Verne Strickland Blogmaster / August 30, 2012
Aug 30, 9:16 PM (ET)
By DAVID ESPO and ROBERT FURLOW
"Now is the time to restore the promise of America," Romney said in excerpts released in advance of his prime-time speech to a nation struggling with 8.3 percent unemployment and the slowest economic recovery in decades.
He muted his criticism in the advance excerpts of President Barack Obama, his quarry in a close and unpredictable race for the White House.
"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed," he said. "But his promises gave way to disappointment and division."
Romney's remarks came after other speakers filled out a week-long portrait of the GOP nominee as a man of family and faith, savvy and successful in business, savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics, yet careful with a buck. A portion of the convention stage was rebuilt overnight so he would appear surrounded by delegates rather than speaking from a distance, an attempt to soften his image as a sometimes-stiff and distant candidate.
"He shoveled snow and raked leaves for the elderly. He took down tables and swept floors at church dinners," said Grant Bennett, describing Romney's volunteer work as an unpaid lay clergy leader in the Mormon church.
Following him to the podium, Ted and Pat Oparowski tenderly recalled how Romney befriended their 14-year-old son David as he was dying of cancer. "We will be ever grateful to Mitt for his love and concern," she said.
Romney holds a fundraising advantage over Obama, and his high command hopes to expand the electoral map soon if post-convention polls in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and perhaps elsewhere indicate it's worth the investment. In a speech that blended the political and the personal, Romney talked in his excerpts of the importance of the love he felt from his parents and that he and his wife Ann have sought to give their children and grandchildren.
"All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers," he said.
As for Obama, he said, "Many Americans have given up on this president, but they haven't ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves, Not on each other. And not on America."