A Note of Thanks From Mitt and Ann Romney, Farewell Tribute

A ‘thank you’ from Mitt and Ann Romney…

Ann and I cannot thank you enough for supporting and believing in our cause.

This was more than just a campaign — this was a national movement.

Thank you for the work that you did — going across neighborhoods to knock on doors and put up yard signs. Thanks for making phone calls, coming to rallies, donating funds, and convincing friends and family to join our team.

What’s really inspiring is that you came together because you care about America.

We still believe that better days are ahead. It’s up to us to rally together to renew America’s promise and restore American greatness.

From the bottom of our hearts, Ann and I thank you for your support, prayers, efforts, and vote. We are forever grateful to each and every one of you.

Today’s a new day. Keep believing in America.

Thank you and God bless America,

Mitt and Ann Romney

With a full heart, this article is an attempt to convey the impossible – the depth of gratitude and admiration I feel for Mitt and Ann Romney. There just aren’t two better Americans.

To Mitt and Ann…You are heroes. Setting aside the comforts of privacy and home, because you dearly love America, you opened your arms to our nation. You didn’t offer a paltry, awkward one-arm extension, or an obligatory, half-way pat-pat hug. No, you offered a big, wide, all-encompassing we-love-you-we-want-to-help embrace. And it was wonderful. We felt your arms around us for nearly year and a half. Without thought of personal gain, you endured and shone throughout a rigorous campaign, continual scrutiny, the opposition’s brutal, incessant slander, media bias, the arm-chair critics, the long, never-ending on-your-feet hours, on-the-road suitcase living, and precious time away from your treasured family and other loved ones. You did it! With a deep desire to help reinvigorate and restore our troubled, economically traumatized country, you did it! You inspired us, lifted us, and gave us real hope. You did it with steely determination, strength, and style. And, you tied it all up with a ribbon of courage and class. Speaking on FOX News about the night of the election, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat strategist, Susan Estrich, said that you, Governor Romney, were a “model of dignity and grace, and set the tone” for civility. She spoke the truth.

To remember the good times we shared along the way, I’ve gathered a montage of a few memories…
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Lady in Red Raises the Roof! Ann Romney’s Electrifying GOP Convention Speech

The magnificent lady in red, Ann Romney, waves to a roaring crowd prior to delivering her speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. August 28, 2012 (Photo – Harry E. Waker)

Wow! Offff the charts!

Amid deafening applause, the lady in red, Ann Romney, walked on stage last night at the Republican National Convention and RAISED THE ROOF! Her electrifying, heartfelt speech elicited immediate glowing reviews. Here’s just a sample:

NBC’s Brian Williams: “A Sweeping Job…” WILLIAMS: “Emphasis on well-delivered. That was a sweeping job at that speech.” (NBC, 8/28/12)man

CBS’s Bob Schieffer: “Wow. … That Was One Heck Of A Speech.” SCHIEFFER: “Wow. Just what you said, that was a speech. … That was a fine speech. She took her own life, she took personal anecdotes and welded it into a presentation that made the point she wanted to make. … That was one heck of a speech.” (CBS, 8/28/12)

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “A Love Letter To America’s Moms.” STEPHANOPOULOS: “She said her theme was love. It was a love letter to Mitt Romney, to be sure. But also a love letter to America’s moms. And that is how she started, Matt Dowd, basically telling all those moms out there, I feel your pain.” (ABC, 8/28/12)

NBC’s Tom Brokaw: “Mrs. Romney Made A Very Strong Case, Not Just For Her Husband But Also For Why He Ought To Be President.” (NBC, 8/28/12)

CNN’s David Gergen: “In 2004, Barack Obama Was Born As A National Star At The Democratic Convention. Tonight It Was Ann Romney’s Turn.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

Fox News’ Brit Hume: “I Think That Was The Single Most Effective Political Speech I’ve Ever Heard Given By A Political Wife.” (Fox News, 8/28/12)

The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta: “I’m Not Sure I’ve Seen Better From A Potential First Lady.” “Ann Romney is giving a great speech. I’m not sure I’ve seen better from a potential first lady.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

