-on-one debates with Democrat Obama -- in a race for the White House that has been close for months. In excess of $500 million has been spent on campaign television commercials so far, almost all of it in the battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

Romney holds a fundraising advantage over Obama, and his high command hopes to expand the electoral map soon if post-convention polls in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and perhaps elsewhere indicate it's worth the investment.

Shouts of "USA, USA" echoed in the convention hall as several Olympic medal winners came on stage, a reminder of Romney stepping in to help rescue the faltering 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

In an evening that blended the political and the personal, delegates saw a video in which his sons poked fun at him. "I can't explain love," Romney said.

As for Obama, Romney said in prepared excerpts, "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."

The economy is issue No. 1 in the race for the White House, and Romney presented his credentials as the man better equipped than the president to help create jobs. Speaker after speaker testified to the help their received from Bain Capital, the private equity firm that he created -- and that Democrats argue often took over companies, loaded them down with debt and then walked away with huge fees as bankruptcy approached.

"When I told him about Staples, he really got excited at the idea of saving a few cents on paper clips," businessman Tom Stemberg said of the office supply store chain he founded with backing from Bain.

There was no shortage of Obama-bashing, though.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, sharing the stage with his wife, Callista, said Obama was a president in the Jimmy Carter mold. Both "took our nation down a path that in four years weakened America's confidence in itself and our hope for a better future," he said.

Romney's aides did not say whether he would offer any new information on what has so far been a short-on-details pledge to reduce federal deficits and create 12 million jobs in a country where unemployment stands at 8.3 percent.

Romney would have to nearly double the current, anemic pace of job growth to achieve 12 million jobs over four years. That's conceivable in a healthy economy. Moody's Analytics, a financial research operation, expects nearly that many jobs to return in four years no matter who occupies the White House, absent further economic setbacks.

Romney's steps for achieving the employment growth include deficit cuts that he has not spelled out and a march toward energy independence that past presidents have promised but never delivered.

He has called for extension of tax cuts due to expire at all income levels at the end of the year, and an additional 20 percent across the board cut in rates. But he has yet to sketch which tax breaks he will eliminate or cut to prevent deficits from rising.

Nor has he been forthcoming about where to make the trillions in spending cuts needed to redeem his pledge of major deficit reduction, or about his promise to rein in Medicare or other government benefit programs before they go broke.

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has called for remaking Medicare into a program in which the government would send seniors checks to be used to purchase health care insurance.

Under the current approach, beneficiaries pay premiums to the government, which then pays a part of all of their medical bills, and Democrats say the GOP alternative would expose seniors to ever-rising out-of-pocket costs.

Obama's surrogates missed no opportunity to criticize Romney, the convention proceedings or Ryan's own acceptance speech.

"He lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act," Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, emailed Democratic donors in a plea for cash.

"He lied about the deficit and debt. He even dishonestly attacked Barack Obama for the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin -- a plant that closed in December 2008 under George W. Bush."

The evening sealed a triumph more than five years in the making for Romney. He ran unsuccessfully for the nomination in 2008 after a single term as a moderate Republican governor of a liberal Democratic state.

This year, as then, he was assailed as a convert to conservatism, and a questionable one at that, as Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and other rivals battled him for the nomination. With a superior organization and an outside group that spent millions criticizing his foes, Romney eventually emerged as the nominee in early spring.

Comments

mnavie1111 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank u Clint Eastwood u actually helped the GOP LOOK EVEN DUMBER! Talking to a empty chair.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

What's up with Clint Eastwood? My hero, losing it? Someone should have vetted Clint's speech. And that chair. Whose idea was that. You are still the best movie director in Hollywood and I'll never forget your character Rowdy Yates on Rawhide.

