Mitt Romney Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention
ROMNEY: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, and delegates, I accept
your nomination for president of the United States.
I do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you've
placed in me. It's a great honor. It's an even greater
responsibility. I ask you to walk together to a better future.
By my side I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small
He represents the best of America. A man who will always
make us very proud. My friend and America's next
vice-president, Paul Ryan.
In the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna
better. But, last night America got to see what I saw in Paul
Ryan, a strong and caring leader who is down to earth and
confidence in the challenge this moment demands. I love the way
he lights up around his kids. And how he's not embarrassed to
show the world how much he loves his mom.
But Paul, I still like the playlist on my Ipod better than
Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh
excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That
choice was not the choice of our party, but Americans always
come together after elections. We're a good and generous
people, and we are united by so much more than what divides us.
When that election was over, when the yard signs came down
and the television commercials finally came off the air,
Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the
way Americans always have, optimistic and positive and confident
in the future.
That very optimism is uniquely American. It's what brought
us to America. We're a nation of immigrants, we're the children
and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted
a better life. The driven ones. The ones who woke up at night,
hearing that voice telling them that life in a place called
America could be better.
They came, not just in pursuit of the riches of this world,
but for the richness of this life. Freedom, freedom of
religion, freedom to speak their mind, freedom to build a life
and, yes, freedom to build a business with their own hands.
This is the essence of the American experience. We
Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.
When every new wave of immigrants looked up and
saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores
of freedom, just 90 miles from Castro's tyranny, these new
Americans sure had many questions, but none doubted that here in
America they could build a better life. That in America, their
children would be blessed more than they.
But, today, four years from the excitement of that last
election, for the first time the majority of Americans now doubt
that our children will have a better future. That is not what
we were promised.
Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they
could get a little ahead, put aside a little more for college,
do more for the elderly mom that's now living alone. Or give a
little more to their church or their charity. Every small
business wants to have this be their best year ever, when they
could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them
through hard times. Open a new store, sponsor that little
Every new college graduate thought they'd have a good job
by now. A place for their own. They could start paying back
some of their loans and build for the future. This is what our
nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt, and
rolling back massive deficits. This was the hope and change
America voted for. It is not just what we wanted, it is not
just what we expected, it is what Americans deserved.
(AUDIENCE MEMBERS): U.S.A., U.S.A.
You deserved it because you worked harder than
ever before during these years. You deserved it because, when
it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out moving lights, and
put in longer hours. Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50
an hour, benefits, you took two jobs at $9 an hour.
(AUDIENCE MEMBERS): U.S.A., U.S.A.
You deserve it because your family depended on you. And
you did it because you are an American, and you don't quit. You
did it because that was because it was because you had to do.
The driving home late from that second job, or standing there
and watching the gas pump hit $50 and still going. When the
Realtor told you that to sell your house you'd have to take a
big loss on your house. In those moments, you knew that this
just was not right. But what could you do except work harder,
do with less, try to stay optimistic, hug your kids a little
longer, maybe spend more time praying tomorrow would be a better
I wish President Obama had succeeded, because I want
America to succeed.
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.
Now is the moment where we can stand up and say, ``I am an
American, I make my destiny, we deserve better, my children
deserve better, my family deserves better, my country deserves
So here we stand. Americans have a choice, a decision. To
make that choice, you need to know more about me and where I'd
lead at our country. I was born in the middle of the century,
in the middle of the country, the classic baby boomer. It was a
time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work.
To be an American was to assume that all things
were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to
go to the moon, the challenge was not whether we would get
there, it was only when we'd get there.
The soles of Neil Armstrong's on the moon made permanent
impressions on our souls.
And I watched those steps together on her parents
sofa. Like all American is, we went to bed at night knowing we
lived in the greatest country in the history of the world.
God bless Neil Armstrong.
Tonight, that American flag is still there on the Moon.
and I don't doubt for a second that Neil Armstrong's spirit is
still with us. That unique blend of optimism, humility, and the
utter confidence that, when the world needs someone to do that,
you need an American.
My dad had been born in Mexico. And his family had to
leave during the Mexican revolution. I grew up with stories of
his family being fed by the U.S. government as war refugees.
My dad never made it through college, and he apprenticed as
a laugh (ph) and plaster carpenter. He had big dreams. He
convinced my mom, a beautiful young actress, to give up
Hollywood to marry him. And moved to Detroit.
He led a great automobile company and became governor of
the great state of Michigan.
We were -- we were Mormons . And growing up in Michigan,
that might have seemed unusual or out of place, but I do not
remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports
teams we followed that what church went to.
My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all.
The gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we
would be and much less about what we would do. Unconditional
love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to to pass on to our
sons and now to our children.
