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The Candidate Speaks

We’ll be on the scene as Mitt Romney prepares to step up for his big speech to the nation.

Delegates cheer as Mitt Romney is nominated for the Office of the President of the United States at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP)

Delegates cheer as Mitt Romney is nominated for the Office of the President of the United States at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP)

And so we come to the night of nights for a Republican party hungering to kick President Barack Obama out of the White House.  And lined up behind Mitt Romney as their man to do it.  Tonight is Romney’s night.  His big speech.  He’s invested years and millions in his pursuit of the presidency.

He’s stayed on the stump long after everyone agreed he is no natural politician.  He’s rolled out his wife, his family, his running mate. Chris Christie.  The Oak Ridge Boys.  Now it’s his turn. To try to win the American people and the White House.

This hour, On Point:  in Tampa, we’re closing in on Mitt Romney.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Major Garrett, White House correspondent for National Journal.

Rep. Michael Burgess, represents the 26th Texas congressional district, which includes parts of Dallas and Cooke Counties.

Brian Balogh,  professor of history at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “Mitt Romney will exhort Americans to abandon the path they set the country on four years ago, delivering a convention speech on Thursday night designed to highlight the disappointment in what Republicans see as President Obama’s failures and bring to life his own personal story.”

Politico “The speech Romney delivers at the Republican National Convention’s final night in Tampa will be one of his last opportunities to sketch a portrait of who he is and what he stands for to a country whose battleground states have seen him relentlessly portrayed by the Obama campaign as a heartless corporate raider — a perception that has dented his approval ratings and made it difficult for the GOP to change the campaign narrative.”

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  • SamEw

    At least so far I’ve been struck by how subdued the convention feels compared to the 04 and 08 ones and the primaries. I think there’s perhaps correctly a perception by the party that the republicans are in serious danger of appearing too rigid and ideological to swinger voters. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Swinger Voters?

      • SamEw

        lol give me a break I wrote that after 1 in the morning. 

        • Mouse_2012

          There is a club not to far away from the RNC event that I heard Republicans do visit. Sure there’s some voters in there republicans could appeal too

          • SamEw

            Hey now no reason to disrespect the honest hard working um people of Tampa. Seriously though have you watched even five minutes of the convention I seriously doubt the walker set was going out in mass to strip clubs after the convention. 

        • DrewInGeorgia

          It wasn’t a criticism, I was just curious what you meant.

      • sickofthechit

         That’s why they chose Tampa.

    • hennorama

      It’s not really surpising that the GOP convention seems subdued.  After all, the primaries showed that Republicans seemed to want anybody BUT Romney, until his vast financial superiority crushed all the other flavors-of-the-month candidates.

      Romney emerged from the otherwise comically weak field of obviously flawed candidates, each of whom were inexplicably popular at some point in the primaries.  GOP primary voters seemed to thrash around searching for a candidate, for ANYONE BUT Romney, pushing one clown after another into the lead in polls.

      It’s clear that Republicans do not LOVE Willard, which is one big reason the convention seems subdued.

      • SamEw

        Agreed it is fascinating that despite the fact primaries theoretically decide elections Romney clearly won because of party connections and organization not popular support. 

        • DrewInGeorgia

          The only reason Romney is getting the nom is because all of his “opponents” self-destructed the second they hit the National Stage. Though I don’t wear a tinfoil hat I have wondered several times if that wasn’t the intention all along.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Too ideological? We still have time to get yet another speech which “sounded better in the original German”.

      (h/t Saint Molly)

      • SamEw

        You know I’m pretty sure if Living Colour did a remix of Cult of Personality it would be Romney’s opponent’s name added to the song. 

  • superfinehelios

    I can’t wait to hear more twisted facts tonight. Sure is making my mornings busy…reading the truth about the lies the GOP is putting out the night before.

  • Gregg Smith

    I have not heard of any trouble from Republican protesters. Charlotte won’t be so lucky, Democrat protesters are nasty.

    • Mouse_2012

      Seems you haven’t heard much. Many protestors are in the “Free Speech Zones” you know the cages that they put people in away from the event?

  • Beyond_The_Political_Spectrum

    Who needs protestors when they won’t even allow their own a full airing of their views (e.g., manipulating the rules so that Ron Paul’s delegates are not counted)?
    “This Is Not Your Father’s Republican Party!” http://beyond-the-political-spectrum.blogspot.com/2012/08/this-is-not-your-fathers-republican.html

  • Shag_Wevera

    Joe Biden will hand Ryan his arse.  He is eminently folksy, and Americans eat that up.