Tampa Bay Times’ Alex Leary: “Projected Confidence And Warmth…” “The 63-year-old Mrs. Romney — with her five sons watching from a box in the Tampa Bay Times Forum — projected confidence and warmth, attributes that have made her a valuable presence on the campaign trail.” (Tampa Bay Times, 8/28/12)

USA Today’s David Jackson: “A Thunderous Ovation…” “Ann Romney appears on stage to a thunderous ovation, as the video board behind her flashes old family pictures.” (USA Today, 8/28/12)

Real Clear Politics’ Scott Conroy: “Ann Romney Making This Look Easy.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe: “Impressive.” “I’m surprised about how perfectly relaxed Ann Romney seems in front of such a massive crowd. Impressive.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas: “Ann Romney Is Killing It – With Crowd, Applause, Charm.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

NBC News’ Michael O’Brien: “Ann Romney Making A Strong Pitch To Women Voters.” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Murray: “The Floor Goes Wild.” “Mitt Romney takes the stage, and the two kiss. The floor goes wild.” (The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/12)

BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller: “And Ann Romney Finishes To A Massive Standing Ovation” (Twitter.com, 8/28/12)

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker: “But The Moment Ann Romney Stepped On Stage In A Radiant Red Dress, The Tampa Bay Times Forum Fell Silent.” (The Washington Post, 8/28/12)

I was thrilled to watch Ann Romney be her usual dynamic, down-to-earth self as she spoke to 2,286 delegates, 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories, thousands in the convention center, and a viewing audience estimated at 20 million. It was as if she was having a conversation with America (Luce Fortuno, Puerto Rico’s First Lady, introduced Ann.):


To hear how loud the applause really was as Ann appeared on stage click here (didn’t post this video due to distracting logo stamp).

Five highlights from Ann’s knock-em-alive speech:

1 – Romney’s work ethic:

“But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President: No one will work harder. No one will care more. No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!

2 – Romney’s success:

“And let’s be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney’s success?

But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success.

He built it.

He stayed in Massachusetts after graduate school and got a job. I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work. Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on.

Today that company has become another great American success story.”

3 – Romney’s generosity:

Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point. And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities. They don’t do it so that others will think more of them.
They do it because there IS no greater joy.”

4 – Why Mitt Romney is the right choice:

This is the man America needs.

This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:

This man will not fail.
This man will not let us down.
This man will lift up America!

5 – On women:

“I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!

And that’s fine. We don’t want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It’s all the little things — that price at the pump you just can’t believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. It’s all the little things that pile up to become big things. And the big things — the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder. Everything has become harder.”

Full transcript may be found here.

As Colorado alternate delegate Todd King exclaimed, “People in the audience were staring at the screen, looked like they were hanging on every single word she said. I’ve not seen that with any other speaker.”

Outstanding, Ann! Just outstanding.

UPDATE Aug 20, 2012 - I thought you’d like to see some of what our neighbors to the north think of Mrs. Romney’s speech. Here is Alex Pierson and Brigitte Pelleren from SUN News in Canada (Ms. Pelleren was reporting from Ottawa):

Pelleren: Finally! We have a woman’s issue-oriented speech in which we’re not just talking about, you know, our reproductive organs. I mean, we also have brains. We also have hearts. We also have – think about the budget, we look about expenses, we try to make things work for, you know, the home, the children, and the grandchildren. I mean this is a common eperience for women.

Really, this relates to the experience day-to-day of a lot of women in America and I thought this was a very, very good speech.

Supporters hold up signs as Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.
(Photo – Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

CNN/Tea Party Pres. Debate: Favorable Reviews for Mitt Romney

GOP presidential candidates appear on stage at the CNN/Tea Party debate last night in Tamp, FL. 9/12/11 (photo by David and Holloway/CNN)

What a night for Mitt Romney at the GOP CNN/Tea Party debate in Tampa, Florida! He more than held his own and by some early accounts – won – in a crowd that clearly had a likin’ for Rick Perry (although Perry faded in the last half; the crowd didn’t like his gardasil vaccine mandate and he received boo’s on his immigration stance.)

The reviews…

The Weekly Standard – Fred Barnes (my favorite article)

Romney’s Win

If a debate more than four months before the first vote is cast can influence the outcome of a presidential nomination race, the debate last night among eight Republicans should aid Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Seldom has there been as clear a winner.