All the laws and legislation is in the world will never
heal the world like the loving hearts and arms of loving mothers
You know, if every child could go to sleep feeling araft
(ph) in the love of their family and God's love, this world
would be a far more gentle place.
My mom and dad were married for 64 years . And if you
wondered what their secret was, you could have asked the local
Because every day, dad gave mom a Rose, which he put on the
bedside table. That is how she found that the day my father
died. She went looking for him because, that morning, there was
My mom and dad were two partners. A life lesson that
shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate,
my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still see
her as saying in her beautiful voice, ``why should women have any
less safe than men about the great decisions facing our nation?
-- great decisions facing our nation?''
Don't you wish you could have been here at this convention
and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki
Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kay Alieanos (ph),
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice?
As governor of Massachusetts, I -- I chose a woman
lieutenant governor, a woman chief of staff. Half of my cabinet
and senior officials were women. And in business, and mentored
and supported great women leaders who went on to run great
I grew up in Detroit, in love with cars. And wanted to be
a car guy like my dad. But, by the time I was out of school I
realized that I had to go out on my own. That if I stayed
around Michigan in the same business I'd never really now if I
was getting a break because of my dad. I wanted to go someplace
new and prove myself.
Those weren't the easiest of days. Many long hours, and
weekends working. Five young sons who seemed to have a need to
reenact a different world war every night.
But if you ask Ann and I, what we'd give to break up just
one more fight between the boys, or wake up in the morning and
discover a pile of kids asleep in a room -- well every mom and
dad knows the answer to that. Those days were the...
... these were tough days on Ann, particularly. She was
heroic through it all. Five boys with our families a long way
away. I had to travel a lot for my job then, and I'd call and
try to offer support. But every mom knows that that does not
help did the homework done or get the kids out the door to
school. I knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine. I
knew without question that her job as a mom was a lot more
important than mine.
And as America saw Tuesday night, Ann would have succeed at
anything she wanted to do.
Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we
found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church.
When we were new to the community, it was welcoming, and as the
years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved
into town or just joined our church.
We had remarkably vibrant endeavors congregations from all
walks of life, and many who were new to America. We prayed
together, our kids played together, and we always stood ready to
help each other out in different ways. That's how it is in
America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families,
for our joy and support, in good times and bad. It's 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, and our faiths.
That's the bedrock of what makes America America. In our
best days, we can feel the vibrancy of America's communities,
large and small. It's when we see that new business opening up
downtown. It's when we go to work in the morning and see
everybody else in the block doing the same thing to read when
our son or daughter calls from college to talk about which job
offer they should take, and you try not to choke up when you
hear that the one they like best is not too far from home.
It's that good feeling when you have more time to volunteer
to coach for you kids soccer team or help out on school trips.
For too many Americans, those kind of good days are harder to
come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something
really special was happening in America? Many of you thought
the way on election day four years ago. Hope and change had a
powerful appeal. But tonight I would ask a simple question: if
you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama,
shouldn't feel that way now, that he is President Obama?
You know there is something wrong with the kind of job he
has done as president when the best feeling you had was the day
you voted for him.
The president has not disappointed you because he wanted
to. The president has disappointed America because he hasn't
lead America in the right direction. He took office without the
basic qualification that most Americans have, and one that was
essential to the task at hand. He had almost no experience
working in a business. Jobs to him are about government.
I learned the real lessons from how America works from
experience. When I was 37, I helped to start a small company.
My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the
business of helping other businesses. So some of us have the
idea that, if we really believe our advice was helping
companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on
ourselves and our advice. So we started a new business called
Bain Capital. The only problem was, while we believed in
ourselves, not many other people did. We were young and had
never done this before, and We almost did not get off the
ground. In those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a
really big mistake.
By the way, I thought about asking my church's pension fund
to invest, but I didm't.
I figured it was bad enough that I might lose my investors'
money, but I did not want to go to hell, too.
Shows what I know. Another of my partners got the
Episcopal church Pension Fund to invest. And today there are a
lot of happy retired priests who should thank him.
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 you've have heard from tonight. An
office company called Staples, where I'm pleased to see the
Obama campaign has been shopping.
The Sports Authority, which of course became a favorite of
my boys. We helped start an early childhood learning company
called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly
praised. And at a time when nobody thought we'd ever see a new
steel mill built in America, we took a chance and build one in
the cornfield in Indiana.
Today, Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers
in the United States. These are American success stories.
And yet the centerpiece of the president's entire
reelection campaign is attacking success. 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
Now we weren't always successful at Bain, but no one ever
is in the real world of business. That's what this president
does not seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about
taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always
striving. It's about dreams. Usually it doesn't work out
exactly as you might have imagined. Steve Jobs was fired at
Apple, and then he came back and changed the world. It's the
genius of the American free enterprise system to harness the
extraordinary creativity, and talent and industry of the
American people with a system that's dedicated to creating
tomorrow's prosperity, not trying to redistribute today's.
