Day 3 of the 2012 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
Thursday, August 30, 2012
by Richard E. Berg-Andersson
A Major Party National Convention in the United States of America is very like a funnel turned on its side: into the wide end of this "funnel" are fed the various and sundry factions and wings of the Major Party while, out of the narrow "spout" at its opposite end, a unified Party led by the two nominees on its National Ticket (and one- hopefully, or so Herbert Agar might have hoped- that is, indeed, his "true federation" of "many voices", that "true accommodator of all the interests of a continent" [or at least more so than the other Major Party might be in the course of a given Presidential Election cycle]) is that which is generally expected to emerge therefrom.
Yesterday [Day 2], those many variations on the overall Republican Party theme were well heard from (one has only to make a decent perusal of the samplings from the rhetoric heard from the dais during the course of the day's proceedings I myself provided in my immediately previous piece to this one to see how such variations might intertwine, intersect and, perhaps, even contradict one another). But, this day- Day 3- at the Convention belonged, ultimately, to Paul Ryan, now officially the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee: while one would still, within this basic premise, hear the same variations (especially if one accepts the notion that Ryan's being on the ticket was somewhat an attempt by Governor Romney to demonstrate his own more conservative bona fides), it is- at least for the most part (as it actually should be)- intended to allow Congressman Ryan to "set up" Mitt Romney's own night (the final one of the Convention) as much as it also is intended to allow Ryan's potentially being that proverbial "one heartbeat away from the Presidency" to be well justified.
To this end, the third day of the 40th Republican National Convention was gaveled to order by Republican National Committee Chair Reince Preibus at 7 o'clock p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday 29 August 2012 [2300 GMT]. The colors were presented by the Amputee Veterans of America Support Team of the Tampa Bay area, after which the Pledge of Allegiance was led by retired US Army Brigadier General Patrick Rea and the National Anthem was thereafter sung by Ayla Brown, daughter of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. The Invocation was given by Ishwar Singh of the Sikh Society of Central Florida.
At the start- seemingly to begin to create that unified Grand Old Party that would be expected to become so visible as the echoes of Governor Romney's own Acceptance Speech the following night might only just be dying out- there was a film tribute to Congressman Ron Paul, arguably the most tenacious (where not also most irascible) rival for the very presidential nomination that was already Romney's own.
Thoroughly "dis"sed only the day before- from rules changes for 2016 (clearly directed at the very strategy the Texas Congressman and his supporters had used in the most recent pre-Convention Primary/Caucus "season")- rules adopted by a majority (well... maybe! [;-)]) of the Convention on a viva voce vote gaveled through by the Convention's Permanent Chair John Boehner- to not having even the total number of delegate votes cast on his behalf on the Roll Call of the States re: Presidential Nomination publicly announced from the podium (as if he were some kind of Soviet era-style "non-person" to the Republican Party itself), now Congressman Paul found himself the subject of a mini-documentary on the big screen behind that same podium, one extolling his political virtues (virtues reinforced by a number of GOP notables singing his praises in said film)!
As soon as said film ended, the Temporary Chair of the Convention- Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (one of those who was a "talking head" in that Ron Paul mini-doc)- stepped up to the podium. When I first saw the order of speakers for this evening and noted that a 'Tribute to Ron Paul' was going to be followed by Kentucky's two Senators- in order of seniority (the junior of the two happening to be Ron Paul's own son)- I figured that what the two Kentuckians were going to be talking about was the man who had been the subject of this film short. But, instead, Senator McConnell gave a speech which had nothing at all to do with Ron Paul, almost as if- having had to do a necessary, yet still thankless, duty- the Republican Party of 2012 was pretty much done with him!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Senate Minority Leader began: We're here this week for the simple reason that our Nation is in desperate need of leadership and we believe Mitt Romney is the man for the moment. That's the hopeful message coming from Tampa this week: after four long years, help is on the way- America is about to turn the page on Barack Obama's four-year experiment in Big Government...
