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Excerpts from Thursday's speeches at the RNC

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

Jeb Bush Former Florida governor

This election is about the future of this nation. We can shape that future with what we do here, with what we do Nov. 6.

We can restore America's greatness.

That starts with a strong economy, a smart energy policy, lower deficits and a president who puts America's workers and job-creators first.

But to have a great future — a secure future — a future that is equal to our potential as a nation, we need to do something else.

We must make sure that our children and grandchildren are ready for the world we are shaping today.

It starts in our homes, in our communities and especially in our schools.

As a candidate and governor, I visited over 400 schools. I saw children read their first sentences. Solve their first long-division problems. Explore the miracles of chemistry and physics. That's the essence of education — students getting a chance at a future.

There are many reasons to believe America's future is bright, but also reasons to worry.

Of 34 advanced nations in the world, American students rank 17th in science, 25th in math.

Only one-fourth of high school graduates are ready for their next steps.

China and India produce eight times more engineering students each year than the United States.

There is a moral cost to our failing schools.

We say that every child in America has an equal opportunity. Tell that to a kid in whose classroom learning isn't respected.

Tell that to a parent stuck in a school where there is no leadership. Tell that to a young, talented teacher who just got laid off because she didn't have tenure.

The sad truth is that equality of opportunity doesn't exist in many of our schools. We give some kids a chance, but not all.

That failure is the great moral and economic issue of our time. And it's hurting all of America.

I believe we can meet this challenge.

Connie Mack IV Florida U.S. rep.

Growing up, I had a plaque on my wall that read:

"Life's battles don't always go to the fastest or the strongest, sooner or later those who win are those who think they can."

We've always been a people with big dreams and limitless potential.

After all, this is America.

Our success is built on our values and our principles, but so many of them are under attack. Our commitment to freedom and liberty, and to everything that makes our country great, seems to embarrass the blame-America-first crowd.

They penalize individual achievement while praising the power of government. But they have not, cannot and will not destroy our spirit.

Callista and Newt Gingrich Former U.S. speaker

Reagan's belief in small business owners and entrepreneurs is a remarkable contrast with Obama's class warfare rhetoric, massive deficits and a passion for taxing those who create jobs. The Romney plan for a stronger middle class has deep roots in Reagan's approach.

Reagan's commitment to reform welfare and to create a work requirement was a major achievement when he was governor of California. His pioneering work led to the historic welfare reform bill Congress and the president passed 30 years later. This bipartisan legislation reduced the size of government, made our country more competitive and put millions of Americans back to work.

Tragically, President Obama gutted this achievement.

Marco Rubio Florida senator

Our problem with President Obama isn't that he's a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, and a good father … and thanks to lots of practice, a pretty good golfer. Our problem is he's a bad president.

The new slogan for the president's campaign is "Forward".

A government that spends $1 trillion more than it takes in.

An $800 billion stimulus that created more debt than jobs.

A government intervention into health care paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare.

Scores of new rules and regulations.

These ideas don't move us "Forward", they take us "Backward."

These are old, big government ideas.

Ideas that people come to America to get away from.

Ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the world become more like America.

Under Barack Obama, the only "Change" is that "Hope" has been hard to find.

Now millions of Americans are insecure about their future. But instead of inspiring us by reminding us of what makes us special, he divides us against each other.

He tells Americans they're worse off because others are better off. That people got rich by making others poor.

Hope and Change has become Divide and Conquer.

No matter how you feel about President Obama, this election is about your future, not his. And it's not simply a choice between a Democrat and a Republican.

It's a choice about what kind of country we want America to be.

Kerry Healey Former lt. gov., Massachusetts

Mitt was always a hands-on leader. When one of Boston's tunnels collapsed, tragically killing a passenger in her car, Mitt didn't blame others. He dove in and fixed the problem.

Mitt immersed himself in the engineering challenges, personally oversaw safety inspections, abolished cronyism and corruption, and restored public confidence.

That's the Mitt Romney I know.

And he is ready to bring that same work ethic, vision and integrity to the White House.

Mike Eruzione U.S. Olympian

It has been over 10 years, so many of you may have forgotten, but in 2002, due to bribery scandals and mismanagement, the Olympics — not just those Games — but the Olympics as an institution were threatened.

Thankfully, Mitt Romney was there, to salvage a desperate situation.

Mitt's leadership not only turned around those Games by solving the operational and financial problems, but he did something deeper — he drew a line in the sand and said that the 2002 Games would have the highest standards of ethics and integrity.

He put Olympians — the athletes — and the ideals of the Olympics back at the center of the Games.

Clint Eastwood Actor

It was dark, and outdoors it was nice, people were lighting candles.

I just thought this is great. Everybody's crying, Oprah was crying, I was even crying...

I haven't cried that hard since I found out that there's 23 million unemployed people in this country. That is something to cry for because that is a disgrace, a national disgrace.

Excerpts from Thursday's speeches at the RNC 08/30/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:38pm]
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