The final assignment for Government 522: Political Speechwriting and Presentation: a hypothetical speech by Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) accepting the Republican nomination for President. Written 7 Nov. 2010.
Thank you. Thank you so much. I am humbled by the outpouring of support that you showed me throughout the primaries. And tonight I am ready to accept our party’s nomination to lead our exceptional country.
I would not be standing here today if not for the constant support of my wife Ann and our five sons. Their encouragement pushed me to the front door. But it was the countless hours you devoted to holding signs and making phone calls that started us down the street. And once we started moving, we weren’t going to stop. From Iowato New Hampshire, from South Carolina to Minnesota, and across the country, we united around the common sense solutions that brought us to Tampa and the home state of my running mate, Senator Marco Rubio, tonight.
Four years ago President Obama promised that he would changeWashington. That he would bring transparency and revitalize our economy. Four years later we demand to know, where was the change? Where was the change when he forced through a healthcare monstrosity born of backroom deals? Where was the change, when he rushed through a 700 billion dollar failed stimulus package? And where was the change when he ignored the calls to focus on jobs?
We started asking those questions four years ago. And each time we asked, he promised to listen and urged patience. Next week he will make the same promises. But after he ignored our message in 2010, it is clear that he refuses the common sense solutions that the American people demand.
Tonight, we are tired of waiting for this administration to hear us. We need someone in the White House who will listen to what we say is needed, not scold us with what he thinks we need. I have listened, and I will continue to listen. I am ready to confront our Big Brother in Washington who bullied us for the last four years.
I met many of you over the last few months. I listened to Anthony and Mary Hannover, small business owners fromCleveland,Ohiowho were forced to close their doors after new burdensome regulations made it impossible to keep them open.
I listened to Susan Gutierrez a nurse inAdrian,Oregon. Her hours were cut at the hospital, so she was working three jobs just to make ends meet.
And I listened to six-year-old Emily Williams of Watertown,New Hampshire. At an age when she should be carefree on the playground, she asked when her dad would find a job. He had been looking for over two years.
Their stories are not isolated. Four years after Obama’s liberal tax and spend policies our economy is hurting. Small businesses owners, the engines that propel every economic recovery, are constrained by excessive taxes and crushed under the weight of bureaucratic paperwork. Our national debt is nearly 15 trillion dollars. 15 trillion. Our children and grandchildren will suffer with this debt for generations to come.
But instead of focusing on the borrowed trillions, instead of challenging business as usual, the current administration spent more and more. At a time when unemployment was over 10 percent, Obama forced through a healthcare package, under the banner of reform, but corrupted by special interests and expensive kickbacks. We need real reform, but first we need to slay the job-killing beast that is smothering recovery and strangling our entrepreneurial spirit. We need a lean, efficient government – not the expansive, overly intrusive behemoth of today.
I spent 25 years in the private sector, and so I know why jobs come and go. But more important, I know what it takes to turnaround an inefficient and failing effort. As CEO of Bain in Company I turned a failing firm into a profitable enterprise in one year without further layoffs. A few years later, I rejected calls for the Games to be canceled and raised a record amount of money to host the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
And I have experience confronting politics as usual too. My first year as Governor of Massachusetts I faced a projected three billion dollar deficit. By the end of my term we had a 700 million dollar surplus. I tackled the inefficiencies that plagued Beacon Hill for years, and in the process lowered taxes for all Bay Staters.
Now the deficit that we face today is far larger than the one I faced in 2003, and unemployment today is higher than it was then. This is a crisis that affects everyone, from Coloradans to Pennsylvanians. And the medicine will be bitter, it will make special interests furious, but we need the prescription to keep America healthy and strong.
As we saw these last two years, healing is not immediate after election night. There were many entrenched interests that favored gridlock and fought common sense strategies to cut the deficit, to stimulate the economy, and to end wasteful spending. President Obama led those entrenched interests. But I will confront them and make the decisions we demand.
Let’s start with a common sense, simple practice that is used by every successful business and home. Let’s start with the total and create a balanced budget for that total. For too long we allowed every special interest, department, and politician to tack on pet projects and unbridled expenditures only to sum the expenses at the end. No household can tack on expenses without consequences, nor can our government. To start overcoming the deficit we must balance our budget by operating within our means.
To balance the budget, let’s start making the cuts that will impact the bottom line. Not ones that will leave our borders unsafe and security weakened, but ones targeting excess and waste. We must streamline the entitlement spending that consumes over half our budget. I know that there are times when no matter how hard we pull, our bootstraps won’t give. So, let’s retain a safety net to catch us when we fall. But let’s cut away the tangled webs some stick to even when times improve.
Only through a determined effort to cut waste and spurn inefficiency can we reduce the deficit. And while we work towards a leaner more efficient government, we must remove the oppressive regulations and taxes that restrict small businesses from expanding their ranks. We depend on small businesses for 70 percent of job growth, but Democrats in Washington pick pocket their earnings to satisfy excessive spending.
Still, many on the left argue that we are no longer a Big Tent Party. But the American people rejected their Party of Big Brother in 2010 and will reject them again in November. Cutting taxes to stimulate job growth is not a big idea. Eliminating wasteful spending to reign in a massive deficit is not a big idea. And removing politicians who refuse to listen is not a big idea. They are common sense ideas. They are solutions that we will support with our without a tent to gather under.
We brought those ideas back into the street just two years ago. We brought those ideas to our friends and to our neighbors. And we will fill the White House with those ideas in November. We don’t have a big tent, because no tent can hold us. We are everywhere and on every street corner. We are demanding change, and we are demanding action.
But Washington will not change if you stay at home in November. And it will not change if you sit back and watch from the sidelines. Stand beside Senator Rubio and I as we spread our message over the next couple months. Energize your friends and family, because only together can we overcome the special interests and ignorance that has engulfed Washington for far too long.
Thank you. God Bless You. And God BlessAmerica.