GOP Officially Nominates Mitt Romney for President
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney swept to the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night at a storm-delayed national convention, every mention of his name cheered by delegates eager to propel him into a campaign to oust President Barack Obama in tough economic times.
Romney watched on television with his wife, Ann, at a hotel suite across the street from the hall as the convention sealed his victories from the hard-fought primaries and caucuses of last winter.
The New Jersey delegation put Romney over the top.
Later, Ann Romney addressed the audience in a primetime speech designed to cast her multimillionaire-businessman-turned-politician husband in a soft and likable light.
"I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a "storybook marriage," she said. "Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once."
"A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage," she said, referring to her personal battle against multiple sclerosis.
"I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success," snd she told the crowd. "This man will not fail."
Later, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey declared in the keynote address that "it's now time to stand up."
"If you're willing to stand up with me for America's future, I will stand up with you," Christie said. "If you're willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you."
"Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy. Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world's greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor."
"I don't know about you, but I don't want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century," Christie said. "I don't want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship. I want them to live in a second American Century." (Watch his speech here.)
Earlier, a parade of convention speakers mocked Obama mercilessly from a made-for-television podium, as if to make up for lost time at an event postponed once and dogged still by Hurricane Isaac. Delegates held up signs that proclaimed "We built it," a rebuttal to Obama's saying of American entrepreneurs, "You didn't build that."
The Democratic president has "never run a company. He hasn't even run a garage sale or seen the inside of a lemonade stand," declared Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican Party.
To send Romney and ticketmate Paul Ryan into the fall campaign, the convention quickly approved a conservative platform that calls for tax cuts — not government spending — to stimulate the economy at a time of sluggish growth and 8.3 percent unemployment.
While there was no doubt about Romney's command over the convention, the residue of a heated campaign for the nomination was evident inside the hall.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who never won a primary or caucus, drew 190 delegate votes to 2,061 for Romney. Earlier, his supporters chanted and booed after the convention adopted rules they opposed, but were powerless to block, to prevent those votes from being officially registered.
Opinion polls made the race a close one as the Republicans' days of pageantry and speechmaking began in earnest.
Convention planners squeezed two days of speeches and other convention business into one after scrapping Monday's scheduled opener because of fears that Isaac would make a direct hit on the Florida Gulf Coast.
(Read More: GOP Conventioneers: Pro-Romney, or Anti-Obama?)
That threat fizzled, but it was instantly replaced by another — that Republicans would wind up holding a political celebration at the same time the storm turned its fury on New Orleans, devastated almost exactly seven years ago by Hurricane Katrina.
Romney's convention planners said they were in frequent contact with weather forecasters, but they declined to discuss what contingency plans, if any, they had to accelerate plans for him to deliver a formal acceptance speech Thursday night.