By STEVEN WELCH
TAMPA, Fla. — In keeping with the Republican Party’s theme of “we built it,” Tuesday’s Republican National Convention speakers focused on achieving the American dream through hard work, dedication and good family values.
Despite once serving as his opposition in the Republican primaries, former Sen. Rick Santorum offered his support for Romney, while outlining how he believes President Obama’s policies have failed to help American families who are struggling to achieve their goals.
“Under President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a nightmare of dependency with almost half of America receiving some government benefit,” he said. “It is no surprise fewer and fewer Americans are achieving their dreams and more and more parents are concerned their children won’t realize theirs.”
Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada spoke of the encouragement of his parents throughout his childhood, which gave him the motivation to continue his education. He chose a career helping others through public service, and credited his hard work and determination as helping him achieve his goals. Though not always easy, Sandoval never gave up.
“When I was a boy, my parents brought us to Nevada in search of opportunity. My first job was cleaning sheep pens. In college, I worked in a hospital cafeteria. I worked my way through law school,” he said.
In her opening remarks, Mia Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, echoed the other speakers’ views on personal responsibility in achieving the American dream. The daughter of immigrants, she experienced firsthand the ability for someone living in America to achieve whatever they set their mind to.
“Let me tell you about the America I know. My parents immigrated to the U.S. with ten dollars in their pocket, believing that the America they had heard about really did exist. When times got tough they didn’t look to Washington, they looked within,” she said.
Love stated her belief that Obama’s America is a “divided one,” where those with different income or levels of education are forced to go against each other rather than work together to better the country.
The speakers throughout Tuesday night all voiced their support for Republican nominee Mitt Romney, believing him to be the best chance to improve conditions within the country. They cited growing debt, struggling families and a divide in education as the main reasons Obama’s policies have failed. Along with the focus on achieving the American dream, convention speakers mentioned their beliefs in what a Romney win would do for America:
— Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, told the crowd how the national budget would be balanced.
— Businessman Jack Gilchrist, of New Hampshire, believes in bipartisan solutions to America’s problems, saying Romney would be “a leader who can work with all parties involved.”
— Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, said with a President Romney, we’ll end America’s dependence on foreign oil.
The evening’s attitudes can be summed up by Speaker of the House John Boehner, whose remarks energized the crowd.
“So if you believe we can do better, if you want to leave our children a stronger, more prosperous America, then Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan need your help.” He said. “Because we can turn this tide, but only if all of us are all in, all the way to the 6th of November.”