    • Gregg Smith

      Especially when he goes all ghetto and talks about chains.

      • sickofthechit

         They were metaphorical chains, the chains of poor educational system, lack of real oppurtunity, etc. etc.

        • Gregg Smith

          Alrighty then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Why are we hearing a repeat (on WBUR streaming) instead of the show referenced on this page? Why do I have to wait for the podcast to hear this?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    OK, I am SO confused. At least the second day in a row that the “second hour” on air is NOT the same as what the web site shows.

    What’s going on?

    It would appear they DO have a page for this hour’s actual topic:
    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/07/12/grrm
    Rebroadcast — Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM
    Originally aired on July 12, 2011

  • MrNutso

    The second hour is broadcast at 7:00 p.m. as noted at the top of the page.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      Heh… you’re right. I never even thought to look there, but it makes sense. I forgot that On Point broadcasts twice a day on WBUR.

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    How can Mitt Romney be the protector of free markets when he will be indebted to the cronies who are destroying free markets?

    On July 19, 2012 the Financial Times reported Paul Ryan saying,

    “Both political parties have fallen victim to “partnership” with large and well-connected companies, especially in energy, housing, finance and healthcare. Republicans have been guilty of confusing our pro-market principles with pro-entrenched business policies…. A growing coalition of reformers … reject this pernicious crony capitalism. Our solutions promote an opportunity society, one that is rooted in the US commitment to free enterprise.”

    Based on the source of their campaign funds, how is the Republican ticket going to say no to those filling their coffers?
    http://www.freeourfreemarkets.org/2012/08/romney-guarding-free-markets.html#more

  • Mike_Card

    Well, OK.  Pretty much everyone who pays attention realizes that these nominating conventions are circle-jerking orgasmic get-togethers to reward the faithful; major and fringe parties, alike.

    Just as there will be rolling waves of lies about Democratic positions tonight, they will be met in kind next week.  The reasons for televising both conventions–and I’m sure the Greens, Libertarians, et.al. are bitter–is payback for all the zillions the two majors have spent for TV time during this obscenely extended primary season.

    New Hampshire will continue to stamp their feet and whine, but they lost relevance several decades ago.  So sorry, you petulant, self-absorbed adolescents.

    Anyone expecting to learn anything from this really stupid series of media events is deluded; or maybe just innocently ignorant.

    • harverdphd

       Of course, and I’d still vote for Romney even if he told me he was personally responsible for the destruction of my retirement portfolio, not that my vote means a thing in my state.  I may watch a NOVA archived video tonight.

      • Mike_Card

        I respect, and probably agree whole-heartedly with your conclusion, even though Romney is not my choice.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “This is a more diverse party than you’ve heard advertised.”

    That’s nice. How does that reconcile with dogwhistle ads on welfare and “just sit back and let them send (dole recipients) the check forever”?

    What do some of those Republicans who aren’t white swallow that bilge? Can we ask some of them?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “There’s polling data that seems to indicate…”

    Okay, time to get Nate Silver on line one. Beltway types do get all “herdy” about this kind of thing, and President Obama is more popular with voters than any narrative one is going to get from the mainstream press.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Tom’s guest said Paul Ryan set the stage last night. Stage for what? Half-truths (which are by definition half lies) followed by inciting rhetoric and empty promises? That Stage has been set for almost four years now.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Ryan has set the stage for the first “post truth” campaign.

      Many of our typical footmen and handmaidens in the mainstream press are catching on.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        And I’m glad to see it. Today is the first time in a loooooong time I have felt that either OP or Tom have at least made an attempt to try and be objective. I’ve also been really pleased with the subtle shift Media Wide I’ve noticed today. Maybe there’s still hope, I can dream can’t I?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Holy crap this caller is brutal! I like it.

  • Mike_Card

    Herbert Hoover??  WTF?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    And another great caller! Good Job screeners, way to be on the ball!

  • Ellen Dibble

    Jacqueline who says she doesn’t need to see Romney’s heart on his sleeve — yes!  To me, Romney is so transparent that he’s painful to watch.  His face, to me, speaks so loudly that I have to look away.  It speaks of his inner self.  Contrast this to people whose speaking is indicative of the people they are speaking to or on behalf of.  Leaders take their “people” into their visages in a way that is almost palpable.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      It’s the eyes Ellen, it’s always in the eyes. His predecessor had exactly the same effect on me that Romney does.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I thought it was a character flaw in me, but apparently I’m not alone.  Others say that about Romney.  Maybe in person I’d be able to tune myself somehow, but not via TV screen.

