GOP convention live updates Thursday: Romney’s big moment, Rubio and Jeb, mystery speaker revealed
The balloons will drop tonight no matter what, but will Romney get the job done?
TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney will give the biggest speech of his career Thursday here at the Republican National Convention, seeking to prove to voters he’s a viable alternative to President Obama.
Read our preview of Romney’s speech with senior adviser Ed Gillespie here.
12:07 a.m. Highlights from Mitt Romney’s speech
12:05 a.m. A Cuban doctor, two Rabbi brothers and a Massachusetts nurse react to the convention
What does a Cuban doctor, two Rabbi brothers, a Massachusetts nurse and a young woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty have in common? Not much, except that they are Republicans and are reacting on this video about the GOP, the RNC and MItt Romney.
11:20 p.m. Marco Rubio gives soaring speech about “new beginnings”
TAMPA Fla. — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) put his rhetorical gifts on display Thursday in a speech that touched on his family’s immigrant roots and American values.
Rubio energized the crowd of delegates here while introducing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, showing why many believe he could one day seek the presidency himself.
While Rubio’s address received accolades from some, others believed that it lacked substance on the issues.
Watch his full speech here:
- Jordan Fabian
11:00 p.m. Watch all of Clint Eastwood’s crazy convention speech
10:59 p.m. @MexicanMitt account suspended before Romney’s big speech
NBC Latino reports that the Romney parody account mysteriously disappeared before the Republican candidate took the stage:
‘Mexican Mitt,’ a parody twitter account that has been railing against Mitt Romney since the primaries and pokes fun at Romney’s on-again, off-again relationship with Mexican ancestry, was mysteriously suspended on the eve of Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday night.
One thing should be made clear — Mexican Mitt, who’s most public supporter and friend is popular satirist and NBC Latino contributor Lalo Alcaraz, has been known to tweet controversial comments and makes his share of enemies on Twitter.
10:36 p.m. Mitt Romney officially accepts Republican presidential nomination
“Mr. Chairman and delegates, I accept your nomination for president of the United states,” Romney said.
Accepting the nomination isn’t just a mere formality, it allows Romney access to a large pool of general election funds. The election now enters its final stretch.
10:00 p.m. Conservative and liberal bloggers discussed Romney’s speech in real time via Google+ Hangout, moderated by Univision’s Emily Deruy
8:45 p.m. Jeb Bush slams Obama for criticizing Bush 43
TAMPA, Fla. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush went off script Thursday to offer a defense of the presidency of his brother George W. Bush, telling President Obama its time for him to take responsibility for the economy.
“I love my brother. He is a man of integrity, courage and honor. And during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe,” the younger Bush said.
“Mr. President, it is time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies,” he continued. “You were dealt a tough hand, but your policies have not worked. In the fourth year of your presidency, a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions.”
Bush spent most of his address speaking his signature issues of education reform and minority empowerment. Bush is a strong supporter of school vouchers and teacher accountability and an opponent of teachers unions.
“We must stop prejudging children based on their race, ethnicity or household income. We must stop excusing failure in our schools and start rewarding improvement and success,” he said. “We must have high academic standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world. All kids can learn. Governor Romney believes it, and the data proves it.”
8:04 p.m. In video, Susana Martinez says the “Hispanic community has been taken for granted by the other party”
This video played before the Republican National Convention
8:00 p.m. Watch Univision’s Mariana Atencio (8:25 p.m.), Leon Krauze (9:45 p.m.), and Jordan Fabian (11 p.m.) on ABC News/ Yahoo digital broadcast from Republican National Convention
7:36 p.m. Colorful scenes from the RNC 2012
Hats, hats, and more hats! They seem to be the only way to stand out among all the suits and ties crowding the RNC. Our crew went out to grab “color,” i.e. anything non-politics related and more on the fluffy side. Among the colorful scenes, they ran into Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, New Jersey candidate for Congress, and Zori Fonalledas, Puerto Rico committeewoman who had her “15 minutes” on the first day of the conventions.
Check it out below:
7:10 p.m. Craig Romney will break out the Spanish in his convention speech
Below are excerpts from Craig Romney, the son of the Republican presidential nominee.
His mother Ann Romney joked to Jorge Ramos Wednesday that on top of being fluent in Spanish, he looks Latino. Well, Craig will speak at length in Spanish about his appreciation for the Latino community through his mission work in Chile and praises his father as a family man and a uniter:
I am honored and humbled to speak with you tonight. I am incredibly proud of my father, and love him dearly.
It is my privilege to say a few words in Spanish, so please bear with me for a moment.
Buenas Noches. Es un placer estar con ustedes.
Yo pase dos años viviendo y trabajando en Chile. A través de esa experiencia, pude valorar aún mas como hispanos han aportado a la diversa riqueza de los Estados Unidos.
Mi padre - Mitt Romney - es un hombre de familia. Él es un gran esposo, padre y abuelo. Él sabe como unir a nuestro país y valora que somos una nación de inmigrantes, unidos en el deseo de lograr el sueno americano.
El ama a nuestra nación. El luchará para confrontar los retos que tenemos y restaurar la grandeza de los Estados Unidos.
It’s easy to forget that the story of my father’s success begins with the story of two immigrants - my grandfathers - who came to this country with little more than hope in the opportunity of America.
