Republican National Committee Chariman Reince Priebus gavels the 2012 Republican National Convention open in Tampa, …
TAMPA , FLA.— As powerful tropical storm Isaac churned through the Gulf of Mexico, Republicans opened their abbreviated nominating convention on Monday with a knock at President Barack Obama’s record on spending and a Hollywood-style video message from Mitt Romney.
“In the campaign to come, the American ideals of economic freedom and opportunity need a clear and unapologetic defense, and I intend to make it because I have lived it,” the former Massachusetts governor vowed against a swelling musical score and images of farms, New York City, a rancher with cattle, children going to school and grinning veterans.
“Though each of us comes from very different backgrounds, though each of us has chosen to walk a different path in life, we are united by one great overwhelming passion: We love America. We believe in America,” he said.
“I’m Mitt Romney, I believe in America, and I’m running for president of the United States,” he said.
Moments earlier, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had presided over perhaps the shortest convention session in history—scarcely 33 seconds, the result of a schedule shortened amid concerns Isaac could have hit Tampa.
“It is my privilege to proclaim the 2012 Republican National Convention in session and called to order,” he said, garnering a standing ovation from the assembled delegates. The convention will resume Tuesday, a session anchored on Ann Romney’s evening speech.
Priebus drew the delegates’ attention to a national debt clock counting up from zero the moment his gavel first came down. The clock, labeled “Debt From Convention Start,” aimed to highlight what Priebus dubbed “the unprecedented fiscal recklessness of the Obama administration.”
Romney has accused Obama of failing to stem the tide