Mitt Romney vows to restore America's promise


Mitt Romney: "I wish President Obama had succeeded, because I want America to succeed"

Mitt Romney has pledged "to restore the promise of America", as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Florida.

Mr Romney accused President Barack Obama of failing to deliver on his promises and presented his plan involving energy independence, cutting the budget deficit and creating jobs.

He also spoke of his Mormon faith.

The Obama campaign said Mr Romney had "no tangible ideas" and "would take our country backwards".

Mr Romney will challenge the Democratic president in November's election.

His speech was the climax of the three-day Republican convention, which correspondents saw as an attempt to show the human side of a candidate who is sometimes accused of being opaque and distant.

On Friday Mr Romney will visit Louisiana to tour areas damaged by Hurricane Isaac. He will visit LaFitte, some 16 miles (25km) from New Orleans, and a local command centre.

He will miss pre-planned campaign events in Florida and in Virginia to make time for his detour to the storm zone.

Family guy

Mr Romney began the most important speech of his political career by accepting the nomination that he was overwhelmingly awarded on Tuesday by thousands of delegates at the gala in Tampa.

It secured him the position that eluded him in his first presidential bid in 2008, when Arizona Senator John McCain became the Republican nominee.

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His speech set out to be a subtle and ambitious construct but came over as sometimes flat. It wasn't enthralling but it did the job”

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"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed," Mr Romney said, in a speech that was watched by millions across the US.

Instead he told his audience: "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."

And he pledged to do things differently: "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise... is to help you and your family."

The 65-year-old presidential nominee recounted details of his Mormon upbringing, with anecdotes about his family life and his parents' loving marriage.

Mr Romney talked about his own experiences as a father, apparently becoming emotional as he talked about the times when he and his wife Ann would wake up to find "a pile of kids asleep in our room".

'No apology'

Mr Romney vowed to create 12 million American jobs over the next four years and turn around an economy saddled with an 8.3% unemployment rate.

He also pledged to make the US energy independent by 2020, cut the national deficit and negotiate new trade agreements.

"I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began his presidency with an apology tour," he said.

He accused the president of having "thrown allies like Israel under the bus", while being too lenient with Iran.

"Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty and Mr Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone," Mr Romney said.

He brought the crowd to its feet when he pledged to repeal Mr Obama's signature healthcare bill.

US media reaction

The Washington Post's Jonathan Bernstein writes of "a generic speech and a generic convention for a generic Republican candidate", adding that "everything in it was perfunctory".

The Boston Globe describes the speech as "less of an emphatic statement of purpose than a direct challenge to President Obama". The ball is now firmly in Mr Obama's court and he will have a chance to return the volley next week, the editorial says.

The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg says Mr Romney worked hard to show he had a heart but still has to convince many Americans that Mr Obama's presidency did not work, and to let go of him and move on.

"Romney is very effective at puncturing Obama's grandiosity. If he does it half as well in person, the debates will be a blast," writes the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto.

Fox News' Douglas Schoen says that while Mr Romney's speech did not close the deal, he took a "giant step forward" and his speech began the process of "humanising" him.

The event ended with the entire Romney family - his wife, five sons and their wives and most of his 18 grandchildren - on stage with him as thousands of balloons were released over the convention floor.

Republicans at the convention said they were confident of victory after the speech.

"It's been great. It's fired us up. We're going forward. We're going to make it happen," one delegate told the BBC.

"This is just the cherry on the whipped cream, on the ice cream, and we're going to win in November, and there's no stopping it now. This is the wind that's going to blow us into office," said another.

But Mr Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina said the address contained little substance.

"Much like the entire Republican Convention, Mitt Romney's speech tonight offered many personal attacks and gauzy platitudes, but no tangible ideas to move the country forward," he said.

"What he didn't share were his actual proposals, which would take our country backwards."

Attendees in tears

Appearing on stage earlier to pledge his support for Mr Romney, Hollywood star Clint Eastwood raised eyebrows with an off-the-cuff monologue to an imaginary Mr Obama in an empty chair.

Referring to the president, the actor told a rapturous audience: "When somebody does not do the job, you've got to let 'em go."

Marco Rubio said "hope and change has become divide and conquer"

Democrats have sought to depict Mr Romney as a wealthy, elitist, tax-dodging, corporate raider and policy chameleon. Low favourability ratings have dogged him throughout his campaign and he trails Mr Obama in likeability.

To counter that image, the convention heard emotional testimonials about Mr Romney's work as a Mormon leader that left some attendees in tears.

One couple talked of how Mr Romney had befriended and comforted their dying teenage son.

A woman recalled how the Republican's "eyes filled with tears" when her premature baby daughter was close to death in hospital.

On Wednesday, Mr Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, pledged a "turnaround" for America, while attacking Mr Obama.