Over the past four years Americans have been led to believe we're just like everybody else- that America isn't unique: but it's not true- we are different, not because of where we were born but because of who we are as a People... The President scoffs at this idea: to him, this kind of thinking is the problem- not the solution. That's why he's spent the last four years lowering Americans' expectations instead of raising them; that's why he's been missing in action on the greatest challenges of the day. What this Administration has in mind for America isn't a renewal, it's a great leveling out: it wants the kind of government-imposed equality that, in a single generation, transformed Western Europe from a place where- for centuries- high achievement and discovery and innovation were celebrated and prized to a place where they have elections about whether people should have to work, where they make promises they can't keep and write checks they can't cash.
But that's not who we are: it just doesn't occur to an American that someone else will solve their problems. Americans take pride in solving problems for themselves and, if we fail, we get back up and try again: it's what we do- it's who we are. This President may want to give up on the problems we face, manage the decline- but the American people don't! And that's why this election is so important: it's a choice about who we are. Are we still a country that takes risks, that innovates, that believes anything is possible or are we a country that is resigned to whatever Liberty the Government decides to dish out?
As we meet here tonight, McConnell went on, America is suffering through an economic calamity of truly historic dimensions. Some are calling it the slowest recovery in our nation's entire 236-year History. To call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries. This is not the result of forces beyond our control: it is not the result of some sinister political plot, as some of the more paranoid inhabitants of the left-wing fever swamps would have you believe. It is the result of the policies that Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress spent two full years carefully putting into place, and which they are determined to continue, if they win again: policies that are meant to gently lull us into a state of lower expectations and diminished dreams...
Ladies and Gentlemen: America cannot afford another four years of this. For four years, Americans have waited for the faintest light to flicker at the end of the tunnel and this President has let them down again and again and again. It is time to move on- it is time for a leader who will lead: that leader is Mitt Romney.
Then, as if to further separate the son's appearance from the film tribute to the father, rocker Jack Blades came out to perform 'Back in the Game' followed by a short film voiced over by snippets of a speech on the hustings by Mitt Romney. Only after this did Kentucky's other United States Senator- Rand Paul- come to the podium:
You know, when the Supreme Court upheld 'Obamacare', the first words out of my mouth were, "I still think it's unconstitutional!''... I think if James Madison himself, the Father of the Constitution, were here today, he would agree: the whole damn thing is still unconstitutional... Madison was unequivocal, "the powers of the Federal Government are few and defined''. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers... The great and abiding lesson of American History, particularly the Cold War, is that the engine of Capitalism, the individual, is mightier than any collective... we were guaranteed the right to own our success... In America, as opposed to the 'Old Country', success was based on merit: probably America's greatest asset was that, for the first time, success was not based on who you were, but what you did.
Mr. President, the Kentuckian went on: you say the rich must pay their fair share: but when you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and the Middle Class... The Republic of Washington in Jefferson is now in danger of becoming the Democracy of Debt and Despair. Our great Nation is coming apart at the seams and the President just seems to point fingers and blame others. President Obama's Administration will add nearly $6 trillion to our National Debt in just one term-- and I'm hoping it's just one term! This explosion of debt is unconscionable and unsustainable. Mr. President, we will not let you bankrupt this great Nation!
Republicans and Democrats alike though, Senator Paul continued, must slay their sacred cows... Republicans and Democrats must replace fear with confidence: confidence that no terrorist and no country will ever conquer us if we remain steadfast to the principles of our founding documents. We have nothing to fear except our own unwillingness to defend what is naturally ours, our God-given rights... To thrive, we must believe in ourselves again, and we must never trade our Liberty for any fleeting promise of Security... You, the individual, are the engine of America's Greatness.
During his speech, Senator Paul (who had endorsed Governor Romney even while his own dad was still trying to gather the support of National Convention delegates at various State Republican Conventions) did manage to get a reference in to a "certain Texas Congressman" but, other than that, there was no clue that there was any real connection between what Rand Paul said and the tribute to his father much earlier in that same hour.
