By MATT BRADSHAW
TAMPA, Fla. — Attorney and Georgia alternate delegate Brad Carver grinned proudly as he flashed the three delegate credentials he had secured for his family. Carver already had an alternate credential but alternates are not granted floor access. Only delegate credentials could get himself, wife and baby boy on the floor for the grand finale of the 2012 Republican National Convention Thursday night.
“I’ve got a 9 month year old child sitting here that my wife and I are going to take to the convention floor. I care about him, I really do,” said Carver. “And the best way that I can do anything for my child’s future is to help get this team (Romney/Ryan) elected. That is absolutely why I am here. It’s about my baby boy Bradley. It’s about his future and his kids.”
The 40-year-old Carver, who is a partner at the Atlanta based Hall Booth Smith & Slover P.C., believes that this is the most important election of his lifetime. Carver believes that presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan are the only chance the country has to save itself.
“Clinton was a pretty moderate president, he had some conservative policies, he reformed welfare, he balanced the budget with Speaker Gingrich’s help. He (Clinton) did a lot of Republican kind of things, so he wasn’t that bad,” said Carver. “I certainly supported the Republicans (during the Clinton administration) but it wasn’t like we were going off a cliff like we are now. If we have four more years of this I don’t see how we don’t turn into Greece.”
It can be hard to imagine a world power like the United States falling so far as to be compared to the financial crises facing Greece today, but Carver did his best to put this claim into perspective.
“In our history, Washington to George W. Bush, we have had 8 almost 9 trillion dollars of debt,” said Carver. “We have almost doubled that, we’re almost at 16 trillion dollars and half of that has come under this president. Half under Obama and the other half from over 200 years!”
When asked to expound on this, Carver displayed his faith in Paul Ryan.
“If we put another eight trillion dollars of debt on the table in next four years, it’s over. The only way to resolve this fiscal disaster is to reform Medicare and social security. This is something that you, me and every person in this country, should be very concerned about. I was concerned I wasn’t going to have social security until Paul Ryan came along.”
This coming from a man who knows a thing or two about the economy and attracting business and jobs to the United States. Carver is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, specializing in economic development at his law firm, he works to help international clients relocate their operations in Georgia and in the rest of the Southeast United States.
“If they (Romney/Ryan) get elected you are going to see a boost, immediately, there is a lot of money sitting on the sidelines right now and that’s because no one with money wants to invest, nobody knows what’s going to happen. If we show them (investors) a positive vision they are going to invest,” said Carver. “I don’t think it’s going to be easy any time soon, we’ve got a painful decade coming ahead of us but we have to turn it around. We need this dream ticket, this fix it team. Democrats have always made Bane Capital an enemy, this vulture company. They acquire dying companies and try to fix them. Of course there are going to be lay-offs but these companies were going to die already. Were they (Bain Capital) successful in every attempt? No, of course not but you have to try.”
Like Carver, Cheryl Lavette, a guest of the Georgia Delegation at the Republican convention, works with some of the people who are keeping their money on the sidelines. Lavette is a registered investment advisor who serves as vice president, director of sales and distribution with a money management firm in Atlanta.
She has become more and more involved in politics over the years and is currently the Georgia state coordinator for Smart Girl Politics (SmartGirlPolitics.org)
“It infuriates me, people who don’t understand what we are facing with the economy,” said Lavette. “I just want to tell them, you are letting yourselves be manipulated. We live in a country that has what people all over the world dream of and you’re just going to let it slip away. Socialism doesn’t work anywhere in the world, Europe, Russia, England. People come here from the UK and plead with us, keep what you have America, socialism isn’t working for us!”
When asked about the social issues that Romney and Ryan are attacked about by the Democrats, issues such as family planning that are important to women across the nation, Lavette responded, “You know what I tell people? I tell them I don’t even talk social issues now. Not until the fiscal issues are solved because it isn’t going to matter if the country collapses.”
Carver revealed that he himself is a libertarian Republican who supports individual rights, saying, “I’m a libertarian Republican. I know a lot of them, my wife is one. What holds us all together are the fiscal issues. Do we have social conservatives, social moderates, and social liberals in this group? We absolutely do. I’ll be honest with you, I’m pro-choice, a lot of us (Republicans) are. Are we the majority? No. Are we the majority with the 40 and under Republicans? Yes but that’s not my focus right now. I care about Bradley having a job, I care about economic development, I care about jobs.”
Many Republicans believe that Romney choosing Ryan as his running mate is a key to this upcoming election. Carver believes that Speaker John Boehner, who spoke to the Georgia delegation Thursday morning, said it best.
“This election with Paul Ryan says more about Mitt Romney than it does about Paul Ryan,” said Boehner. “He (Romney) made it clear that he was going to be on offense and we were going to be on offense and taking it to the Democrats in this election.”