Through their hard work and perseverance they lived the American dream, and gave opportunities to their children they wouldn’t have had anywhere else. The Republican Party is dedicated to preserving that opportunity for all Americans.
We’ve had the privilege of hearing about different chapters of this same inspiring American story from Governors Sandoval and Martinez and soon-to-be-Senator Cruz.
We’re seeing this story play out in the lives of many other Hispanic Americans who have become leaders in the Republican Party and throughout our nation.
These leaders, along with Hispanics across the country, will play a vital role in the Romney-Ryan comeback, as we fight to put America back on the path to prosperity.
- Jordan Fabian
6:17 p.m. Rubio and Jeb’s speeches
The Weekly Standard has obtained a full copy of Sen. Marco Rubio’s speech introducing Mitt Romney. Rubio makes no mention of immigration, but he speaks about his Cuban roots and Romney’s belief in “American exceptionalism.”
For those of us who were born and raised in this country, it’s easy to forget how special America is. But my grandfather understood how different America is from the rest of world.
Tonight, you’ll hear from another man who understands what makes America exceptional.
Mitt Romney knows America’s prosperity didn’t happen because our government simply spent more. It happened because our people used their own money to open a business.
And when they succeed, they hire more people, who then invest or spend their money in the economy, helping others start a business and create jobs.
Read the whole thing here.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will speak about Romney’s stance on the issues, such as the economy, energy, and education:
“This election is about the future of this nation. We can shape that future, with what we do here. With what we do November 6. We can restore America’s greatness. That starts with a strong economy…a smart energy policy…lower deficits…and a president who puts America’s workers and job-creators first.”
“We must stop excusing failure in our schools and start rewarding improvement and success. We must have high academic standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world. All kids can learn. Governor Romney believes it, and the data proves it. While he was governor, Massachusetts raised standards and today their students lead the nation in academic performance.”
“Because he is a former governor, Mitt Romney understands that states must lead this national movement. In Massachusetts, Governor Romney narrowed the gap between students of different races, raised testing standards, and put into place a merit scholarship, the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship that gives students four tuition free years, at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning. He’s a champion for bringing hope to education. And he intends to be a champion for equality of opportunity… a president who always puts students first.”
“So in this election, remember this: Our future as a nation is at stake. Fact is, this election is not about just one office. It is about one nation. If we want to continue to be the greatest nation on the planet, we must give our kids what we promise them: An equal opportunity. That starts in the classroom…it starts in our communities… it starts where you live. And it starts with electing Mitt Romney the next President of the United States.”
- Jordan Fabian
6:06 p.m. Excerpts from Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech
The Romney campaign has released excerpts from the Republican presidential candidate’s speech, which will happen after 10 p.m. tonight:
Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.
When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.
That very optimism is uniquely American.
It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.
They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.
Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.
Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.
Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.
This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.
This was the hope and change America voted for.
I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.
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!”
So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.
To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.
My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO.
Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and God’s love– this world would be a far more gentle and better place.
My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?”
I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.
Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations of all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.
And that’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.
When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.
So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.
That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.
But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?
Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? 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.
Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.
To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.
To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.
Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. 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.
What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.
What America needs is jobs.
Lots of jobs.
To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.
I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.
And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.
We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman, and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.
The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.
Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.
That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past.
That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our constitution.
That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.
That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.
If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.
- Jordan Fabian
3:58 p.m. Minorities at RNC talk about their affinities with the GOP
Minorities now compose a growing share of the electorate and without their vote neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney will be able to get the White House come November. We spoke to a number of minority participants at the Republican National Convention to see how the party is doing in terms of including them.
Romney must convince voters that he’s better equipped than President Obama to fix the ailing economy. But he also faces the challenge of projecting a more personable image while planning to address two elements of his biography that could serve as stumbling blocks, his record at Bain Capital and his Mormon faith, ABC News reports.
We have also have our eye several other speakers, two of whom are mentioned as potential presidential candidates in 2016 should Romney fail to win: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush declined to run this year but remains a well-respected figure in GOP circles, even though he’s frequently criticized his party’s efforts to appeal to Latino voters. He hasn’t shied away from criticizing Romney’s rhetoric on immigration in the past, but we expect his remarks to center on President Obama’s record and Romney’s knowledge of the economy.
Rubio, 41, is a rising star in the GOP and was considered as a vice presidential nominee. He’s popular among Tea Party figures and conservatives, but some in the GOP believe that the Cuban-American senator could be the missing link between the party and Latinos (others are more skeptical). Regardless, this will be the biggest speech of his fledgling career and a chance to prove that he’s capable of being his party’s standard bearer in future elections.
Another interesting speaker is Derek Parra, a Mexican-American who medaled as a speed-skater in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, which Romney ran. He will speak alongside Mike Eruzione, the hero of the 1980 U.S. Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team, and 2012 London skeet shooting medalist Kim Rhode.
Speculation has abounded about a “mystery speaker” during Thursday’s program. And the speaker is …. Clint Eastwood!
CNN reports that Clint Eastwood is indeed the mystery speaker for tonight. #GOP2012— Aaron Blake (@FixAaron) August 30, 2012
Number of the day: 120
That’s how many members of the Romney family will be in attendance at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to hear tonight’s speech, according to the Washington Post.