        • Gregg Smith

          Maybe actions should be a consideration. The three personal stories tonight (especially the second) brought me to tears. Literally… and I’m a burly manly man. I had to sneak off and blow my nose without my wife noticing. How embarrassing. 

          Ms. Dibble, as warped as this sounds, I thought of you and hoped you were watching.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I am not looking forward to hearing about his history as governor of Massachusetts.  It seems to me there should be equal time in the Democrat convention about Romney in Massachusetts, which is unlikely to happen.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think Republicans want freedom in the sense of get government out of the way of businesses, but as to individuals, not so much.  We need specifics.  Look at the face of Obama, does he seem to express what we individuals are having to bring forth in this country?  Or does Romney?

  • sickofthechit

    Adam the caller is a liar.  How can he be 27 and voted for bush twice?  It doesn’t add up!

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Did he say he was 27? I somehow completely missed that.

      • sickofthechit

         Tom even repeated it when addressing one of the guests.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          I re-listened and I was shocked. The first go round I heard the two children and Bush two times but missed his age. It’s sad, why would someone do that?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Thanks again OP Staff for the excellent job selecting callers tonight. All of them were On Point.

  • Mike_Card

    Don’t know, Tom.  I can appreciate how difficult it is to get good guests during a major event like a nominating convention.  That’s pretty evident tonight; these people are truly losers.  Otherwise, you’ve done a good job, so far.

  • sickofthechit

    WE need third, fourth, fifth and more parties.  These two suck!

    • brettearle

       Viability, for one, or more, new political parties, in this country–ones that would make a difference–would almost require a revolution.

  • Gregg Smith

    One of the cool things about this convention is the governors like O’Donnell, Walker, Kasich and Christie in particular showing the way. They addressed and fixed huge deficits mostly (maybe all) without raising taxes. The States that raised taxes on the rich are still in deep doo doo. How can that be?

    • sickofthechit

      Are you including in their “balance” the $300 billion+ they received as art of the first stimulus?  Try to remember, 1/3 went to states to help with their budget woes, 1/3 went to stimulus and 1/3 went to continue the “temporary” bush tax cuts.

      I notice you and the RNC didn’t include Mitch Daniels who used the interesting technique of raising state income taxes by 2% in conjunction with the 2% reduction  in Federal  Employment tax declared by President Obama.

      Charles A. Bowsher

      • Gregg Smith

        I don’t think Christie took the money, I’m not sure about the others. 

  • TomK_in_Boston

    It’s nice to see the corporate media finally standing up for truth and reality, almost unanimously calling out ryan’s speech; some even use the L word, and in fact “Lie” is the best single description of the speech. Here’s a nice summary:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/paul-ryan-and-the-post-truth-convention-speech/261775/

    I hope this is a sign they will be giving up the “both sides are equally bad” and focusing on the righty Big LIe propaganda machine. It would be nice if they keep up the good work with Etchasketch’s speech.

  • hennorama

    Listening to Rubio talk about how anyone can make it in the US sounds like he’s talking about Barack Obama’s life story.

    And these tropes about “American exceptionalism” and “a shining city on a hill” are good ol’ Reaganisms.  You remember him, right?  He was GREAT!  Balanced Federal revenues and outlays exactly ZERO of his eight years!

    Yes, an exceptional, shining example for deficit and debt hawks.

    • Gregg Smith

      I thought Rubio was great but he messed up at the end with a brain fart. I hesitate to say what it was but I’m sure the press will be all over it.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        In my opinion he messed up as soon as he started talking. That’s just my opinion though. Like the rest of The Convention’s speakers, Rubio’s performance was impressive only because it was amazing that so many words could be spoken without actually saying a thing.

        • Gregg Smith

          I accept your comment with stunned disbelief. I thought it was insightful and inspiring. O well, different strokes…

  • DrewInGeorgia

    I felt so bad for Mr. Eastwood, he never should have been placed on that stage. The sadistic clowns that decided he should speak have denigrated the man while simultaneously creating a situation that will absolutely come back to bite them in the a$$. Yes I realize Mr. Eastwood can make his own decisions but this is one that should never have been made available to him.

    As for Rubio this is the first time I have ever seen him speak at length. His performance did nothing more than reinforce what I already knew going in. Just as I suspected, no television leading up to this convention hasn’t caused me to miss a thing.

