Romney ‘doesn’t get it’: Democrats tear into Obama challenger on opening night
by David Espo
and Matthew Daly
Associated Press Writers
September 05, 2012 12:45 AM | 4905 views | 13 13 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cobb delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., are, from left: Don E.Wilson of Marietta, Tania Phillips of Acworth, Michelle Cooper Kelly of Marietta and Derrick Brown and Nathan McNeal, both of Kennesaw.<br>Photos special to the Marietta Daily Journal by Bill Adler
Cobb delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., are, from left: Don E.Wilson of Marietta, Tania Phillips of Acworth, Michelle Cooper Kelly of Marietta and Derrick Brown and Nathan McNeal, both of Kennesaw.
Photos special to the Marietta Daily Journal by Bill Adler
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — First lady Michelle Obama lovingly praised her husband Tuesday night in a primetime Democratic Convention speech as a devoted husband and caring father at home and a “man we can trust” to revive the nation’s weak economy as president, beckoning the country to return him to the White House despite agonizingly slow recovery from recession.

“He reminds me that we are playing a long game here ... and that change is hard, and change is slow and it never happens all at once,” she told a nation impatient with slow economic progress and persistently high unemployment of 8.3 percent. “But eventually, we get there, we always do,” she said in a speech that blended scenes from 23 years of marriages with the Obamas’ time in the White House.

Mrs. Obama, given a huge ovation and describing herself as the “mom in chief,” made no mention of Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But those who preceded her to the lectern on the first night of the president’s convention were scathing.

“If Mitt were president, he’d fire the reindeer and outsource the elves,” declared former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in one biting speech.

Tapped to deliver the keynote address, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said Romney was a millionaire politician who “quite simply, doesn’t get it” when it comes to the needs of the middle class. Referring to the Republican’s support for mandatory health insurance when he was governor of Massachusetts, he added, “Gov. Romney has undergone an extreme makeover, and it ain’t pretty.”

Polls made the race for the White House a tight one, almost certain to be decided in a string of eight or 10 battleground states where neither the president nor Romney holds a clear advantage. There was ample evidence during the day of an underperforming economy, including a report that said manufacturing activity declined for a third straight month and an announcement from the Treasury that the government’s debt exceeded $16 trillion at the close of the business day.

There was no end to the appeals for donations to Obama’s re-election campaign, falling further behind Romney in cash on hand with each passing month. “If you think Barack’s the right man for the job, please show your support with a donation of $5 or more today,” the first lady emailed supporters a little more than 90 minutes before her speech.

She walked out to the crowd’s cheers as the band played Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” the song he sang onstage at Obama’s Denver convention four years ago.

The president was back home in the White House after a campaign appearance in Virginia as delegates cheered every mention of his name from the convention lectern. He promised he’d be watching on television when his wife spoke.

“Believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage,” she told the convention. “We were so young, so in love and so in debt.”

She confided that at family dinners in the White House with her and their daughters, the president joins in “strategizing about middle school friendships.”

Mrs. Obama’s poll numbers are better than her husband’s, and her speech was aimed at building support for him, much as Ann Romney’s remarks at last week’s Republican National Convention were in service to her husband’s presidential ambitions.

“When it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad — who worked at a municipal water plant — and his own grandmother, a bank secretary,” the first lady said.

Referring to her own children as well as those of others, she said, “If we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility, that belief that here in America there is always something better out there if you are willing to work for it, then we must ... stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward, my husband, our president, President Barack Obama.”

The weak economy hung over the convention as it dominates the election.

Obama “knows better than anyone there’s more hard work to do” to fix it, Castro said. He said that after the deep recession, the nation is making progress “despite incredible odds and united Republican opposition.”

He declared that 4.5 million jobs have been created since the president took office — though that number refers only to private sector employment gains over the past 29 months and leaves out state and local government jobs that continue to disappear each month.

Castro, the first Hispanic chosen to deliver a keynote address, was unsparing in criticizing Romney, suggesting the former Massachusetts governor might not even be the driving force on the Republican ticket this fall.

