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Romney accepts GOP nomination


By Claire Wiseman



TAMPA, Fla. — When red, white and blue balloons and paper confetti fell on delegates and speakers in the Tampa Bay Times Forum Thursday, delegates and crowd members who packed the stands exploded into cheers they’d barely held back all night.

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney had just finished his acceptance speech, which served as the culmination of a week of speeches and celebration meant to galvanize the party’s candidates and platform.

The day’s theme, “We Believe in America,” signaled a change in tone that shifted the day’s focus away from the faults of the current administration and toward the promise of a brighter future they said Romney would provide.

“Everything that’s been said at this convention has been geared toward us,” IU for Romney Communications Director and senior Kenzie Carlson said.

IU for Romney President and senior Rachel Rapp said each speaker did what was expected of them.

“You can see each night the energy level increasing, the enthusiasm increasing, and that is what you want a convention to do,” Rapp said.

Speaker after speaker spoke to Romney’s character — as a businessman and an economic planner, as a grandfather and an Olympic Games organizer. They highlighted his frugality, his experience and his pride in his immigrant father.

And again and again, cheers rang out throughout the Forum.

“USA. USA. USA.”

At the urging of “secret” guest Clint Eastwood, there was another chant.

“Mitt my day. Mitt my day. Mitt my day.”

Eastwood spoke about his support for Romney, spoke to an empty chair he pretended was President Barack Obama and asked questions about national security.

“What do you mean, shut up?” Eastwood asked the chair.

The evening also featured a video about Romney’s family life, detailing the love story in a visual way Ann Romney’s speech, delivered last night, could not.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., spoke to Mitt Romney's character in comparison to President Barack Obama.

“Our problem is not that he’s a bad person.” Rubio said. “Our problem is that he’s a bad president.”

Rubio also talked about of Romney’s economic plans.

“Life in America can be better than it has ever been,” Rubio said.

Like many of the week’s addresses, those made Thursday night focused on jobs and the economy. Speakers included the former Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development, Jane Edmonds, who spoke about Romney’s economic policy during his time as Massachusetts Governor.

But everything led back to Romney himself.

“He is unquestionably an amazing steward and leader, a servant leader and someone whom I respect very much,” Edmonds said.

And when he took the stage, Romney spoke to the idea that he, too, believed in America. After his supporters helped establish his ability, he delivered a message to keep them moving forward.

“Now is the moment when we can do something,” Romney said. “Let’s begin the future of America tonight.”

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