Mission Accomplished: Mitt Romney’s Convention Calls on Us to Reclaim the American Greatness We Remember
Aug 31, 2012
RUSH: I thought it was fantastic. I thought the Romney speech was great. I don’t have any complaints about it. Maybe a couple of nitpicks, but I think “mission accomplished.” Now we see how many people saw it, how it can be built upon, how well the convention built this. I’m gonna go out on a limb. I’m gonna say something. You know, I usually don’t say controversial things, but I’m gonna take a little risk here. When this convention started Monday, even though they took the day off…
When the delegates gathered, when they first got together at the convention hall (the arena or whatever it was in Tampa), I think it’s fair to say, safe to say, that that was not Mitt Romney’s convention. And by that I mean, the people gathered there were not jazzed to be a part of Mitt Romney. I think the unifying thing at the convention early on was, “We gotta save the country. We have to beat Obama. We’re unified. We have a sense of purpose, here.”
There were some doubts, and I think by the end of last night, it had become Mitt Romney’s convention. I think it has become Mitt Romney’s party, and I think it has become Mitt Romney’s cause, and I think they did an amazing thing. Romney, his organizers and people, did a great job. I think that’s the starting point. I really do. You may disagree with me. By that I mean that when I saw camera shots of the first night of the convention, if Romney would have shown up for a surprise appearance?
“Ah, look, there’s Mitt. Okay, cool. No big deal.”
They were there. “He’s the nominee. We’re gonna do the speeches, we’re gonna nominate him, and we’re gonna move on.” But that’s not why everybody was there. There were doubts, there was some fears, but by the close of business last night it had become his convention. It had become his party. It had become his cause. Now everybody is on board. I mean, there are some stragglers, of course, but I think it was a great and unifying three days. It was real. From beginning to end, it was real.
It wasn’t staged. It wasn’t phony. Real people. Just average, ordinary people doing things, saying things, reacting. Speakers. People in the crowd. It was real. And the values! The values that were front and center, day and night, in this convention. I’ll probably get into a little trouble for saying this because people will think it’s not helpful. But the values that we got throughout this convention — the things that we heard, the stories people told; the way they look at their lives, the way they live their lives, the way they look at the country, the way they see the future and what their hopes and dreams are.
It was an America of 40 years ago, 30 years ago. Last night was what I think used to be normal for vast swaths, vast majority swaths of this country. Last night was almost a time machine where we went back in time to an America that we all grew up in, an America that we all desperately hope exists again. I’m talking about from the standpoint of values. I’m not talking about skin color or War on Women, ethnicity, religion, any of that. I’m just talking straightforward values.
Every speaker, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley — you name it, every speaker — had a rags-to-riches story that defined and explained, by virtue of the story alone, the greatness of this country. The greatness of America was on display throughout this convention. There wasn’t anybody up there who doesn’t like this country. There wasn’t anybody up there blaming this country. It was quite the opposite. It really was heartwarming. Then some of the individual stories last night.
This need to “humanize” Romney offends me. It has always offended me, by the way. This need to humanize conservatives offend me anyway. The idea that conservatives somehow don’t have compassion, just by definition of being conservatives, has always offended me. But some of the stories that were told about Romney last night… The 14-year-old kid with cancer? Romney befriending him, hospital visits frequently, writing the young man’s will. People were in tears listening to this story.
These were things people didn’t know. People didn’t know that Romney’s dad put a red rose on his mother’s bedside every morning, or every night. And that’s how his mother learned his father had died: One day the rose wasn’t there. People hadn’t heard that story before. Marco Rubio’s speech last night. In that speech, Marco Rubio spoke to the future of America by defining and reminding people of our greatness in the past.
Marco Rubio was speaking for an entire generation or two of Americans, the young, who have their lives ahead of them. I think Rubio’s speech, the way he delivered it, resonated with people all across the fruited plain that you wouldn’t even think. But from beginning to end, we had a celebration of the uniqueness and the exceptionalism of America. Every person! There wasn’t one angry person, angry at the country.