Romney was crisp and succinct, prepared and focused, and aggressive in going after his chief rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Texas governor Rick Perry, when he needed to be. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, showed once again that he’s a far better candidate now than he was four years ago.

He did well in these instances, among others: spelling out the differences between the health care plan he championed in Massachusetts and Obamacare; explaining the problem with the Fair Tax is that it gives short shrift to the middle class; pointing out the built-in advantages Perry has in Texas in governing successfully; and refraining from boasting, except to say that “if America needs a turnaround, that’s what I do.”

Romney challenged Perry on Social Security at the outset of the debate, which was held in Florida and billed as a collaboration of CNN and various Tea Party organizations. It was Tea Party people who asked the questions, mostly better ones than a panel of reporters or pundits would probably have asked.

The first question was on Social Security, which Perry has called a Ponzi scheme and a failure. Romney has suggested Perry’s view makes him unelectable.

When Perry didn’t back down from those comments, Romney jumped in with questions, and host Wolf Blitzer let him proceed. Romney asked Perry about his recent book in which he said Social Security is unconstitutional and might be better run by the states.

Perry didn’t have a ready answer, or at least not a persuasive one. Nor did he offer the one thing that I expected from him in the debate: a Perry plan for fixing Social Security’s looming insolvency. [...]
[...]
Back to Romney. The candidates were asked what they’d bring to the White House – what thing. Romney gave the best answer after repeating the Winston Churchill quotation that America always does the right thing after trying everything else first. He said he’d bring the bust of Churchill, sent away by President Obama, back to the White House.

The Daily Beast - Howard Kurtz

[…] Romney seized control of the tempo in what may have been his strongest performance so far. He seemed at ease taking the fight to Perry and got the better of their heated exchanges. The former Massachusetts governor was clearly trying to position himself as the reassuring grownup on stage and Perry as the fearmonger.

Let’s unpack their verbal clash and see what it tells us about each man and his strategy.

Perry tried to clean up his mess from last week’s MSNBC debate, when he attacked Social Security as a Ponzi scheme without suggesting how he might fix it. This time he offered those near retirement age a “slam-dunk guarantee” they’d get their benefits before hailing his own “courage” in criticizing the ailing system.

Romney didn’t miss a beat, calling Perry’s Ponzi language “over the top” and “frightful” before delivering his strongest punch: that the Texan had called Social Security unconstitutional and “not something the federal government ought to be involved in.”

The Fix (The Washington Post) – Chris Cillizza

WINNERS

Mitt Romney: Four debates. Four times Romney has wound up in the winner’s circle. It’s not a coincidence. Romney proved yet again that he is the best debater in this field with another solid performance in which he effectively downplayed his liabilities on health care and accentuated his strengths on jobs and the economy. Romney played more offense than he has in previous debates, taking the fight to Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Social Security. He also got a major assist from Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), both of whom relentlessly bashed Perry. But that’s how debates work. Romney also, smartly, ignored the tea party audience in the hall — who occasionally booed him — and focused his messaging on the much broader audience of people watching the debate on CNN.

More good reading after the fold…

(more…)

Romney Ready For CNN/Tea Party Presidential Debate in Florida

Here’s the low down on the show down in Tampa tonight…

The CNN/Tea Party GOP presidential debate begins tonight at 8:00 PM EST in Tampa, Florida. Wolf Blitzer (CNN) will moderate:

CNN and the Tea Party Express, along with more than 100 local tea party groups from every state across the country, will team up Monday, September 12 to present a first-of-its-kind debate from the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention: Tampa, Florida. Eight Republican presidential contenders will face questions from moderator and lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer during the two-hour event, which will air live on CNN from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. from the Florida State Fairgrounds. The debate will focus on a wide-range of topics, including the role, size and scope of government, with a specific emphasis on issue number one to tea party members and all Americans: the economy.

In addition to questions from Blitzer, audience members inside the debate hall, made up in part by members from tea party groups in 31 states and the District of Columbia, will be invited to ask questions directly to the candidates. Questions will also be taken live from tea party members at debate watch parties in Phoenix, Ariz.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Portsmouth, Virginia. Online, CNN will solicit questions via comments on CNNPolitics.com, the CNN Politics Facebook page, and by using the #CNNTeaParty hashtag on Twitter.