Almost as if to drive that point home even more, there was now a film featuring the two former Presidents Bush- 41 and 43, father and son, together!- and their respective former First Ladies after which singer and actor Beau Davidson (a past winner of Country Music Television's 'Music City Madness' song contest) performing 'Blessed'.
Next, Jeanine McDonnell, an Iraq War veteran and the daughter of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Chris Devlin-Young, a Paralympic Alpine ski racer, came out on stage. We need leaders who will invest in Defense and not abandon it, Ms. McDonnell declared: and this is why we need Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan! For his own part, Mr. Devlin-Young had the honor of introducing Senator John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee who had lost to President Obama four years earlier.
I had hopes once of addressing you under different circumstances, McCain said: but our fellow Americans had another plan four years ago and I accept their decision. It is said that this election will turn on domestic and economic issues- but what Mitt Romney knows, and what we know, is that success at home also depends on our leadership in the World...
At our best, the Arizonan noted: America has led. We have led by our example as a shining City on a Hill... We have led by giving voice to the voiceless, insisting that every human life has dignity, and aiding those brave souls who risk everything to secure the inalienable rights that are endowed to all by our Creator... We have led when necessary with the armed might of Freedom's defenders, and always we have led from the front, never from behind. This is what makes America an exceptional nation: it's not just a matter of who we are, it is the record of what we have done...
We face a consequential choice, Senator McCain went on, and make no mistake, it is a choice. We can choose to follow a declining path toward a future that is dimmer and more dangerous than our past or we can choose to reform our failing Government, revitalize our ailing Economy and renew the foundations of our power and leadership in the world. That is what is at stake in this election... For four years, we have drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership: traditions that are truly bipartisan. We've let the challenges we face at home and abroad become much harder to solve: we can't afford to stay on that course any longer.
We can't afford to cause our friends and allies... to doubt America's leadership; we can't afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world. We can't afford to have the security of our Nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their Government leaked the secrets of their heroic operations to the media... we cannot afford to substitute a political timetable to a military strategy... A wise congressman from Wisconsin has said, "Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course" and that man is our next Vice-President, Paul Ryan.
Our President is not being true to our values, McCain opined. We must return to our best traditions of American leadership and support those who face down the brutal tyranny of their oppressors and our enemies... America must be on the right side of History. The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don't want less of America, they want more: everywhere I go in the World, people tell me that they still have faith in America; what they want to know is whether we still have faith in ourselves.
I trust that Mitt Romney has that faith and I trust him to lead us... I trust him to know that if America doesn't lead, our adversaries will and the World will grow darker, poorer and much more dangerous.
Senator McCain's remarks were followed by a short film about Mitt Romney and his intended, friendly policies towards the State of Israel which, in turn, was followed by a musical interlude.
Then Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington State, the co-chair of the House Republican Conference, appeared at the podium. After noting how one could contribute to the American Red Cross (in light of Tropical Storm 'Isaac', at the time, ravaging the Gulf Coast of the United States), Congressman Rogers then introduced this evening's theme- 'We Can Change It!' We need to create more jobs, get our Economy moving, she stated. We need a Government that works for us, not against us and lives within its means, just like you and I do. Of President Obama, she opined: for every problem, he has the same solution-- more taxes, more spending and more Government; we know how those policies have turned out-- more unemployment, more poverty and more debt.
Congresswoman Rogers then introduced State Attorney-Generals Pam Bondi of Florida and Sam Olens of Georgia, two of the many State Attorneys-General who had sued the Federal Government over the Affordable Care Act- that which its opponents, early on, took to calling 'Obamacare' (the very court case that had been decided by the United States Supreme Court this past 28 June).
As Attorneys-General, Olens noted, we have been on the front lines defending the Constitution and the American People from a President driven to exercise Government Power over our Freedoms, our Rights and our lives. We know that the Constitution limits Federal Power but President Obama clearly believes that those limits just get in his way so he ignores them time and again.
