GOP convention kicks off with guns blazing and a unified message.
After postponing the event for a day due to Hurricane Isaac, the Republican Convention commenced Tuesday, introducing Ann Romney to America and hammering away at a quote from President Obama that he probably wishes he had never made. There were no fireworks from the stage, but Republicans more than managed to get their point across, while left-wing media answered with petty attacks.
The first day of the GOP Convention of 2012 was mostly uneventful, and Republicans can be thankful for that. The weather could have been much worse, and apart from a handful of Occupy protestors throwing things at convention buses, a dozen Code Pink fanatics attempting to “arrest” Condoleezza Rice for “war crimes,” and some vocal Ron Paul supporters, everything went rather smoothly.
At about 7:30 pm Eastern, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) took to the stage, wasting little time going after the President. His message: Throw Barack Obama out of office. As he provided example after example of wrongdoing, Boehner ended each by stating emphatically, “We’d throw him out!” with an obvious eye towards Obama. These were the harshest words any of the speakers seemed to have for the President.
The main message of the night revolved around a quote that the President recently made, concerning Americans building businesses. “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” These were the words Obama told Virginians at a campaign stop in July. Republicans, Boehner included, capitalized on these words all night long, and every speaker played to the theme.
“We built it! We built it!” chanted the crowd on a number of occasions. Country singer Lane Turner sang his song, "I Built It." Between speeches, commercials were shown depicting small businessmen hard at work, as President Obama’s inflammatory words played in the background. It was very effective, as it was a way to attack the President in an extremely positive manner, and it worked well with GOP issues, such as doing away with overregulation.
As Congressman Boehner targeted the President, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus went after Vice President Joe Biden. During his praise of VP candidate Paul Ryan, Priebus took a shot at Biden, stating that Ryan “can do more than just prying his foot out of his mouth” – a reference to Biden’s many embarrassing statements made whilst giving speeches.
Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah and a candidate for U.S. Congress, took to the stage following Priebus and gave a very dynamic speech. She stated that it’s not the government’s responsibility to restore our country. “It’s up to us to restore our country.” Love, a first generation Haitian-America, spoke of her love for the U.S. and ended her speech on the following note: “This is our time. We are truly the best last hope on earth.”
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who mentioned how 9/11 changed her and her husband’s lives, discussed how businesses are buried with “rules, regulation and red tape.” She used the term “success tax” to describe President Obama’s targeting of businesses with higher taxes. Ted Cruz, a senatorial candidate from Texas and Tea Party favorite, continued with that theme and stated, “This administration has waged a war on small businesses.”
Governor John Kasich (R-OH) then spoke, stressing many of the achievements his state has realized since he took office. He discussed how Ohio now has 122,000 new jobs, how he helped kill the Death Tax, and how Ohio now has a better credit outlook. For him to make a point of these things is vital, given the important role Ohio will play in the November presidential election.
Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), referring to the huge electoral victory he recently had over the public sector unions in his state, proclaimed, “On June 5th, the hardworking taxpayers won.” He mentioned, during his speech, that there have been 42 consecutive months of unemployment above eight percent. He stated that “now more than ever, we need reformers” and said that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are those reformers.
Former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania discussed how America gave his father, a coal-miner, “more than he had ever hoped.” He said that “under President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a nightmare.” As well, Santorum touched on social issues, which he has been known for. He stated, “If America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family today.” And he received a huge round of applause when he said that there is one party – the Republican Party – "reaching out to all of G-d’s children, born and unborn.”
Artur Davis, former Democratic Congressman from Alabama and former co-chair of the 2008 Obama campaign, stated that the last time he had spoken at a convention, “it turned out I was in the wrong place.” He gave a heartfelt message to Democrat-registered viewers. He said, “Ask yourself if these Democrats still care for you.” He compared President Kennedy who asked, “What can you do for your country?” to President Obama, “What can government give you?” Davis stated, “This is no dark hour. This is the dawn before we remember who we are… 2008 to 2011 – lesson learned. 2012 – mistake corrected.”
Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) called President Obama “shameful and not worthy of the promise of America” for the President’s suing of Boeing, after the company had created thousands of jobs in South Carolina and Washington state. She proudly stated that South Carolina “fought and won.”
There were many women speakers during this first night, and that was capped off with Ann Romney, who appeared to huge applause. The theme of her talk was love. She also had a message for women. “I love you women, and I hear your voices,” she enthusiastically announced. And of course, she discussed her feelings towards her husband Mitt. She unequivocally stated, “This is the man America needs. This man will not fail.” It was that statement that received the loudest applause. Once her talk was over, Mitt came out to kiss her.
Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) was the keynote speaker. He discussed how his mom taught him to speak the truth and how she stressed respect over love. He said that Americans are “paralyzed by our desire to be loved.” He also discussed education reform and stated, “We need politicians who care more about doing something and less about being something.” He said that there is “absentee leadership” in the White House and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will change that.
While the GOP convention projected for the most part a positive vibe, leftist pundits from MSNBC took aim at the participants. Ed Schultz said that Chris Christie appeared “angry” during his speech. Chris Matthews compared Christie to a “loudmouth Irishman from New York” and described Mitt Romney’s demeanor as “bizarre.” Rachel Maddow insinuated that Rick Santorum was racist, and Matthews said that Santorum’s talk of “welfare and food stamps” is racist code.
MSNBC also targeted those who were not speakers at the convention. Matthews and Maddow assailed Donald Trump for what they call his “birtherism” and “birther thing.” Schultz labeled Trump and Sarah Palin as “crazies.”
All of these attacks came off as petty and immature and took nothing away from the optimistic atmosphere at the convention. If anything, they helped the Republican cause.
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