“First they called it ‘trickle down, the supply side,” he said of the economic proposals backed by Republicans. “Now it’s Romney/Ryan. Or is it Ryan/Romney?”

“Either way, their theory has been tested. It failed. ...Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it,” Castro said. Romney’s running mate is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

The divide over taxes goes to the core of the campaign.

Romney and the Republicans favor extension of all of the existing Bush-era tax cuts due to expire on Dec. 31, and also want to cut tax rates 20 percent across the board.

Obama, too, wants to keep the existing tax cuts in place — except for people with earnings of $250,000 a year or more.

Democrats criticized Romney last week for failing to offer a detailed plan to fix the economy. But nowhere in their own convention’s first evening of speechmaking did anyone present proposals for reining in deficits that now exceed $1 trillion annually.

Delegates in the convention hall cheered whenever Obama’s image showed on the huge screen behind the speaker’s lectern, and roared when the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was shown mocking Romney in their 1994 Senate race.

“On the issue of choice, I am pro-choice, my opponent is multiple choice,” the late senator said as cheers grew louder.

Romney supported abortion rights while serving as governor; he opposes them now.

Democrats unspooled insult after insult as they took their turn the week after the Republicans had their convention in Tampa, Fla.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said that Republicans had omitted mention of Romney’s term as Massachusetts governor at their gathering.

“We already knew this extremely conservative man takes some pretty liberal deductions. Evidently that includes writing off all four years he served as governor,” Quinn declared.

Said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, speaking of Romney: “Never in modern American history has a presidential candidate tried so hard to hide himself from the people he hopes to serve.”

“When you look at the one tax return he has released, it’s obvious why there’s been only one. We learned that he pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families. We learned he chose Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island tax shelters over American institutions.”

Obama, by contrast, was lauded for helping win approval of health care legislation and for supporting abortion rights and gay marriage.

In his campaign trip to Virginia earlier in the day, Obama told an audience at Norfolk State University that the economy will get worse if Romney wins the White House this fall and that Election Day apathy was his enemy — and theirs.

Republicans are “counting on you, maybe not to vote for Romney, but they’re counting on you to feel discouraged,” he said. “And they figure if you don’t vote, then Big Oil will write our energy future, and insurance companies will write our health care plans, and politicians will dictate what a woman can or can’t do when it comes to her own health.”

On the final stop of a pre-convention campaign circuit of several battleground states, the president also dropped off a case of White House-brewed beer at a local fire station.

The Republican challenger was in Vermont as the Democratic convention began, preparing for three fall debates with Obama almost certain to be critical to the outcome of the election.

There was no shortage of political calculation behind the program of the convention’s first night — or for any other.

Democratic delegates bestow their nomination on Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday, the same night former President Bill Clinton delivers a prime-time speech aimed at voters disappointed with the results of the past four years yet undecided how to cast their ballots.

White men favor Romney over Obama in public and private polls, but a Gallup survey taken in July showed that 12 years after leaving office, Clinton was viewed favorably by 63 percent of the same group and unfavorably by only 32 percent.

Obama’s acceptance speech caps the convention on Thursday night at the 74,000-seat Bank of America football stadium. Aides kept a wary eye on the weather in a city that has been hit in recent days with strong afternoon rains.

Republicans did their best to rain on Obama’s convention, whatever the weather.

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke in Westlake, Ohio, standing behind a lectern bearing a sign that read “Are you better off?”

Republicans released a web video that interspersed images of Obama and the economy’s weak performance with slightly out-of-focus video clips of former President Jimmy Carter discussing the nation’s economic woes when sat in the Oval Office more than 30 years ago.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
tired of it
September 06, 2012
People are nieve if they really believe Obama is a good president, if he gets reelected America is destroyed which is what he wants. His parents were radicals and hated America, he hangs out with terrorist and the likes of Bill Ayers and such. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!