(emphasis added)

Debate preparation preview:

Tim Pawlenty, Romney’s new National Campaign Co-Chair will be a guest of The Gov’s at tonight’s debate.

DEBATE OPTIONS:
TV
CNN – 8 PM EST- 10PM
CNN replay- 11 PM EST – 1:00 AM

LIVEstream:
Here and here

The debate will be available via live stream in the CNN Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Expect a ROBUST exchange between Gov Romney and Rick Perry tonight. So, Mitt supporters, pop some corn, pop open your laptop, and pop in right here on MRC chat to join the fun when the debate begins!

Go get ‘em, Mitt!


► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Opens Official Campaign Headquarters in Tampa, FL

Governor Mitt Romney tours his spiffy new Florida campaign headquarters in Tampa, FL. September 2, 2011 (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

After addressing the Republican National Hispanic Assembly national convention in Tampa yesterday, Governor Romney had a grand opening to attend… It was the official opening of his campaign headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

And, grand it was!

In Florida, Romney Looks To Outshine His Rivals

This is just a state that’s like the whole country,” said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “I love Florida, love being here, love the people of this state, in part because you understand what makes America, America.”

So far, Florida is returning his affection. He leads Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican candidates in the polls here, in part because he has been here a lot and built a good organization.

The former Massachusetts governor was in the Sunshine State on Friday, meeting with supporters at his new campaign office near downtown Tampa.

Four years ago, Florida played an important part in the Republican contest — it held an early primary that violated party rules. Even so, John McCain ran here and won, a victory that sealed his comeback and set the stage for his nomination.

Romney is hoping Florida can play that same role in his campaign. Indeed, this year the state is likely to play a key part in the GOP nominating process. State officials say they plan to hold an early primary — one that may jump ahead of Super Tuesday on March 6.

And to do well here, Romney has to do well with one of the nation’s fastest-growing groups — Hispanics.

(emphasis added)

Tweet from The Gov:


Exciting to open our Florida HQ today – we have a terrific team down here http://t.co/Yez3MND #toutless than a minute ago via Tweet Button Favorite Retweet Reply

Tout video of Mitt at grand opening of campaign headquarters in Tampa (9/2/11):



Mitt Romney meets supporters during the grand opening of his Florida campaign headquarters in Tampa, Florida. September 2, 2011 (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)



► Jayde Wyatt

Tampa, FL: Romney Speaks to Enthusiastic Audience at GOP Natl Hispanic Assembly

Mitt Romney addresses the Republican National Hispanic Assembly National Convention in Tampa, Florida. September 2, 2011 (photo by Peter Masa/TBO.com)


They were excited to see Mitt Romney in Tampa, Florida today!

Governor Romney was in town to greet supporters and speak at the Republican National Hispanics Assembly convention:

Romney, in Tampa, blasts president over jobs

TAMPA – The road to the White House leads through Tampa today. Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are among the top Republicans in town.

Both GOP hopefuls were here to address the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Florida, which was meeting today at the airport Hyatt.

Many members said they were especially excited to hear from Romney[...]

Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, spent about 20 minutes covering topics from education to foreign policy. But the economy was his main topic.

He blasted the president over his job creation record, on the heels of figures that show no net job creation in last two months.

I’m going to be presenting a detailed plan about how to get America back to work and how to grow our economy. It’s going to be bold; it’s not just going to be a little stimulus,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “It’s a complete restructuring. It will be sweeping and specific.”

Romney echoes Rubio in speech to GOP National Hispanic Assembly in Florida

Romney’s remarks were strikingly similar to the message of Rubio, whom Romney has said is on his shortlist for vice president should he win the nomination. Rubio often uses his background as a child of immigrants to discuss American exceptionalism, opportunity and freedom.