He claims that Government is responsible for private sector success but the only thing he's building is bigger Government, Bondi added, and 'Obamacare' is Exhibit A... they called it a mandate, then they turned around and- without a shred of shame- asked the Court to call the mandate a tax... this is what happens when a President has such total disregard for our individual Liberty that he knowingly and purposely imposes unwarranted restrictions against the Will of the People.
Next came Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the chair of the Senate Republican Conference. We have a sluggish economy, burdened by Obama Administration policies that are weighing down our job-creators: Middle Class Americans, in cities and on farms, are bearing the brunt. The Big Government bureaucrats of the Obama Administration have set their sights on our way of life: instead of preserving family farms and ranches, President Obama's policies are effectively regulating them out of business- his Administration even proposed banning farm kids from doing basic chores!
By contrast, so Thune claimed, of Mitt Romney: When he does use his presidential "bully pulpit", it will be to champion the cause of small business and make it clear to all companies that it is safe to hire again... Gone will be the attitude that Government knows best and solves all. What you will see and hear is a President who will do everything in his power to make sure Government is a catalyst for growth, not an obstacle to success.
Senator Thune was followed by Tad True of Wyoming, a small businessman in the oil pipeline industry, who declaimed that Energy powers everything we do and America depends on reliable, affordable energy... Mitt Romney knows that we need an "all of the above" Energy Policy that includes oil, gas and coal- and renewables like wind and solar, so that we can finally secure Energy Independence for Our Country... infrastructure is critical to achieving Energy Independence- infrastructure like pipelines, which prompts me to ask: Mr. President, where is the Key Stone pipeline?... Americans have missed out on jobs from this pipeline because the Obama Administration has played Politics with the Key Stone project.
After this, Country music singer Danny Gokey performed 'My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me', after which Ohio Senator Rob Portman came forward to speak: Let's begin by talking about something the Democrats love to demonize: Mitt Romney's success in the private sector... he made money the old-fashioned way: he earned it!...You have one candidate who understands that success comes from working hard, competing and taking risks and you have another candidate who believes success comes from Government. Which one do you think knows how to turn this Economy around? Which one would you choose to invest your life's savings? Should it be any different for safeguarding our Nation's Economy?...
You cannot spend your way, regulate your way, tax your way or blame your way out of the economic mess we're in: you have to liberate the productive power of the American People through policies that encourage innovation, risk taking, investment and jobs-- and you have to compete and win in the Global Economy. Governor Romney understands this... We are as beholden to China for bonds as we are to the Middle East for oil!... America has a choice between Mitt Romney, who seeks to grow the Economy, and Barack Obama, who seeks to redistribute it: which do you think will liberate America's entrepreneurial spirit?... we need new leadership and new policies to bring back the dream and renew America's promise- no more excuses, no more blaming others, no more waiting!
The next major speaker of the evening was Governor Luis Fortuno of Puerto Rico (whose wife, Luce, had introduced Mrs. Romney the evening before). As families have tightened their belts, he declared, Washington has continued its wasteful spending... Each community's challenges are unique, but the answers are the same: our families cannot grow their budgets if politicians keep growing Washington's budget. We need to get Government out of our way and we need to let Freedom and the spirit of the American People shine through.
After the Katinas, a Contemporary Christian music group originally from American Samoa, performed 'So Good' and another short film that ended with the words 'BELIEVE IN AMERICA' was shown on the big screen, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty came to the podium: Welcome to Barack Obama's Retirement Party! he declared. We've had four years of Barack Obama in the White House: ah, the Obama White House- one bad decision after another. It's hard to say exactly just what his worst mistake has been- there's so many to choose from: the stimulus; his energy policy; 'Obamacare'; taxes; Joe Biden!
But you know: President Obama isn't as bad as people say- he's actually worse... Actually, Barack Obama is the first President to create more excuses than jobs: in his view, it's George's fault; it's the banks' fault; it's Europe's fault; it's the weather's fault; it's Congress' fault. Mr. President, if you want to find fault, I suggest you look in the mirror!... Next week, Barack Obama will plead with America to give his failed ideas another chance: he'll be asking Americans to give him more time and more money. Well-- sorry, Mr. President: but you're out of time, and we're out of money. Barack Obama has failed us- but look, it's understandable: a lot of people fail at their first job! Our opponents claim to be the Party of the Middle Class but Democrats don't understand this fundamental point: it's really hard for people to be part of the Middle Class if they don't have a job!
