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Delegates Speak

We’re at the GOP’s big gathering in Tampa talking with delegates from around the country about how they see Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and the race for the White House.

Judy Griffin, of Georgia, takes photos while wearing a hat with Republican Party buttons during the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee’s welcoming event for the delegates of the Republican National Convention on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP)

Judy Griffin, of Georgia, takes photos while wearing a hat with Republican Party buttons during the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee’s welcoming event for the delegates of the Republican National Convention on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP)

Four thousand four hundred Republican delegates are in Tampa tonight, most cheering their lungs out for Mitt Romney, who is also now in Tampa.  Not all of those delegates wanted Mitt Romney, of course.  They campaigned for Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul and Herman Cain.

But Mitt Romney is the man of the hour now.  The Republican challenger. How have his GOP supporters come to their Romney moment?  How do they look at the man, the country, the world?  We’ll ask.

This hour, On Point:  We’re in Tampa, talking with delegates to the Republican National Convention.

-Tom Ashbrook


John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC and a columnist at the New York Times.

Bryan Monroe, editor of CNNPolitics.com.

Sol Grosskopf, Wisconsin delegate.

Adele Malpass, New York delegate.

Kevin Thomas, South Carolina delegate.

Jerry Mays, West Virginia delegate.


Delegates at the Grand Old Party’s national convention in Tampa come in all stripes, social conservatives, social moderates, economic conservatives, libertarians, and others. The pitch to all of them is simple: do you like how things are going, or are you ready for something different?

“Romney has impressed me from the very beginning,” Jerry Mays, a delegate West Virginia, who has backed the former Massachusetts governor for years. “I want him to push forward a vision of small government.”

Less regulation and a greater focus on job creation is the why Kevin Thomas, a South Carolina delegate, is backing Romney. “The president has had 3 1/2 years and hasn’t done the job,” he said. “I want someone to step up and be a leader, the president hasn’t done that.”

Our jobs will be lost or gained based on this election, said 25 year-old Sol Grosskopf, a delegate from Wisconsin. “Half of the my classmates who are graduating, have no jobs,” he said. “That’s my reality right now.”

“We need a new pathway to create growth,” said Adele Malpass, delegate from New York, who was on her party’s platform committee. “80 percent of the [platform] committee’s time was spent on jobs and job creation.”

Almost all the polls show that the race is tied within the margin of error, said CNN’s Byran Monroe. The president’s personal popularity is behind some of his support, Monroe said, that’s why the convention is critical to presenting Romney to the country.

From Tom’s Reading List

New Jersey Star Ledger “Thousands of pumped delegates flocked into this hurricane-wary city over the weekend far giddier about the prospects of beating President Obama than they were four years ago – or even four months ago.”

Washington Post “At 17, the high school senior from Mount Vernon is not of voting age. But he’ll be 18 by Election Day, making him eligible to serve and vote as a delegate to the Republican National Convention next week. Of the more than 2,000 delegates headed for Tampa, Draim will be the youngest.”

San Francisco Chronicle “Tuesday’s brunch with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and House Speaker John Boehner has been moved indoors. Schedules were rearranged to fill an open Monday evening. Sandbags were in place outside the hotel housing the 800-strong California delegation.”

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  • responseTwo

    Please find an older delegate and ask the following:

    When you get in your 70s and you and your wife get bed-ridden with illness that will total cost you 100K to 200K dollars (it happens), how will you get by if SS and Medicare are cut (i.e. you rely on a 401K instead of SS)(i.e. You get limited money through Medicare vouchers).

    How are giving more tax cuts to upper income going to create jobs. The Bush tax cuts have been in affect for years and we have a period with the worst unemployment since the depression (the Bush tax cuts were supposed to create 200K to 300K jobs per month – that’s exactly what he said).

    If you don’t ask questions like this I see no sense in listening to this.

  • sickofthechit

    My father spent the last years of his life in the ever deeper fog of Alzheimers.  Paul Ryan and the Repubs seem to think that voucherizing Medicare is the future.  How is someone with even early Alzheimers going to make a competent decision about which insurer to go with?  Ryan’s own grandmother suffered from Alzheimers. How can anyone be so callous?