Romney’s speech mostly focused on a broad message of the “common ground” found by a “nation of immigrants” and hit on the Tea Party themes of cutting government spending and respecting the 10th Amendment, which protects the right of states.
[...]
“As a nation of immigrants, we’ve found common ground not in our heritage but in our hearts,” Romney said. “When generations looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time, or a piece of sandy beach that was freedom, or stepped off a plane traveling from tyranny to hope … they knew without a doubt … that they were coming to a place where anything was possible — that in America, their children, and their grandchildren, would have a better life. That confidence in a better tomorrow defines us as Americans.”
[...]
Romney also praised Rubio in the speech when discussing legal immigration. “I am a great proponent of legal immigration. Many of you are living proof of the unique strength of America that is constantly renewed by new Americans. The promise of America has brought some of the world’s best and brightest to our shores,” said Romney. “It brought to America the parents of Marco Rubio, who is one of America’s great leaders today.”
[...]
While he did not make it a focus of the speech, Romney also discussed illegal immigration, a sensitive issue in front of a Hispanic Republican audience. He called for a high-tech fence along the border with Mexico, an improved employment verification system for businesses and penalties for violations, and touted a veto from when he was governor of a bill that would have provided in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants.

Romney is the only top-tier presidential candidate to address the group.

(emphasis added)

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and former FL Governor Jeb Bush were also slated to speak.

Romney, in Tampa, blasts president over jobs: MyFoxTAMPABAY.com

Behind the scenes…

UPDATE: Another video…

Romney, in Tampa, blasts president over jobs: MyFoxTAMPABAY.com

A delegate at the convention believes Romney could be the one to get America back on track. “I think it’s the first time we have a major political figure coming over and address us directly. We feel honored; we feel emboldened by his presence.”

The full transcript of Romney’s speech may be found here and here.

► Jayde Wyatt

RNC Meeting in Tampa, FL: Only Campaign Represented? Mitt Romney


The Republican National Committee has landed in Tampa, Florida this week for their three-day summer meeting (site of the RNC convention next year). Officials continue to organize and are scoping out convention venues.

Guess who is the only GOP presidential candidate to send representatives there?

You know it.

Mitt Romney.

WashingtonPost.com August 4, 2011

TAMPA — Mitt Romney has dispatched three senior campaign officials to hold strategy briefings with Republican National Committee members at the RNC’s summer meeting here, as Romney tries to consolidate the party establishment around his 2012 candidacy.

No other Republican presidential candidate has a presence at the four-day meeting, according to multiple RNC members. Romney’s team arrived in Tampa — which will host the 2012 Republican National Convention — to present the case for his candidacy to the RNC’s 168 state party chairmen and other committee members, the vast majority of whom are unaligned in the presidential contest.

Romney campaign roster announcing campaign briefing at the RNC summer meeting in Tampa, Florida. 8/4/11 (click on photo to enlarge)

Romney’s deputy campaign manager, political director and communications director will outline Romney’s strategy in the early voting states, the campaign’s fall timetable, and provide a briefing on the status of the race at a closed-door meeting here Friday.

The campaign plans to distribute maps of the country, color-coded based on the early states, so-called “momentum” states that follow, and the Super Tuesday states. It will brief RNC members on the political organization Romney is building in each, according toan RNC member who attended a pre-briefing on Wednesday with Romney officials.

The campaign also will give RNC members a packet featuring positive press clippings and a list of endorsements Romney has received in various states — an apparent effort to show that many in the GOP hierarchy are consolidating around Romney.

“The Romney campaign’s been the only one I’m aware of doing briefings like this, setting up organizations in all 50 states,” said Saul Anuzis, an RNC member from Michigan.

(emphasis added) Continue reading here.

Smart, smart, smart!

More RNC news coming out of Tampa…

August 4, 2011 – RNC rejects tough sanctions on primary calendar

TAMPA, Fla. (WACH, AP) — The Republican National Committee has rejected a plan to impose tougher sanctions on states that jump ahead in the presidential primary calendar.

The measure would have stripped VIP passes and desirable hotel accommodations from states like Arizona and Florida, which are considering late January primary elections. That’s a violation of RNC rules, and some Republicans say it could cause chaos.

But the RNC Rules Committee voted Thursday to postpone action on new sanctions until next year.

Republicans from states like New Hampshire and South Carolina called out Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer by name Thursday, pushing her state to wait its turn. Any significant change, they say, could force their states to move primaries to December or January.
[...]
Arizona Republicans say an earlier primary would highlight issues important to Western voters.



RNC’s latest ad: ‘Change Direction 4′

► Jayde Wyatt