There wasn’t one person who wanted to blame the country or anybody else (other than Obama, of course). I thought Romney… I’ll be honest with you. I had a lot of people — friends, family — who told me yesterday afternoon and last night that they were scared. They were worried. Romney was gonna blow it. “He’s just too stiff. He can’t pull this stuff off. Rush, the convention shoulda ended Wednesday night. If it just ended Wednesday, it would’ve been perfect.”
I told everybody that said that to me, “I have a different feeling, just a gut instinct. I just think Romney’s gonna be good tonight. I think Romney’s gonna be fine tonight. I think you’re gonna be surprised by Romney.” Then I saw one of the excerpts, one of the lines excerpted from the speech that they put out before he gave it and said, “Oh, no. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.” That’s the line where he said he’d hoped President Obama succeeded. I said, “Why do we have to say that?” But, that line, when delivered, it kinda got in there, got it, and got out.
It didn’t linger. It turned out not to be a focal point, nor was it thematic. It was just tossed in there. There are people today who are nitpicking and saying,”You know, Romney should have had other people tell these stories about him. He can’t do it himself. At Staples, why all the executives at all these companies that Bain saved, why not get some people that worked there whose jobs were saved and so forth?” I understand that. But I think great progress was made. I think the storytelling that was part of this convention needed to happen to counter the drivel that comes from the left, such as Romney caused my wife’s cancer. Those stories are real. There are people out there who believe that stuff.
I’m happier, even, today than I was yesterday, that we didn’t go second, that the Democrats are now on defense. You look at these testimonials about Romney, last night, throughout this convention, does Obama have anybody that can tell a story like that? His brother can’t tell a story of charity. His brother can’t tell a story about personal compassion from Obama. There’s nobody. I mean, the Democrats have to be scrambling right now. (interruption) Well, that’s what I’m talking about. Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, nobody knows Obama, even in these four years, people he taught, supposedly, at Chicago with the University of Chicago law school. Where are these people that say they’ve been inspired by Obama?
I mean, Romney’s got ’em from every day that he’s been alive. With Obama, we can’t find them. We don’t know who they are. And they’ve never been eager to put these people forward. I think telling these personal stories was a great approach because, see, this is what I’m ultimately getting at. I believe regardless the cultural depravity that has occurred in this country over the years and the watering down of values, I still think that most people live their lives as conservatives. They may not know it, just like Susana Martinez didn’t know she was a Republican ’til she sat down and talked to a couple. So when you had these stories told last night, I think a lot of people, “Yeah, yeah.”
Maybe I live in Dreamland. I think I live in Realville, but maybe I’m not, maybe I live in Dreamland; you tell me. But I don’t know how anybody who heard any of this convention could not like the United States of America as described. But they do. But I think they’re fringe. The people that did watch this, I think it was real progress that was made. The line of the convention to sum up the whole convention, Mitt Romney, and, by the way, in addition to the line, the delivery — here’s the line: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans.” Pause, slow, building laughter among the attendees. Romney’s facial expression, perfect. Sense of timing, perfect. He paused. At just the right moment he continued. “And heal the planet.” Laughter continued, and crescendoed. Romney paused again with great timing. “My promise is to help you and your family.” That’s it. How long is that bite? Okay, then we haven’t edited. That’s good. Okay, here’s the bite. Here it is. The only thing you can’t see here, obviously, is Romney’s facial expressions. They were priceless.
