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, 2012 Minnesota 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.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora