'Drifted from proudest traditions'

Excerpts from Wednesday's speeches at the Republican National Convention, as prepared for delivery.

Paul Ryan Wisconsin representative

Obamacare comes to more than 2,000 pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees and fines that have no place in a free country. The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obama­care.

John Thune South Dakota senator

On Day 1 of Mitt Romney's presidency, the transformation of Washington will begin.

Gone will be the arrogance of a president whose first instinct is to condemn achievement.

Gone will be the attitude that government knows best and solves all.

>> John McCain Arizona senator

We are now being tested by an array of threats that are more complex, more numerous and just as deadly as any I can recall in my lifetime. We face a consequential choice — and make no mistake, it is a choice.

We can choose to follow a declining path, toward a future that is dimmer and more dangerous than our past.

Or we can choose to reform our failing government, revitalize our ailing economy and renew the foundations of our power and leadership in the world.

That is what's at stake in this election.

Unfortunately, for four years, we've drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership — traditions that are truly bipartisan. We've let the challenges we face, both at home and abroad, become harder to solve.

We can't afford to stay on that course any longer.

We can't afford to cause our friends and allies — from Latin America to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, and especially in Israel, a nation under existential threat — to doubt America's leadership.

We can't afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world.

We can't afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media.

I believe we can't afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy.

Condoleezza Rice Former secretary of state

The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity or nationality or religion — it is an idea — and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn't matter where you came from but where you are going.

Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other's success. Ours has been a belief in opportunity and a constant battle — long and hard — to extend the benefits of the American dream to all — without regard to circumstances of birth.

>> Pam Bondi Florida attorney general

He talks about giving us more control over health care decisions, but instead grants that power to government bureaucrats.

He claims that government is responsible for private sector success, but the only thing he is building is bigger government. And Obamacare is Exhibit A.

<< Mike Huckabee, Former Arkansas governor

Tampa has been such a wonderful and hospitable city to us. The only hitch in an otherwise perfect week was the awful noise coming from the hotel room next door to mine. Turns out it was just Debbie Wasserman Schultz practicing her speech for the DNC in Charlotte next week. Bless her heart.

Tim Pawlenty Former Minnesota governor

You know, President Obama isn't as bad as people say, he's actually worse.

The president takes more vacations than that guy on the Bizarre Foods show.

And I'll give Barack Obama credit for creating jobs these last four years for golf caddies.

Actually, Barack Obama is the first president to create more excuses than jobs! In his view, it's George's fault. It's the bank's fault. It's Europe's fault. It's the weather's fault. It's Congress' fault. Mr. President, if you want to find fault, I suggest you look in the mirror!

I've come to realize that Barack Obama is the tattoo president. Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young.

But later on, that decision doesn't look so good, and you wonder: What was I thinking?

Rob Portman Ohio senator

My name is Rob Portman and they say I was on Gov. Romney's short list of vice presidential candidates.

Apparently, it wasn't short enough.

But it's been a great convention and I am delighted to be here tonight to talk about the fundamental differences between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama when it comes to understanding our economy.

Let's begin by talking about something the Democrats love to demonize — Mitt Romney's success in the private sector. He built a company from the ground up, created lots of jobs, and yes, he made money.

He made it the old fashioned way. … He earned it.

Then you have Barack Obama, who has never started a business — never even worked in business. And he claims those who have should give credit to the government or someone else for their success.

So, you have one candidate who understands that success comes from working hard, competing and taking risks.

And you have another candidate who believes success comes from government.

Which one do you think knows how to turn this economy around?

Rand Paul Kentucky senator

When the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the first words out of my mouth were: I still think it is unconstitutional!

The left-wing blogs were merciless. Even my wife said — can't you pleeeease count to 10 before you speak?

So, I've had time now to count to 10 and, you know what? I still think it's unconstitutional!

Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds?

I think if James Madison himself — the father of the Constitution — were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!

This debate is not new and it's not over. Hamilton and Madison fought from the beginning about how government would be limited by the enumerated powers.

Madison was unequivocal. The powers of the federal government are few and defined. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers.

So, how do we fix this travesty of justice? There's only one option left. We have to have a new president!

'Drifted from proudest traditions' 08/30/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:25am]

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