    • OnPointComments

      A family member or guardian will have to make the decision for someone who is incapacitated, just as these family members now decide which doctors the person will see and which treatments the person will have because the person is incapable of making the decisions for themselves.

      • Shag_Wevera

        So when your voucher runs out, family will decide to try to care for him at home, or to warehouse him in some bottom dollar geriatorium.

        • OnPointComments

          The government should not and cannot relieve you of all of your responsibilities.

  • Mouse_2012

    Any Ron Paul delegates on the show today?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jbfox3 Jane B Fox

       You had to sign a document pledging you’d vote for Romney before you could go to the convention and no Ron Paul delegates would do it.

    • Steve__T

       Are you kidding? They think Ron is a Democrat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bcmcknight77 Ben McKnight

    It says this is hour 2, but Tom Ashbrook just said hour 2 is about antiquing. Snore.

    What gives?

    • J__o__h__n

      This will be live tonight at 7:00. 

  • sickofthechit

    My comment on the antiquing person is that is this guy paying taxes on his haul or is he part of the shadow economy?

    Their already doing those competiton shows described.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Privatize Medicare.  Privatize Social Security.

    Ideas so absurd that it is laughable.  BTW, voucherize is privatize.

  • sickofthechit

    American Pickers are looking to screw you.  don’t sell to them is my advice.

    • http://twitter.com/OriginalDiggs Me

      Interesting this comment works for both the Pickers and supporting Mitt Romney…

  • Shag_Wevera

    It must be nice for republicans to have a candidate that they can really be excited about.  You know, a genuine and principled individual with a true conservative core.

    HAAAAA Hahaha!  Hahahaha!  HAHA! 

  • DrewInGeorgia

    This is the show that is currently on:


    I’m actually glad it was this as opposed to another hour of Romney Cheer-Leading.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I’m watching convention coverage, hearing all the planks in the conservative platform.

    There is no middle ground possible with this party.  I again humbly suggest a constitutional convention for the purpose of divividing the U.S. into several smaller nations.

    I cannot afford to emigrate with my family to an enlightened, modern, civilized western nation (Scandinavia, Low Countries, France, etc) but I might be able to afford moving a few states over to “The Liberal States of America”.

    I even have a suggestion for the partitioning.  Northeast, West/Northwest, Western Great Lakes, and Xenophobic Ethnocentric Homophobic Militaristic Inbred Theocratic Corporatist Rightopia.  Four countries created out of one that has become unwieldy and impossible to govern.

  • Vito Lucido

    My comment has nothing to due with this episode of On Point.  I would like to see Tom interview James Howard Kunstler author of several works of fiction and nonfiction.  His latest is Too Much Magic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbfox3 Jane B Fox

    I’d like to see Tom trip David Koch.

    • Mike_Card

      So would I, but I’ve come to believe that Tom doesn’t have the balls to swim in the deep end without water wing-men.

  • Mike_Card

    Romney was never a CEO; he was a glorified stock broker who happened to be the big cheese stock broker in his brokerage.  He never ran a company that made or built things.  He has successfully pulled the wool over these so-called republicans’ eyes.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Romney just handed them the blankies, the recipients were the ones who both gratefully and willingly draped them over their own heads.

  • jeffstev

    It’s one thing to have your favorite talking points, but it’s completely different to claim as fact something you make up for political convenience. It’s a fact that private sector jobs are up by more than 2 million under president Obama. Agreed that’s not enough, but the Republicans are like a crazy uncle now. They had the country for eight years, put two wars on the credit card, Cheney said “Deficits don’t matter.” Now their gung ho against deficits, because the money is not going to their friends. Remember Haliburton and billion dollar no-bid contracts? As has been previously observed, we’ve been under the exact same tax structure now as when GW enacted it. Where are all the jobs? GW killed the economy, not the Democrats. The economy is like your car: this crazy uncle and his cozy friends took it for a joy ride, charged the gas, booze and cigarettes on your credit card, partied in the back seat until they rolled it into the ditch. Then they stood around kibitzing while we towed the wreck home. They argued with the mechanic about how it should be repaired, hid the tools and spare parts, and now they want the keys again. Unbelievable.

