No policy but lots of fanfare in Florida
THE SPEECH:MITT ROMNEY and Paul Ryan began a two-day tour of Florida, Virginia and Ohio yesterday, following Mr Romney’s well-received speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night.
At the same time, President Barack Obama set out for the swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia, en route to the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, which begins on Tuesday and will culminate with Mr Obama’s address on Thursday night.
The Romney-Ryan ticket is expected to receive the usual “bump” in poll numbers following a three-day convention that was marked by anxiety over Hurricane Isaac, in which two Americans lost their lives, and protests from hecklers and disgruntled Ron Paul delegates.
In question is how long the momentum will last, and whether it will be overtaken by the Democratic ticket’s “bump” next week. The last eight national polls have shown the two candidates within two points of each other.
Mr Romney’s speech was billed as the first time he has properly introduced himself to voters. It focused on the centrality of family, country and work to his life, and was repeatedly punctuated by deafening chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A”.
The speech followed hours of testimonials from Mr Romney’s former colleagues at Bain Capital, who mounted a tardy counter-offensive to attacks from the Obama campaign. Olympic medal winners emotionally recounted how Mr Romney saved the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Officials who served under him when he was governor of Massachusetts said Mr Romney worked without pay and promoted women to high-ranking positions. Mr Romney’s fellow Mormons portrayed him as “a man of passion and compassion”, traits not associated with him until now.
Mr Romney lamented Mr Obama’s record in office, saying he was sorry the president had failed “because I want America to succeed”.
Referring to Mr Obama’s 2008 campaign, Mr Romney said: “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 when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”
Mr Romney reiterated his promise to create 12 million jobs, but gave no indication of how he and Mr Ryan had arrived at that figure, or why it was not 15 million, or 23 million, the number of under-employed and jobless, according to the Romney campaign.