Republicans Unite Behind Romney as Nomination Process Begins

Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, second right, listens as Minnesota delegates casts their vote for Romney during Republican Convention, Aug. 28, 2012Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, second right, listens as Minnesota delegates casts their vote for Romney during Republican Convention, Aug. 28, 2012
x
Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, second right, listens as Minnesota delegates casts their vote for Romney during Republican Convention, Aug. 28, 2012
Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, second right, listens as Minnesota delegates casts their vote for Romney during Republican Convention, Aug. 28, 2012
Alex Villarreal
TAMPA, Florida — Conservative members of the U.S. Republican Party set aside misgivings about their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, as the party's nominating convention got under way Tuesday. Hours before Romney was formally nominated in a roll call of delegates from the 50 states, stalwarts of a conservative movement that fought fiercely for that nomination signaled they are ready to back Romney in November's general election.

One of the key speakers on Tuesday's convention program is Rick Santorum, a champion of traditional family values who emerged as Romney's toughest challenger in the primary process. Speaking to delegates at a nearby Tampa, Florida, hotel early Tuesday, Santorum said Romney has the right message for America.

During the primaries, Santorum had argued that Romney is too moderate to be the Republican candidate.  But Tuesday, he said he was won over by Romney's selection as a running mate of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, who is known for his fiscal conservatism and opposition to abortion.

“If there's one thing that really jazzed me up over the past couple of weeks, it was the fact that Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate.  And I say that because what that said to me as a conservative, what that said to me was that Mitt Romney wants to make this campaign about ideas.  He wants to make this campaign about his vision, our vision.” Santorum said.

That vision includes calls for lower taxes and smaller government, as well as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

Santorum, who is known for his deep religious convictions, also talked about faith, bringing up an issue that has been little addressed in the campaign so far.

“Yes, this election's about the economy, it's about job creation, it's about health care.  But it's about even bigger things than that.  It's about an assault on religious liberty,” Santorum said.

Up to now, Romney has said little about his own religious beliefs as a member of the little-understood Mormon Church.  But Republican Congressman Randy Forbes said Romney's faith is one of his strengths.

"I'm excited that we've got two candidates.  Governor Romney's committed to his faith; Paul Ryan's committed to his faith.  But most importantly, I think they're going to start saying that it's okay for Americans to believe in their faith whatever it is...and to stand up for that," Forbes said.

On the convention floor, Republican speakers like Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz attacked President Barack Obama's handling of the nation's economy.  

"President Obama's solution: more government, more taxes.  This is not the American Dream," Chaffetz said.
 
The roll call vote, in which the candidate is formally chosen, was re-scheduled from Monday because of fears the convention would be disrupted by Hurricane Isaac.  Those fears eased Tuesday as the storm moved away from Florida, but Isaac continued to cast a different sort of shadow over the convention.

Forecasters predicted the storm would strike the city of New Orleans with hurricane-force winds sometime Wednesday, threatening to distract attention from Romney's biggest showcase.

President Obama demonstrated his own concern,  and perhaps stole a little attention from Romney, with a public appearance Tuesday morning to warn citizens in the path of the storm.

"We're dealing with a big storm, and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area.  Now is not the time to tempt fate, now is not the time to dismiss official warnings.  You need to take this seriously,'' Obama said.

The storm is also being taken seriously in Tampa.  Few at the convention have forgotten the damage done to the popularity of another Republican, former President George W. Bush, by what was seen as an inadequate response when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans seven years ago.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs