Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney needed to give the speech of his life at the Republican National Convention tonight, and managed to work the crowd into a frenzy with a balanced mix of policy and the personal.
“I wish President Obama had succeeded, because I want America to succeed,” Romney said after accepting the party’s presidential nomination. “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. And with your help, we will do something.”
Romney said that debt, division, and unemployment were not the hope and change America voted for — “not just what we wanted,” but “what Americans deserved.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
“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!’”
His speech capped off a night that touched on his Mormon faith more than at any other point in the campaign, when fellow church members came before the audience to talk about kindnesses he had done for their families as a congregational leader.
“We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to,” Romney said.
He also addressed the Democrats’ war on women meme with a familial reference. “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?’”