Md. delegates react to Romney acceptance speech appealing to disillusioned voters

Maryland delegates applaud Mitt Romney. (Capital News Service)

Maryland delegates applaud Mitt Romney. (Capital News Service)

By Carl Straumsheim

Capital News Service

TAMPA, Fla. – Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night in a speech here that scolded President Barack Obama for delivering “disappointment and division” instead of “hope and change,” and called for disillusioned voters to unite under a Republican banner of American exceptionalism.

Maryland’s delegates to the convention joined the thousands gathered in the Tampa Bay Times Forum in applauding, cheering, shouting, whistling, Tweeting and posting on Facebook as Romney spoke. Delegates reacted throughout Romney’s speech, breaking into chants and waving signs in the air.

“He knocked it out of the ballpark,” said Ellen Sauerbrey, a former member of the House of Delegates who ran twice for Maryland governor. “I think he did just what he needed to do. The emphasis on jobs, families, freedom – it was a lot of things I wanted to hear and I heard them loud and clear.”

Maryland delegation chairman Louis Pope and Mike Pappas hold the Maryland floor sign.

Maryland delegation chairman Louis Pope and Mike Pappas hold the Maryland floor sign.

Under the heading “We Believe in America,” Romney expanded upon the vision of limited government described Wednesday by his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. Romney promised tax cuts and lighter regulations for small businesses, which he praised both in personal anecdotes and policy proposals as “America’s engine of job growth.”

Ryan rougher on Obama

“It was Paul Ryan’s job to be rougher on Obama, and Romney’s job tonight was to create a vision for the future, and he laid it out in very simple terms,” said Maryland National Committeeman Louis Pope.

Thursday, Romney used the hype surrounding Obama’s candidacy in 2008 to portray himself as a pragmatic leader.

Balloons drop after Romney speech at Republican national convention.

Balloons drop after Romney speech at Republican national convention.

“You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him,” Romney said. “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

Romney devoted part of his speech to courting women voters, highlighting female Republican governors, as well as his hiring of women in the public and private sectors.

Romney’s most assertive moments came when he defended Bain Capital, the company he co-founded in 1984, as “a great American success story.” The Romney campaign initially touted it as a selling point for their candidate, but Obama and his surrogates have used Romney’s time at the company to paint him as a heartless capitalist who shuttered businesses and outsourced jobs for personal gain.

Romney pointed to Obama’s lack of private sector experience, which he called a basic qualification for the presidency.

“In America, we celebrate success. We don’t apologize for success,” Romney said.

Delegate Kelly Schulz, a Frederick County Republican, described the speech as “inspirational and motivational.”

“It’s certainly going to make people work harder in these 68 days we have left,” she said.

— CNS Staff Writer Caitlin Johnston contributed to this report.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. abby_adams

    I agree with other posters. It’s good to feel that there may be some hope on the horizon after living through a disappointing & depressing era of “Hope & Change”, Of course, for MD taxpayers the outlook here will never be bright until we can get a true two party system that will consider the ramifications of policies passed on ALL MD residents not just the special interest groups!
    While Cardin maybe a decent man, his total adherance to the progressive Dem party line leaves me cold. Dan Bongino brings some hope to those who take a moment to think abt the future direction of our country, Do we rise from the ashes like a phoenix with solid leaders, or continue down the debit path towards third world status?

  2. Bob Higginbotham

    It is all well and good to be pumped up for Romney but this Maryland and we have our own challenges. How about directing a lot of that rah rah toward replacing a do nothing lapdog like Cardin with someone of promise, Mr. Bongino. Or let’s get rid of Pelosi’s lapdog Ruppersburger with someone we do have confidence in, Nancy Jacobs. In other words, now that all you elite republicans are pumped let’s direct that energy toward bringing Maryland back into the world with responsible fiscal leadership.

  3. gail2011

    The RNC was inspiring and so good to finally hear people praising America. This is the greatest country in the world. I live in Maryland in a very mixed nieghborhood and to my surprise most black people do not know that MLK was a republican. They do not know that Jim Crowe was a demoRAT and that the demoRAT party was the party of the Klan. Many don ‘t even know the history of the demoRAT party with slavery, the KLan and Jim Crowe. I have been trying to educate them on this but I do think we all need to start to educate black America. The demoRATS have been calling everything the republicans do as racis. Well, you couldn’t have a more racis party as the demoRATS.