Thank you. Thank you very much.
I was so very honored to be asked to address one of this week’s themes, ``We Can Do Better.'' Then I was backstage and I heard some folks say that after hearing me speak, the delegates are going to say, ``We sure can do better than Huckabee.'' And that's when they will unanimously nominate Mitt Romney to be the next president of the United States of America.
I want to say that Tampa has been a wonderful and hospitable city. And I'm grateful for all that they've done for us. But the only hitch in an otherwise perfect week, was the awful noise coming from the hotel room next door to mine. Turns out it was just Debbie Wasserman Schultz, practicing her speech for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week.
Bless her heart.
Four years ago, Mitt Romney and I were opponents. We still are, but we're not opposing each other. No, we are mutual opponents of the miserably failed experiments that have put this country in a downward spiral. The United States of America was originally an experiment. But it was an experiment in recognizing God-given individual liberty and creating a government in which we no one is deemed better than another.
And in which all of us are equal. Not equal in abilities, but equal in intrinsic worth and
value. It is the essence, not just of who we are, but what we are. Now let me just say to those who question how once rivals can be now united, it's quite simple, we have Barack Obama to
It was Barack Obama who said, ``You didn't build it.'' Translation, ``It doesn't belong to you.'' Well no small differences among us in our party approximate the vast differences between the liberty limiting, radical left wing, anti-business, reckless spending, tax hiking party of Barack
Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, versus an energized America who knows we can do better.
For four years, we've given a chance to a man with very limited experience in governing, no experience in business whatsoever and since taking office, mostly interested in campaigning, blaming and aiming excuses at his predecessor, the Republicans and people in business. Or as Republicans like to call them, ``employers.'' We've stagnated into an economy that has taken all that hope right down the slope and has left millions without jobs.
Forced out of their homes by foreclosure. Herded into dependency upon a government that promises us candy, but gives us cavities. Barack Obama seems intent on enrolling more people
on food-stamps. Mitt Romney's focus is going to be on generating more jobs that will make food-stamps unnecessary for them. We know full well, we can do better.
Mitt Romney turned around companies that were on the skids. He turned around a scandal-ridden Olympics that was deep in the red into a high point of profit and patriotic pride. And he
turned around a very liberal state when he erased the deficit and replaced it with a surplus. Do you remember when Barack Obama said that if he couldn't turn things around in three
years, it would be a one term proposition?
Well it's been almost four years. I say let's make him a proposition he can't refuse. Let's vote him out.
I understand that the job of the president is admittedly tougher than running a company, an Olympic contest or a commonwealth. But when one sees what even Bill Clinton noted as
a sterling record of problem-solving that has marked the life of Mitt Romney, we are confident that we will do better.
I am thrilled to say Mitt Romney has been loyal to his lovely wife who knocked it out of the park last night in this arena.
He, he's been loyal to his sons, to his country, to his employees and to his church. Well I'm sure now that the press is going to tell you he isn't perfect. Now my friends for the past four years, we've tried the one that the press thought was perfect and that hasn't worked out all that well for us.
That's why tonight I tell you, we can do better. Our founding fathers left taxation and tyranny seeking religious liberty and a society of meritocracy rather than aristocracy.
What they created was a bold experiment in government believing that God gave us unalienable rights. And that the role of the government is simply to make sure that those rights are protected. So fearful were they that the government would grow beyond their intention, that even after crafting our magnificent Constitution, they said, we can do even better.
They added amendments. We call them The Bill of Rights. Those Bill of Rights limit what the government can do and they guarantee what we, the people have the unimpeded right to do.
Whether to speak, assemble, worship, pray, publish, or even refuse intrusions into our homes. Many of those founders died to pass on that heritage. They had lived under the boot of big government And what they said was, we can do better.
As a kid growing up in a household, my dad never finished high school. I grew up in a family in which no male upstream from me had ever finished high school, much less gone to college. But I was taught that even though there was nothing I could do about what was behind me, I could change everything about what was in front of me. My working poor parents told me that I could do better. They taught me that I was as good as anybody else. And it never occurred to them to tell me that I could just rest comfortably and wait for good old Uncle Sugar to feed me, lead me and then bleed me.
They told me to get off my backside, work hard, take risks and treat people honestly and honorably. And look at me today. I have become as the press like to label me, a failed candidate.
Oh, it's true. I have fallen from the high perch of politics and now I wallow in the mud of the media.
But I still know that as a country, we can do better. And with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, we will do better.
I want to clear the air about something that has been said. People wonder whether guys like me, an evangelical, would only support a fellow evangelical? Well my friends I want to tell
you something, of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama. And he supports changing the definition of marriage. Believes that human life
is disposable and expendable at any time in the wound, even beyond the womb. And he tells people of faith that they have to bow their knees to the God of government and violate their faith
and conscience in order to comply with what he calls, health care. Friends I know we can do better.
Let me say it as clearly as possible, that the attack on my Catholic brothers and sisters is an attack on me.
The Democrats have brought back that old dance, the limbo. To see how low they can go in attempting to limit our ability to practice our faith. But this isn't a battle about contraceptives and Catholics, but about conscience and the Creator. Let me say to you tonight, I care far less as to where Mitt Romney takes his family to church, than I do about where he takes this country.
Joe Biden - Joe Biden said, ``Show me your budget and I'll tell you what you value.'' Well in the Senate Joe's party hasn't produced a budget in three years. What does that say about their values? And by the way, speaking of budgets, Joe Biden's budget shows that while he wants to be very generous with your money through higher taxes and government spending, for years he
gave less than two-tenths of one percent of his own money to charity. He just wants you to give the government more so he and the Democrats can feel better about themselves.
Mitt Romney has given over 16 percent of his income to church and charity. And my friend, I feel a lot better about having a president who will give generously of his own money instead of mine or yours.
My concern is not Barack Obama's past, but my concern is for the future. Not his future, but for the future of my grandchildren, little Chandler and Scarlet. And under this president we have burdened each of them with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and a system that will collapse upon itself because he thinks that we can prosper by punishing productivity and rewarding reckless irresponsibility. The Democrats say we ought to give Barack Obama credit for trying. Folks that sounds like the nonsense of giving every kid a trophy for showing up.
Let's be clear, we're talking about leading the country. Not playing on a third grade soccer team. Look, I realize this is a man who got a Nobel Peace Prize for what he would potentially do. But in the real world, you get the prize for producing something, not just promising something.
Sometimes - sometimes we get so close to the picture, we really can't see it clearly. I've had the privilege of working with Bono for the past few years in the One Campaign to fight AIDS and hunger and disease around the world. Bono is an Irishman and a great humanitarian. And I remember him telling me of his admiration for America. He said, ``America's more than just a country. We are an idea.'' And he reminded me that we are an exceptional nation with an extraordinary history who owes it to the generations who are coming after us to leave them with
an extraordinary legacy. But if we don't change the direction of our nation now, our bequest will be nothing but an extraordinary shame. But dear friends, we can do better.
President Obama is out of gas and Americans are out of patience. And our great republic is almost out of time. It's time that we no longer lead from behind, but that we get off our
behinds and leave something lasting for those who came after us instead of a mountain of debt and a pile of excuses. Tonight, it's not because we're Republicans, it's because we are Americans that we proudly stand with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we say, ``We will do better.''
God bless you. Thank you. God bless.