That's 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're are better off than you were four years ago.'' Except
And except this president.
This president can ask us to be patient. This president
can tell us it was someone else's fault. This president can
tell us that the next four years will get it right. But this
president cannot tell us that you're better off today than when
he took office.
America has been patient. Americans have supported this
president in good faith, but today the time has come the time to
turn the page. Today the time has come for us to put the
disappointments of the last four years behind us, to put aside
the divisiveness and the recriminations, to forget about what
might have been, and to look ahead to what can be. Now is the
time to restore the promise of America.
Many Americans have given up on this president, but they
haven't ever thought of giving up, not on themselves, not on
each other, and not on America. What is needed in our country
is not complicated or profound. It doesn't take a special
government commission to tell us what America needs. What
America needs is jobs, lots of jobs.
In the richest country in the history of the world, this
Obama economy has crushed the middle class. Family income has
fallen by $4,000 , but health insurance premiums are higher.
Food prices are higher. Utility bills are higher, and gasoline
prices, they've doubled. Today more Americans wake up in
poverty than ever before. Nearly one out of six Americans is
living in poverty. Look around you -- these aren't strangers.
These are our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans. His
policies have not helped create jobs. They've depressed them,
and this I can tell you about where President Obama would take
America. His plan to put taxes on small businesses won't not
add jobs. It will eliminate them.
His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and
manufacturing jobs to china.
His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate
hundreds of thousands of jobs and also put our security at
His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will
hurt today's seniors and depress innovation in jobs and
medicines. And his trillion dollar deficits, they slow our
economy, restrain employment, and cause wages to stall. To the
majority of Americans who now believe the future will not be
better than the past, I can guarantee you this -- if Barack
Obama is reelected, you will be right.
I am running for president to help create a better future,
a future where everyone who wants a job can find a job, where no
senior fears for the security of their retirement, an America
where every parent knows that their child will get an education
that leads to a good job and a bright horizon, and unlike the
president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.
Paul ryan and I have five steps. First, by 2020, North
America will be an energy independent by taking invented of our
oil, are coal, our gas, our 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
And 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 businesses the most, and it means we
must rein in skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and
Today women are more likely than men to start of business.
They need a president who respect and understand what they do.
And let me make this clear. Unlike President Obama, I will not
raise taxes on the middle class of America.
As president, I'll respect the sanctity of life. I'll
honor the institution of marriage.
And I will guarantee America's first liberty, the freedom
President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the
And to heal the planet. My promises to help you and your
I will begin my presidency with the jobs tour. President
Obama began his with an apology to our.
America he said had dictated to other nations. No, Mr.
President America has feed other nations from dictators.
(AUDIENCE MEMBERS): U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A..
(AUDIENCE MEMBERS): U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.
Every American was relieved the day President
Obama I gave the order and SEAL Team 6 took out Osama Bin Laden.
On another front, every American is less secure today
because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat. In his
first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran.
We are still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still
President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus
even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castor's Cuba. He abandoned
our friends in Poland by walking away from missile defense
(AUDIENCE MEMBERS): Boo.
But he's eager to give Russia's president Putin
the flexibility he desires after the election.
(AUDIENCE MEMBERS): Boo.
Under my presidency our friends will see more
loyalty and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and
We will honor America's Democratic ideals because
a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan
foreign legacy of Truman and Reagan, and under presidency we
will return to it once again.
You might have asked yourselves if these last years were
really the America we want, the America that was won for us by
the greatest generation. Does the America we want borrow a
trillion dollars from China?
Does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23
million and for half the kids graduating from college?
Are those schools lagging behind the rest of the develolped
And does America that we want succumb to resentment and
division among Americans?
The America we all know has been a story of many becoming
one. United to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest
the economy in the world, uniting to save the world from
Everywhere I go there are monuments and now for those who
have given their lives for America. There is no mention of
their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a
They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a
single purpose. They've pledge allegiance to the United States
of America. That America, that united America can unleash an
economy that will put Americans back to work, taht will once
again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and will
restore every father and mother's confidence that their
children's future is brighter even than the past. That
American, that united America will preserve a military that's so
strong no nation will ever dare to test it.
That America, that America, that united America will of
uphold the consolation of rights that were endowed by our
creator and codified in our Constitution.
That united America will care for the poor and sick, will
honor and respect the elderly and will giving 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 on it. The peace and freedom of
the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it.
Let us the begin that future for Amreica tonight.
Thank you so very much. May God bless you! May god bless
the American people, and may God bless the United States of
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