Governor Pawlenty was followed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who declared that the United States of America was originally an experiment, but it was an experiment in recognizing God-given individual Liberty and creating a Government in which no one is deemed better than another and in which all of us are equal: not equal in abilities, but equal in intrinsic worth and value. It is the essence- not just of who we are, but what we are... No small differences among us in our Party approximate the vast differences between the Liberty-limiting/ radical left-wing/ anti-business/ reckless spending/ tax-hiking Party of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi versus an energized America who knows we can do better...
Our Founding Fathers left Taxation and Tyranny seeking Religious Liberty and a society of Meritocracy rather than Aristocracy. What they created was a bold experiment in Government believing that God gave us unalienable Rights and that the role of Government is simply to make sure that those Rights are protected. So fearful were they that the Government would grow beyond their intention that- even after crafting our magnificent Constitution- they said "we can do even better": they added Amendments- we call them the 'Bill of Rights'. This Bill of Rights limits what the Government can do and they guarantee what We, the People have the unimpeded right to do: whether to speak, assemble, worship, pray, publish or even refuse intrusions into our homes...
President Obama is out of gas and Americans are out of patience and our great Republic is almost out of time. It's time that we no longer lead from behind but that we get off our behinds and leave something lasting for those who came after us instead of a mountain of debt and a pile of excuses!
After yet another musical interlude, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice appeared on the dais. Everyone asks: Where does America stand? Indeed, that is the question of the hour. Where does America stand? You see- when the friends or foes alike don't know the answer to that question, unambiguously and clearly, the World is likely to be a more dangerous and chaotic place. Since World War II, the United States has had an answer to that question: we stand for free peoples and free markets- we will defend and support them; we will sustain a balance of power that favors Freedom.
Now, to be sure, the burdens of leadership have been heavy: I know, as you do, the sacrifice of Americans- especially the sacrifice of many of our bravest in the ultimate sacrifice... I know, too, it has not always been easy- though it has been rewarding- to speak for those who otherwise do not have a voice... It has been hard to muster the resources to support fledgling democracies and to intervene on behalf of the most desperate... And I know, too, there is a weariness- I know that it feels as if we have carried these burdens long enough: but we can only know that there is no choice because one of two things will happen if we don't lead-- either no one will lead and there will be chaos or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values. My fellow Americans, we do not have a choice: we cannot be reluctant to lead and you cannot lead from behind.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand this reality: our well-being at home and our leadership abroad are inextricably linked. They know what to do- they know that our friends and allies must again be able to trust us... and our foes can have no reason to doubt our resolve because Peace really does come through Strength.
When the World looks at us today, they see an American government that cannot live within its means, the former Secretary of State continued. They see an American Government that continues to borrow money, that will mortgage the future of generations to come: the World knows that, when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny. That is not the America that has inspired people to follow our lead. After all, when the World looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful economic and political experiment in Human History: that is the true basis of American Exceptionalism. You see, the essence of America- what really unites us- is not nationality or ethnicity or religion: it is an idea. And what an idea it is! That you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things: that it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going.
My fellow Americans, ours has never been a narrative of Grievance and Entitlement. We have never believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well: we have never been jealous of one another and never envious of each others' successes. No, ours has been a belief in opportunity and it has been a constant struggle- long and hard, up and down- to try to extend the benefits of the American Dream to all. But that American ideal is indeed in danger today: there is no country- no, not even a rising China- that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we do not do the hard work before us here at home.
Rice was followed by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez who told the assembled her life's story, including her having changed Parties from Democrat to Republican when she first ran for District Attorney of Dona Ana County. I fear some of our leaders today have lost the courage to stand up, she stated. What we have now are politicians: they won't offer real plans and only stand up when they want to blame someone else... Success is the American Dream and that success is not something to be ashamed of or to demonize!
