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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.