Mitt Romney’s Convention Speech
New York Times
Published: September 3, 2008
The following is a transcript of Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, as provided by CQ Transcriptions.
ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you so very much. Ann and I love you all. We have a deep feeling in our hearts for you.
We respect you for the values you have and the vision we have for America together. Thank you so much, our dear friends. We sure love you. Thank you.
You know, for decades now, the Washington sun has been rising in the east. You see, Washington has been looking to the eastern elites, to the editorial pages of the Times and the Post, and to the broadcasters from the — from the coast. Yes. If America really wants to change, it’s time to look for the sun in the west, because it’s about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska.
Last week, the Democratic convention talked about change. But what do you think? Is Washington now, liberal or conservative? Let me ask you some questions.
Is a Supreme Court decision liberal or conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitutional rights? It’s liberal. Is a government liberal or conservative that puts the interests of the teachers union ahead of the needs of our children? It’s liberal.
Is a Congress liberal or conservative that stops nuclear power plants and off-shore drilling, making us more and more dependent on Middle Eastern tyrants? It’s liberal.
Is government spending, putting aside inflation, liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980? It’s liberal. We need change all right: change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington.
We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington: Throw out the big government liberals and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin.
It’s the same prescription for a stronger economy. I spent 25 years in the private sector. I’ve done business in many foreign countries. I know why jobs come and why they go away. And I know that liberals don’t have a clue.
They think that we have the biggest and strongest economy in the world because of our government. They’re wrong. America is strong because of the ingenuity, and entrepreneurship, and hard work of the American people.
The American people have always been the source of our nation’s strength, and they always will be.
We strengthen our people and our economy when we preserve and promote opportunity. Opportunity is what lets hope become reality.
Opportunity expands when there’s excellence and choice in education, when taxes are lowered, when every citizen has affordable, portable health insurance, and when constitutional freedoms are preserved.
Opportunity rises when children are raised in homes and schools that are free from pornography, and promiscuity, and drugs, where there are homes that are blessed with family values and the presence of a mom and a dad.
America — America cannot long lead the family of nations if we fail the family here at home.
You see, liberals would replace opportunity with dependency on government largesse. They grow government and raise taxes to put more people on Medicaid, to take work requirements out of welfare, and to grow the ranks of those who pay no taxes at all.
Dependency is death to initiative, to risk-taking and opportunity. It’s time to stop the spread of government dependency and fight it like the poison it is.
You know, it’s time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother.
Our economy is under attack. China is acting like Adam Smith on steroids, buying oil from the world’s worst and selling nuclear technology. Russia and the oil states are siphoning more than $500 billion a year from us in what could become the greatest transfer of economic wealth in the history of the world.
This is no time for timid, liberal, empty gestures.
Our economy has slowed down this year, and a lot of people are hurting. What happened? Mortgage money was handed out like candy, and speculators bought homes for free. And when this mortgage mania finally broke, it slammed the economy. And stratospheric gas prices made things even worse. Democrats want to use the slowdown as an excuse to do what their special interests are always begging for: higher taxes, bigger government, and less trade with other nations.
It’s the same path Europe took a few decades ago. It leads to moribund growth and double-digit unemployment.
The right course is the one championed by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago and by John McCain and Sarah Palin today.
The right course is to rein in government spending, lower taxes, take a weed-whacker to excessive regulation and mandates, put a stop to tort windfalls, and to stand up to the tyrannosaurus appetite of government unions.
The right course — the right course is to pursue every source of energy security, from new efficiencies to renewables, from coal to non-CO-2 producing nuclear, and for the immediate drilling for more oil off our shores.
And I have — I have one more recommendation for energy conservation: Let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground.
Last week, last week, did you hear any Democrats talk about the threat from radical, violent jihad? No. You see, Republicans believe that there is good and evil in the world. Ronald Reagan called out the evil empire. George Bush labeled the terror-sponsor states exactly what they are: the axis of evil.
And at Saddleback, after Barak Obama dodged and ducked every direct question, John McCain hit the nail on the head: Radical, violent Islam is evil, and he will defeat it.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
You’re hearing it here. You’re hearing it here, and they’re hearing it across the country. You see, in this party, in this room tonight, and all over America, people in our party prefer straight talk to politically correct talk.
Republicans, led by John McCain and Sarah Palin, will fight to preserve the values that have preserved the nation. We’ll strengthen our economy and keep us from being held hostage by Putin, Chavez, and Ahmadinejad.
And we will never allow America to retreat in the face of evil extremism.
Just like you, just like you, there’s never been a day when I was not proud to be an American.
We — we Americans inherited the greatest nation in the history of the Earth. It’s our burden and our privilege to preserve it, to renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.
To this we’re all dedicated. And I firmly believe, by the providence of the almighty, that we will succeed.
President McCain and Vice President Palin will keep America as it has always been: the hope of the Earth.
Thank you, and God bless America.