Finally, after a short film which introduced him, it was time for the main speaker of the evening, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, coming forth to accept the Convention's nomination of him to be Vice-President of the United States:
I accept the duty to help lead our Nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity and I know we can do this: I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old and I know that we are ready... After four years of getting the runaround, America needs a turnaround-- and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney...
I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power. They've run out of ideas: their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they've got left-- with all their attack ads, the President is just throwing away money and he's pretty experienced at that!
When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, "Let's get this done", the vice-presidential nominee continued: and that is exactly what we're going to do... Here's the question: without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years? The first troubling sign came with the stimulus: it was President Obama's first and best shot at fixing the Economy- at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion: the largest one-time expenditure ever by our Federal Government... That money wasn't just spent and wasted: it was borrowed, spent, and wasted!
Maybe the greatest waste of all was Time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis... You would think that any President, whatever his Party, would make job creation- and nothing else- his first order of economic business. But this President didn't do that: instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the Federal Government in charge of Health Care... rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country!... And the biggest, coldest power play of all in 'Obamacare' came at the expense of the elderly: you see- even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the Health Care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses- the planners in Washington still didn't have enough money. They needed more: they needed hundreds of billions more-- so they just took it all away from Medicare... An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed-- all to pay for a new entitlement we didn't even ask for: the greatest threat to Medicare is 'Obamacare', and we're going to stop it!...So our opponents can consider themselves on notice, the Wisconsin Congressman declared. In this election- on this issue- the usual posturing on the Left isn't going to work: Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our Nation needs this debate: we want this debate-- we will win this debate!
'Obamacare', as much as anything else, explains why a Presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close: it began with a financial crisis- it ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn't cause- it ends with a housing crisis they didn't correct; it began with a perfect triple-A credit rating for the United States- it ends with a downgraded America... Now all that's left is a Presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed- like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind... Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House: what's missing is leadership in the White House and the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last Administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago: isn't it about time he assumed responsibility?
So here we are, Ryan went on to note: $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse and still he does nothing-- and all we have heard from this President and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious. They have no answer to this simple reality: we need to stop spending money we don't have...
We don't have that much time: but if we are serious and smart, and we lead, we can do this. After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we'll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs... In a clean break from the Obama years- and, frankly, from the years before this President- we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP or less: that is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth or hard limits on the size of Government- and we choose to limit Government.
In our dealings with other nations, the Congressman claimed, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American President is on their side: instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for Peace and Liberty that this World has ever known. President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record and then calls that the record: but we are four years into this Presidency-- the issue is not the Economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the Economy as he envisions it, but this Economy as we are living it... Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama Economy is right to focus on the here and now and I hope you understand this too, if you're feeling left out or passed by: you have not failed, your leaders have failed you!
None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers, Ryan opined: a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a Government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us. Listen to the way we're spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate... I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life: I was on my own path, my own journey- an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That's what we do in this country-that's the American Dream! That's Freedom and I'll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.
By themselves, the failures of one Administration are not a mandate for a new Administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits- he must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of President... Here is our pledge: we will not duck the tough issues- we will lead; we will not spend four years blaming others- we will take responsibility; we will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles. The work ahead will be hard: these times demand the best of us- all of us- but we can do this. Together, we can do this: we can get this country working again; we can get this Economy growing again; we can make the safety net safe again. We can do this! Whatever your political party, let's come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me: let's give this effort everything we have- let's see this through all the way. Let's get this done!
After he had finished speaking, the GOP vice-presidential nominee was joined on stage by his wife, his children and his mother. Then, after the Ryan family had departed, Methodios- the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Boston- stepped to the dais to deliver the Benediction, after which RNC Chair Preibus returned to the podium in order to entertain a motion for adjournment which was adopted by the Convention viva voce and, with that, Day 3 of the 2012 Republican National Convention came to an end at 11:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time [0309 GMT, Thursday 30 August 2012].