The delays caused by Hurricane Isaac at the RNC Convention in Tampa, and the subsequent rush of speakers during two days’ worth of convention sessions squeezed into a single day, were emblematic of the Romney campaign strategy as a whole. For the past few months, it’s been clear that Romney would secure enough delegate votes to secure the election, and the nation has been waiting for the campaign to go on offense against the failed policies and deliberate expansion of government by the Obama administration.
Just as the speakers were finally unleashed at the convention after a delay, so too has the Republican playbook for victory in November been revealed.
After the official business of the convention was completed, there was a total of 23 political speakers crammed into two sessions. Several very distinct themes were repeated by nearly every speaker, giving a clear look into the Romney campaign strategy. Suffice it to say that these themes give Conservatives across the nation several compelling messages to use to defeat the Left in November.
The themes that were repeatedly hammered home were:
1. We Built That
When President Obama said those immortal words, “If you got a business, you didn’t build that”, he insulted millions of Americans who worked their fingers to the bone to build a better life for their families. The convention speakers clearly indicated that the Romney campaign are going to hammer this message home, over and over until November. In fact, the slogan We Built That was everywhere – in ads aired on screen, prominently displayed on the walls, and on signs throughout the arena. Speaker after speaker told story after story of small business owners who worked uncounted hours, day after day, with no profit and no certainty of the outcome, until they were finally able to find success and comfort as rewards for their hard work. In fact, half a dozen small business owners told the stories themselves, invited by their governors or representatives to share the stage. This is a powerful message that the Left cannot counter; their only tactic is to fancifully claim that the President was taken out of context when he made that silly statement. Several speakers went even further, demonstrating how their own success has led to the creation of good jobs for others to see their own level of success.
For instance, Bev Gray, a small business owner in New Hampshire, shared her example:
Imagine, working every day for four years without a paycheck. I did.
I worked while our children, Jessica and Kevin, played and napped. And after I tucked them into bed, I worked.
Our first nine months, we had one client — a client who waited six months to pay us. We sustained our business by tapping into our personal credit cards and borrowing against our home.
The commitments, expenses and the stress kept us up at night, but we were determined to build a successful business. And after several years of hard work, long hours, no pay and low pay, we did.
Today, Exhibit Edge employs 20 people and helps businesses grow through trade show marketing. When those businesses grow, they employ people.
The President said that business owners didn’t get there on our own.
Well, he’s wrong.
2. Obama’s handling of the economy has been an unmitigated failure. I lost count of how many speakers repeated the observation that the official unemployment rate has been over 8% for 42 straight months, worse than during the Great Depression. Jason Chaffetz had a great line: “We are not merely one tax increase away from prosperity in America.”
3. Washington spending is out of control and unsustainable, and our leaders should speak to us like adults instead of taking the easy way out.
Most speakers made a conscious effort to point to the debt clock displayed in the arena to remind Americans how out of control our spending has gotten under President Obama. The contrast of leadership versus the abdication of leadership also made several appearances. Chris Christie might have said it best: “Leaders aren’t influenced by polls. Real leaders change polls.”
4. How candidate families shaped their conservative values, often raised by parents living in poverty after emigrating to the US, and Conservative values win hearts and minds among minorities.
Several speakers repeatedly hit this theme, making the clear point that dependence on government is tantamount to slavery and is an insult to the entreprenurial spirit of everyone – but especially among minorities. The assumption from the Left seems to be that minorities somehow lack that spirit. The Conservative speakers positioned themselves as the champions of liberty and opportunity, and that this was the best pathway for minorities – or anyone – to make a better life for themselves and their families.
This theme was typified by Ted Cruz, Senate Candidate in Texas:
Fifty-five years ago, when my dad was a penniless teenage immigrant, thank God some well-meaning bureaucrat didn’t put his arm around him and say let me take care of you. Let me give you a government check and make you dependent on government. And by the way, don’t bother
learning English. That would have been the most destructive thing anyone could have done.
Instead, my parents worked together to start a small business, to provide for their family and to chart their own future. That’s the American dream, and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand that.
Under President Obama, 23 million Americans are struggling for work. Hispanic unemployment has risen to over 10 percent; African-American unemployment is over 14 percent. This is tragic.
And here I want to say something especially to the Democrats who are listening tonight. You can send a wake-up message to your party – the party that was once proud to be the party of working
people. Obama’s policies have failed.
Jobs don’t come from government; they come from entrepreneurs and small businesses. Two thirds of all new jobs come from small business, and 2.3 million Hispanics own small businesses and yet this Administration has imposed higher taxes and crushing regulations on small businesses across our nation.
6. Conservative Governors succeeded in eliminating deficits and balancing budgets while cutting spending and taxes, just like Romney did as Governor of Massachusetts
Several Republican Governors made this point, including Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, and others. However, easily the biggest ovation of the night outside of Ann Romney was received by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He had this to say about state budgets:
The good news is that – on June 5th – the hard-working taxpayers won.
Just ask Sandy Breth why that’s important.
When the economy took a dive a few years ago, she took a pay cut. Not long after that, she lost her job. Today, however, she’s working at G3 Industries in Mosinee, Wisconsin. In fact, she just received a promotion.
G3 is one of those companies that added jobs during the past year, and now has plans to add even more. The owner told me that he’s creating additional jobs in Wisconsin because he likes the way we are moving our state forward – and he’s even more committed since the election.
Without our positive changes, he told me he would not have had the confidence to grow his business in Wisconsin. Improving the business climate is not only good for small business owners; it’s good for people like Sandy and her family.
We need more stories like hers in America because the past couple of years have been well, pretty tough. Like many places across the country, Wisconsin lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2008 to 2010. Unemployment during that time topped out at over 9%.
But because of our reforms, Wisconsin has added thousands of new jobs and our unemployment rate is down from when I first took office. Equally as important, we improved the economic climate for job creators.
Today, 94% of our employers believe Wisconsin is headed in the right direction. That compares to just 10% who thought the same thing two years ago.
Elections have consequences!
As was the case in Wisconsin two years ago, too many Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction. But Mitt Romney understands, like I understand, that people – not governments – create jobs. With that in mind, my Administration is making it easier for people to create jobs in Wisconsin.
Our reforms put the hard working taxpayers back in charge.
7. 2012 is the time when we all have been called to equal the greatest achievements of Americans past and rise to the challenges of our day. We are called to save America – not for ourselves, but our children and grandchildren. America is on the brink, and we have a choice to make – whether to save her, or whether to let her fade away.
In sum, after a weather delay, Conservatives made a very strong case to the American people that Conservative values, fiscal responsibility and limited government are what has made America both great and prosperous, and provide the greatest opportunity for success to every person regardless of social situation. Conservatives are ready to go on offense and defeat the Leftist agenda of big government, out of control spending and abject failure.