    • DrewInGeorgia


  • Steve__T

    I cant stand to listen to another word, these people are nuts.

    Their talking points are so full of it. Pure baseless crap.

  • Steve__T

    Well, that’s no surprise the NRC changed the rules to get rid of Ron Paul. 

  • Noam DePlaume

     Mitt Romney is the embodiment of nothingness.  He’s a flip-flopper to put John Kerry to shame.  The only specifics he has offered have been shot down by non-partisan whose authority he’s praised.  His own father wouldn’t even run with him based off of his choice to not release his tax return.

    What has happened to the Republican Party?

    • J__o__h__n

      John Kerry didn’t flip flop so much as try to be on both sides of every issue.  He was against Vietnam but was a war hero who threw away someone else’s medals to protest it.  He supported MA gay marriage but opposed it nationally, opposed the constitution ban, but claimed he was personally opposed to gay marriage.  Yet he personally opposed abortion but thought it should be legal nationally.  Even his personally opposing something but thinking it should be legal wasn’t consistent.  Mitt claimed to have firm moderate socially liberal views and then went rightward to get votes.  Although his embrace of Paul Ryan’s Medicare changing budget followed by his distancing followed by embaracing it again, are Kerry like.  As is his claim that Romney-care works for MA but not nationally (despite his prior claim it should be a national model).

  • J__o__h__n

    The delegate was obviously wrong about James Madison who wrote that the “practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.”

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    All-too-typical establishment whitewash of what really happened. Ron Paul qualified for a floor speech when 6 states nominated him from the floor, but at that very moment the RNC changed the rules to require 8 states. RNC will pay a heavy price for this. I’ll be voting 3rd party and looking forward to seeing Romney go down.

  • jefe68

    What is interesting is how there is little or no coverage of the Ron Paul delegates being shut out of the process. The GOP just did themselves a huge disservice in an election year when the margin of winning this is going to be tight.
    Seems as if they just told about 7% of the electorate to go “f” themselves.

    I guess the GOP is knows something the rest of us don’t.
    Let’s see they have pissed off woman voters as well as Latino and I’m pretty sure the African American vote is not coming out for the GOP. There is no mention of Asians whatsoever.
    That leaves mostly white males which is not enough of the population to win a general election.

  • BarrytheBully

    Wow Tom your liberal spots have been really showing lately. It’s sad because the best part of your show was your ability stay in the middle and not become a hyper-sensitive knee-jerk liberal. Romney’s line was purely a light joke to show he’s not stiff and of course you are turning it into race baiting. Or have you just fallen that out of touch with main stream America that you can’t recognize a joke anymore. if Letterman or leno cut this joke would they be called racists? Unbelievable. I’d expect this kind of lame behavior from other ultra liberals but to see you slide so far is really sad.

    • fakeDIY

      Are you kidding? Those people were complete wack-a-doodles. Especially that “uhh uhh gas prices” woman. He wasn’t being a ‘hyper-sensitive knee-jerk liberal’, he was challenging the baseless points of people who had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Nontyper Scott Philbeck

      I have to agree with Barry and add that I find it very disturbing that this show finds racism in EVERYTHING.  Tom tried several times to pull the race card out when what was said was not racist at all.   This is possibly the most racist show on the radio and it is offensive to anyone that can think for themselves.

      My question to Tom is: Do you think you are the savior of black people?  You insult all people of color when you constantly try to jump in and defend every little statement that you can try to twist into racism.  People of color do not need your pity or your protection.  It is demeaning and condescending when you find racism in places it obviously isn’t.  Most Americans, black or white are able to ignore most of what you and other people like you will not let go of.

      If you really do respect everyone, stop treating us like we are children that need a big brother in the sandbox to look after us.  Show a little respect to all the races and quit trying to play your race card every chance you get..   

  • Joan Phillips

    Hi NPR – I wanted to hear the “Killer Stuff and Tons of Money” segment, but the link doesn’t work.  Thanks for your help.

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