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UPDATE: Report from Tampa: Romney speech opens personal connection with voters

Posted: August 30, 2012 7:25 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2012 8:14 a.m.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, in this photo taken by local resident Bob Haueter, an alternate delegate.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney concluded the Republican National Convention with an emotional speech on Thursday night in Tampa, Florida. Lynn and Bob Hauter, Santa Clarita residents present at the convention, believe the speech was successful in allowing voters into Romney’s personal life and making him more accessible to voters.

“He addressed some of the points that most people didn’t know about with his faith and his family life,” Lynn said.

“In a lot of ways this was Mitt’s first  real chance to shine on the national stage and show us who he is,” said Bob.

“The floor here is buzzing right now, everybody is excited about carrying the momentum forward through the next two months.”

-Ernest Stone

“R” stands for more than just “Republican” in Tampa this week — it also means Rice, Ryan and rock stars.

Lynn and Bob Haueter spoke to The Signal Thursday on the way to the final night of the GOP convention, where Mitt Romney was to address the Republican Party for the first time as the official presidential nominee.

Vice presidential nominee Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan spoke Wednesday night after well-received remarks from Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

“Paul Ryan was electrifying, to say the least,” Bob Haueter said. “He just did an incredible job. Just point-on. He definitely rose to the occasion.”

For Lynn Haueter, Ryan successfully expressed the message that Romney and Ryan “are different but they bring their own unique strengths to the ticket.” She called Ryan “the perfect pick” for vice president.

“He talked about how we can either have free stuff or freedom, and that’s the difference,” she said.
Lynn Haueter said former Secretary of State Rice “just knocked it out of the park.”

“People say she was flat and dry, and I think it’s just because she talks about things that are deeper than just talking points,” she said.

After Martinez, Rice and Ryan brought everyone to their feet, rock star Kid Rock kept the attendees in the Tampa Bay Times Forum until 3 a.m. while he performed a concert. Kid Rock has previously supported the Republicans by attending various fundraisers.

Because of the late night, most of the delegates slept in and relaxed Thursday. Prior to Romney, the convention attendees were also scheduled to hear from Romney’s son Craig, Newt and Callista Gingrich, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, among others.

“I’m looking forward to hearing Senator Rubio and then Mitt Romney deliver his introduction to America and hear what he has to say,” Bob Haueter said.

— Sara Mitchell




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