ROMNEY: President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans (laughter) and to heal the planet. (laughter) My promise is to help you and your family. (cheers and applause) I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began his presidency with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No, Mr. President. America has freed other nations from dictators. (cheers and applause)
RUSH: President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans. There was a long bit of laughter. “And then heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” That whole thing without editing takes 40 seconds, and it is priceless. And then another great line: “When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.” Yeah, hearken back, folks, to the days — and when he talked about Neil Armstrong and landing on the moon. I was alive. People that were alive then, we felt like we were part of the greatest nation on earth. There was a visceral pride that people felt in their country. It’s not felt today. There is no commensurate pride in America right now, but it was revived last night. It was brought back to life by people who still live it, who still believe it, and who want to make it again the reality.
I was struck, I really was struck. I can’t remember who wrote, might have been Michael Daly in the New York Post. I think it was. He wrote a piece a month ago. Paraphrasing: Romney’s biggest problem is when he was born. His view of America just doesn’t exist anymore. I was thinking about that last night, and I can see why some people might think that. You know, you always hear people say, “You can’t go back, you can’t turn back the hands of time. You can’t go back to a simpler, more innocent time,” we’re told. And I understand that.
But this convention and the stories that were told and the speeches that were given and the reverence for this country, the greatness of this country, the opportunity, the exceptionalism, the uniqueness, it was all on parade, and it made me feel like it can be grasped again, that it can come back to life, as it was. And there was nothing wrong with it. Whatever America was, and it’s always had its faults, it was never guilty. America has never been guilty of anything. It never deserves to be cut down to size or punished or what have you.
“When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.” Do you know that on MSNBC that’s racist? Well, because Obama’s not an American, see, he wasn’t born here, a birther. That was Romney’s secret code-speak to birthers. Because Obama’s not an American, that’s what Romney was trying to say. That is how shallow and baseless they are.
RUSH: I am not joking, and I’m not making it up. The Democrat tweets and e-mails all over the place about Romney saying when the world needs somebody do the really big stuff, you need an American. There are people out there tweeting that they loathe Romney for this. They hated him before that, but when he said this, now they loathe him. And it’s a connection to the birthers. Even Alan Colmes of Fox News, a couple hours ago, calls this Romney’s nod to the birthers. Where do we get these people? What happened to these people? What happened to make them have such a perverted view of the United States of America? I cannot relate. All I can do is try to understand.
I can’t relate to somebody who does not understand when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American. Well, okay, who would you rather have? When the world really needs somebody to do the really big stuff, who else but? That’s the way it’s always been. And Condoleezza Rice made the point. Why? Because of our values, our morality, our liberty and freedom. We’re the beacon. Who was it that said last night, it might have been Rubio, or it could have been Romney, there are people trying to turn this country into the kind of country people leave other places for to come here. But how in the world you can be offended when the world needs somebody to do the really big stuff, you need an American? Especially in the context of praising, memorializing Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon? But they’re out there, folks. They’re among us.
RUSH: Think about it. Think about it, folks. Could Obama have given Romney’s speech last night? He’d-a choked on it! He would have been embarrassed. Plus, he’d have been pelted with rotten eggs and stuff by the people at his convention, were he to give a speech like Romney gave last night.
Here is the sound bite I was referring to earlier. It’s Marco Rubio who made the comment I just paraphrased. This is from his speech last night.
RUBIO: Our problem is not that he’s a bad person. Our problem is that he’s a bad president.
CONVENTION: (cheers and applause)
RUBIO: These are tired and old big government ideas that have failed every time and everywhere they’ve been tried. These are ideas that people come to America to get away from!
RUSH: That’s it.
RUSH: That’s it. (clip stops) No, no! Keep going.
RUBIO: … sadly, millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us —
RUBIO: — by reminding us of what makes us special —
RUSH: That’s right.
RUBIO: — he divides us against each other.
RUSH: That’s exactly right.
RUBIO: He tells Americans that they’re worse off because others are better off.
RUSH: Exactly right.
RUBIO: That rich people got rich by making other people poor. “Hope and change” has become “divide and conquer.”
CONVENTION: (wild cheers and applause)
RUSH: That’s exactly right. Rubio was fabulous last night. Folks, I can’t get over it. I was moved by this convention.