We do not needs government to control us we have our own minds and can make decisions for ourselves unlike what Obama and the likes of him tell this country.
Tyler Durden
September 06, 2012
Funny thing is, at the RNC convention, every speaker talked about themselves and then sort of mentioned Romney as an afterthought in the last 2 mins of their speeches. Then, when you go to right leaning (I'm looking at you MDJ) media outlets all the comments from Republicans are pretty hateful towards the President and his family, but never seem to mention anything postive about Romney. Must be depressing to have so much anger in your heart towards the President, but nothing good at all to say about the man that YOUR party nominated to run against him. Makes me chuckle.
September 07, 2012
to "tyler durden"

Any one is better, republican or Democratic, than a man who hangs out with know terrorist and wants to destroy this country. Romney understands economics and what it will take to turn this country around unlike the guy you voted for.
Concerned Citizen
September 05, 2012
The delegate on the far left, Don Wilson, was foreclosed in July 2007 and is still living in the house. Living FREE for 5 years. Thank you Barack!
October 08, 2012
INCREDIBLE, Someone should go to the news media with that!!!
Also Concerned
December 11, 2012
I know Don Wilson well, and have known about him being forclosed on that long ago, there still are things about him that are underhanded - would like to find out more.
Julie Smart
September 05, 2012
I am could hardly stomach it...........
Harry Hagan
September 05, 2012
Romney doesn't get it, but Obama does? Wow! Who knew?

Just what is it that Romney fails to comprehend?

Could it be world-class lying? How to bring down the world's preeminent civilization to third-world levels? Bowing and scraping before hell-hole dictators? Erasing in just four years the brilliance of our Constitution, the Rule of Law, the tried and true machinations of governing the way our Founders set it in motion?

Chicago-style thuggery? Maybe Romney doesn't get how to run up a debt so large that we'll have to make integrity of nationhood concessions to China and others to be named later?

Actually, Obama's constituents tacitly speak most eloquently about his "achievements." As someone has pointed out already, Obama's base sign their checks on the back, while Romney's sign theirs on the front. Maybe we're all suckers, and that's what Romney doesn't get.
Doesn't get it??
September 05, 2012
Obama, the most arrogant incompetent president in our history is the one who doesn't get it! Just ask those of us who are going broke while he prances on the golf course. He spent time ramming Obamacare through rather than focus on jobs. The man strays from the truth so much that it is hard to tell what is real and what is fiction.
Tyler Durden
September 05, 2012
Are you kidding me? How working people can identify with Romney - a trust fund kid that made a living laying people off- is beyond me.

Any member of a party that so loudly trumpets their successes and takes complete credit, believing they never had any help, and then actually mocks those that feel like government should assist the less fortunate is cold, craven, and prideful.

I’m an old military guy, I was taught to ‘never leave a man behind.’ I’ve learned that to be a republican is to believe in the opposite of that charge. To be a republican is to swallow Ayn Rand’s immature, drug store philosophy and, instead of helping the less fortunate, stepping on them on the way up the ladder.

September 05, 2012
She is right they are playing a long game just watch 2016 the movie uses Obama’s own words to explain everything. We are on the edge with four more years he pushes the U.S. over the finical cliff, I guess he thinks that with the U.S. out of the way the Middle East will be run by extremist that the Chinese or Russians wouldn’t take over. Obama hasn’t seen Colonial expansion like what will happen with us out of the way. We pay people for oil Russia and China will take it and enslave the population. The very reason we have the Marines is Somalia and the pirates that use to rob and kill people at will back around 1775. They are playing a long game they moved that troubling word GOD out of the way as well. God and lack of family unit is the very reason the crime is as bad in Chicago as we speak. Listen to Barracks own brothers words and heed what will happen if he gets reelected because the U.S. will not get a second chance after two terms of Obama. If you think executive orders are bad now you ant’ seen nothing yet!!
Rick Lambright
September 05, 2012
Did any one catch the fact that when the first lady was ex trolling the virtues of the their early lives growing up , she said that her & Barack parents taught them if you work hard and got education "you could build" a better life for your self. Is this not what the other party is saying, and what the president denied he other day - that it can be built by your self. we need Gov't . No where in the description of their parents advice did they say you have to rely on the gov't handouts to succeed. but distinctly they told them if you work hard you can succeed.
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