Recalling the excitement and optimism of the presidential race of four years ago, Romney pointed out how those elevated expectations and the bevy of promises that came with those expectations have led to disappointment over opportunities lost:
“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. It's not just what we wanted. It's not just what we expected.
It's what Americans deserved.”
Romney shared the pain and hardship everyday Americans have felt over the past four years as the result of the current administration’s failed economic policies:
“You deserved it because during these years, you worked harder than ever before. You deserved it because when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out movie nights and put in longer hours. Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits. You did it because your family depended on you. You did it because you're an American and you don't quit. You did it because it was what you had to do.
But driving home late from that second job, or standing there watching the gas pump hit 50 dollars and still going, when the realtor told you that to sell your house you'd have to take a big loss, in those moments you knew that this just wasn't right.”
He then pointed to the morning light peeking over the horizon by reminding Americans “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!’”
Romney then went on a brief autobiographical journey. He reminded Americans who know him, and revealed to those who do not, that his life has been a familiar American story. The son of immigrants, whose parents worked hard to give him opportunities they never had. By example they taught him the value of hard work and enterprise, and the meaning of love. He met the love of his life, and with her raised a happy, loving family of their own. He summed up by saying “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.”
Next, he outlined the story of his business career, where struggles to launch Bain Capital were rewarded by success: “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.”
Romney chose that moment to remind Americans that attacking success is “the centerpiece of the President's entire re-election campaign… Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success, we don't apologize for it.”
He then reminded voters “That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: "you are better off today than you were four years ago." Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.”
Mitt Romney understands that for America to work and for Americans to succeed, they need jobs. “Lots of jobs,” and how the current administration’s policies “…have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them.”
Romney put American voters on fair notice when he warned them:
“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.”
Romney then outlined his five point plan to revitalize the American economy:
“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.”
On foreign policy, Romney criticized the current administration for their failure to slow Iran's nuclear threat, for how they have disrespected allies like Israel and Poland, and sought to appease Russia. He assured Americans that “Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.”
“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.”
With a strong supporting cast, with an energized Republican Party and a diverse team of rising stars behind him, Mitt Romney demonstrated why on January 20, 2013 he is the man best prepared to sit in the Oval Office.
Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Republicans are ready to lead. It is time for the current administration and their “progressive” allies to either follow or get out of the way.