But fact-checkers said there were a number of inaccuracies in the Wisconsin congressman's address.

The job of softening Mr Romney's edges also fell to his wife, who brought down the house on Tuesday with a speech about their high-school romance.


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US Presidential Election 2012

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  • rate this

    Comment number 685.

    I think this presidential election will go down to the wire I wish both parties would concentrate on the real issues and not get caught up in the standard rhetoric. It used to be said that when the US has a cold the rest of the world sneezes it remains, to be seen if this is still the case however there is no doubt that the US is still a major economy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 684.

    There are facts that need remembering in the run-up to the November elections that we've forgot.

    Here's one: Obama was handed, on a silver platter, the worst recession since the Great Depression of 1930s. He obtained a first Stimulus Spending bill that capped unemployment at 10%, before lowering.

    The Great Depression saw unemployment rates above 20%. .Shouldn't we consider ourselves lucky?

  • rate this

    Comment number 683.

    674. "Why is it that most people in countries you mentioned [Netherlands, UK and France] think that they know what is best for the USA?"

    As long as the US continues to proclaim itself as 'leader of the free world' and involve the rest of us in its wars, we have every right to comment on US internal matters.

    And Romney may comment on the Olympics in return.

  • rate this

    Comment number 682.

    674.Mustafa Yorumcu,
    Thank you. To some, it seems that cultural deafness only works one way .Thank you for pointing out that we all have blind spots.

  • rate this

    Comment number 681.

    I've been glued to the Convention, very interesting. Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Connie Rice and Romney gave insightful speeches, can't wait for the upcoming debates.
    Had Obama proposed a NHS system like you have in the UK and Europe I would applaud him but he hasn't. Though it doesn't become law for 2 years seniors are already being denied some treatments.

  • rate this

    Comment number 680.

    Domesticly I don't think Romney will be able to do much anyway. If he does get elected president, it won't be by much, and he'll have the Democrats tripping him up just as the Republicans have been doing with Obama.
    What worrys me is what he'll be like on foreign policy. Even the most under siege president has near absolute power there.
    Vote Romney for World War 3!

  • Comment number 679.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 678.

    Yes, Romney will have a bump after the convention; so did John McCain. Romney cannot win the election just with only the white electorate. Romney does not have the Hispanics, Asians and the largest minority electorates - the Blacks. Romney will fare worse than McCain. What is important for these minorities is healthcare and the Republicans are not there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 677.

    The thing about their claims that Obama hasn't delivered is that it is no small part due to republican wrecking tactics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 676.

    7 Minutes ago

    "This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain."

    Ha ha, I would give up if I were you, the original comment is rapidly going to the bottom of the lowest rated anyway.

    It does seem a bit odd that they are removing all the comments that question her logic (not sure why I think it's a her, sorry RC??? if you are male)

  • Comment number 675.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 674.

    7. RFedererrr

    Why is it that most people in countries like mine the Netherlands, UK and France think this guy is a nut job and wouldn't even receive 20% of the vote, but in USA these Republicans always manage to get close to or more than 50%?
    Why is it that most people in countries you mentioned think that they know what is best for the USA?
    Could it not be that you guys are wrong?

  • rate this

    Comment number 673.

    Obama has 186 electral collage votes in the bag and Romney has 200 with 161 up for grabs from the swing states, according to the BBC.
    Also, I heard on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that it was likely just 5 million American voters in those swing states will decide who will win the presidential election.

  • rate this

    Comment number 672.

    @ 671. Mike

    The president does not create jobs nor does he control the economy. (We Americans need to remember how our government works!) Even if he did, four years is not nearly enough time to turn around the crisis we face. He's the president - not a magic genie.

  • rate this

    Comment number 671.

    I am a registered independent. I voted for president Obama in 2008 because I trusted him to fix the economy and to create jobs. I and the rest of my graduating class could not find any jobs in this economy. Needless to say I will not be voting for him this time around.

  • rate this

    Comment number 670.

    Everyone in america is told they can have the american dream and while they are dumb enough to believe that the 1% will keep feeding them religion and game shows to keep them down

  • rate this

    Comment number 669.


    The UK is so fortunate with the NHS-it's truly baffling that so many in the USA are against universal health care."

    What's really baffling is that every developed country has universal health care, and regard it as a fundamental principle, except the US? When you're in a minority of one, its usually a good idea to have a re-think.

  • Comment number 668.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 667.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 666.

    I am so sick of hearing about those 'ALL for the RICH' republicans and now the first thing I see on the BBC headline is the SAME ol' drivel as the 'headlines' on there site. "Turn the page"? BACK to the SAME G W Bush time and go to war with yet another country and restock the rich folks wallets! I feel sorry for Clint. Poor chap has lost his marbles!


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