    And last but certainly not least, Mr. Romney. As for his speech tonight I will give him props on the oration. His advisers must have been hard at work and apparently their work paid off. The obviously false sense of astonishment Romney normally displays when speaking and the underlying condescension were nowhere to be found. That being said, he still didn’t say a damn thing. Pavlov doled out the cheese and the studious participants dutifully pounded their ‘like’ pedal.

    I won’t delve into the prompted handshaking of a certain person during his red carpet trip, or the “handwritten’ Hispanics For Mitt signs which were hoisted by obviously non Hispanic ‘attendees’, or the predetermined U-S-A moments. No need to, the pundits are going to have a field day. I suspect there will be much burning of the midnight oil in preparation for tomorrow. 

    I can’t believe I made it through all three days without my head literally exploding. Thank goodness they dropped the fourth. The TV is going back into hibernation until the DNC and I couldn’t be more glad of it.

    • hennorama

      Wow.  Clint – WTF?  HUGE mistake on the RNC’s part, since people will only remember and talk about Eastwood tomorrow and over the weekend, and NOT Romney.

      And what’s up with Romney, near the end of his speech, delivering all those lines designed to get the audience to shout “NO!”  Just reinforces the Republicans as the Party Of NO.

      Not smart.

      Romney was solid, but not great.

  • sickofthechit

    I loved Clint Eastwood, before he appeared at the RNC.  Now I only have sadness and disgust for what was done to him.  Shame on the “Repugnicans” for this travesty.

    Obama’s “imagined” response to tell Romeny to go #$@! himself was a dick cheney line, not a President Barack Obama line.  Or have we forgotten cheney’s deleted expletive on the floor of the Senate aimed at a Democratic Congressman shortly after he and bush assumed the presidency?

  • sickofthechit

    Are you including in their “balance” the $300 billion+ they received as part of the first stimulus?  Try to remember 1/3 went to states to help with their budget woes, 1/3 went to stimulus and 1/3 went to continue the “temporary” bush tax cuts?

    I notice you didn’t include Mitch Daniels who used the interesting technique of raising state income taxes by 2% in conjunction with the 2% reduction  Federal  Employment tax holiday declared by President Obama.

    Charles A. Bowsher

  • ChevSm

    I have trouble believing that guys who has been unemployed for 6 years knows how to create jobs  

    • brettearle

      I have trouble believing that anyone, at this point, knows how to create jobs.

  • Dab200

    What a sorry lot this current Republican party has shown itself to be, as in their convention, where their robotalking Pooh Bahs regaled us with their usual, and irrelevant, patriotic pablum on how much they loved this country, and gave us the good tidings that when Batman Romney and his sidekick Ryan burst upon the scene in November, they will clean up the mess left behind by that rascal, Obama, and bring back all those tried and true Republican policies we’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of. Like, let’s see, cause a recession if not a depression, give more tax cuts to the rich, get rid of those useless government agencies like, education, energy, EPA, and who knows what else, clamp down on women’s health issues, return prayer to the classroom while getting rid of the false sciences, evolution and global warming, trash the environment, strip the social safety net, defund NPR and Planned Parenthood, and oh yes before I forget, start a war or two. Hooray! Happy days will be here again.

  • Dab200

    What a sorry lot this current Republican party has shown itself to be, as in their convention, where their robotalking Pooh Bahs regaled us with their usual, and irrelevant, patriotic pablum on how much they loved this country, and gave us the good tidings that when Batman Romney and his sidekick Ryan burst upon the scene in November, they will clean up the mess left behind by that rascal, Obama, and bring back all those tried and true Republican policies we’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of. Like, let’s see, cause a recession if not a depression, give more tax cuts to the rich, get rid of those useless government agencies like, education, energy, EPA, and who knows what else, clamp down on women’s health issues, return prayer to the classroom while getting rid of the false sciences, evolution and global warming, trash the environment, strip the social safety net, defund NPR and Planned Parenthood, and oh yes before I forget, start a war or two. Hooray! Happy days will be here again.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwYig2CP66Q&feature=related Phaerisee

    I am a conservative christian but I am going to vote for Obama.  There are two reasons.  Romney lies about everything.  He says he is pro-life, yet Romneycare provided for taxpayer funded abortifacients.     He has also distorted his beliefs to christians in order to pander to their votes.  If more christians and catholics realized what Mitt Romney believes they would spread the word to everyone and run in the other direction.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGFAph3lWqw
     

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