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debbie44 1 year, 7 months ago

Eastwood didn't hurt the campaigne any more than Ryan already had with all the lies he told on President Obama. Ryan is just another kind of Palin, but where she was ignorant, he is a liar. Eastwood's talking to an empty chair was somewhat of what is called a Freudian slip. It means that a person mistakenly says or acts out his or her true feelings. Eastwood was acting out his subconcious belief that the words of Romney and Ryan are falling on deaf ears. Nobody is listening to all those contradictions and lies. Did you notice out disturbed the Romney's and Ryan's looked? A Freudian slip is never pleasant to hear. It's a mistake, or should I say a misspeech. I have always taken Eastwood to be a sound and good-natured man. Maybe, it wasn't a mistake at all. Maybe there was "method to his madness." An actor and one of the best.

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ObjectiveEyes 1 year, 7 months ago

If you are referring to the GM plant that Ryan spoke of, you really should do some indepedent research. Just because the Obama administration said it was a lie, doesn't make it so...

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Terihdfxr 1 year, 7 months ago

All politicians lie or stretch the truth. Obama did and continues to do the same. We do not know these people personally therefore how can we say either way if it’s a lie or not. We could argue over this day in and day out. But the truth is we must do what is best for this country right now. We must have jobs and people who are willing to get us out from under this mess. I do know we cannot continue on the path we are on. We need someone that will put this country back on tract. Obama and his senate had the opportunity to do so and have failed miserably. We have all spent too much time dividing ourselves, it’s time we take back our government and hold them accountable. I agree if you’re not doing your job as Trump would say your fired !

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debbie44 1 year, 7 months ago

Ryan is a liar. He did more than stretch the truth. I'm afraid of such a liar. If a person lies, s/he will steal. If he wins, he will steal from the elderly and the poor. Has this man no shame? Does he not realize the lies he told on President Obama can be checked out. Lie: President Obama is the "greatest threat" to Medicare. Truth: Obama didn't make any cuts to Medicare benefits. Ryan actually does want to cut benefits. He proposed dismantling Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system, leaving millions of seniors to come up with more money to pay for care out of pocket. Lie: President Obama didn't save a General Motors plant in Wisconsin. Truth: First, Obama wasn't even in office when the GM plant closed. Second, Obama never made a promise to save it. Lie: President Obama ignored recommendations of a bipartisan debt commission.Truth: Paul Ryan actually sat on that commission. And he led Republicans in voting down the commission's own recommendation. So the commission never gave a report to Obama, because Ryan himself voted to kill the report before it could. Lie: Ryan wants to protect the "weak." Truth: Ryan's biggest feat in his political career was proposing a budget with dramatic cuts to programs benefiting the poor. He'd cut Medicaid by one third, take away health care insurance from 30 million Americans, and cut Pell Grants for 1 million students. All so that he could give more tax breaks to the rich.

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tywebb 1 year, 7 months ago

why don't you just cut and paste from the huffington post OR the new york times? it'll save you a ton of typing since they have said those things already. I don't know if R and R are the right ones, BUT they are sure a heck of alot better than obumma. socialism fails everywhere. Like pawlenty said, It's ok mr. obama, alot of people fail at their first job!

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Terihdfxr 1 year, 7 months ago

I disagree with both of you. I think he brought a light heartedness to the event. Thought it was quite funny. He was right on target with what he was trying to get across. It doesn’t always have to be so serious all the time. I personally liked his appearance.

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Fletch 1 year, 7 months ago

This was ingenius! ... Not to mention hilarious! ... Why NOT an empty chair to symbolize the vapid, "empty suit" occupying the White House right now?!! ... BEAUTIFUL.

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Jacob 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm not surprised that the typical Albanian isn't interested in Romney's jobs message. Heck, you couldn't get most of them to take job at gunpoint.

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bigbob 1 year, 7 months ago

Fletch & Jacob, your comments are the most accurate comments I think I have ever seen in this paper. Great Job.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

Did you all know that the Republican party has more elected Hispanics (including the first Hispanic women) than the Democrats do? Did you know that? It's true.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

Never thought it would happen but 2016 Obama's America is now playing at the movies in Albany. Better go see it quick, y'all.

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