_TAMPA, Fla. —_ Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night in front of a thunderous crowd of Republican delegates at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and thousands watching across the U.S., forging ahead in a campaign largely centered on preserving the vision of America for future generations of young citizens.
The same day, his campaign pledged to funnel resources to Michigan during the next three months, vowing to continue fighting for the state until the bitter end on Nov. 6.
The former Massachusetts governor easily secured his party’s official nomination on Tuesday — one of the first events to happen at the convention after the first day effectively was canceled under threat of a hurricane forecasted to slam Florida’s west coast.
The storm instead veered to the west and made landfall near New Orleans, and by Thursday the focus solely was on beating Obama in the final stretch. Romney and his Republican backers used the national spotlight to try and drive home a single message: the government is failing and will for generations if the incumbent stays in office and his policies stay in effect.
“To the majority of Americans who believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can tell you this: If President Obama is elected, you’ll be right,” Romney said during his speech.
Earlier on Thursday, a top Romney official pledged to "focus on Michigan":http://statenews.com/index.php/article/2012/08/2012_political_focus_turns_to_michigan_0829 during the next three months in hopes of tipping the deadlocked race in his favor.
Speaking exclusively to Michigan delegates at a breakfast event, Deputy Campaign Manager Katie Packer Gage vowed they would donate a significant amount of resources to seize Romney’s home state, promising never to abandon the state like U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., did in 2008.
“This campaign will never pull out of Michigan,” Gage said, met with wild applause from the delegates.
Although it is possible to win the election without the state’s 16 electoral votes, Gage said, Michigan is among five swing states — the others being Ohio, Florida, Colorado or Virginia.
Romney must win at least one of to get the necessary 270 electoral votes, she said.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, an MSU alumnus, also gave a pitch to party leaders on Romney’s behalf, speaking of the need to protect the future of government for his own three children.
Calley praised the Ryan pick as a promise to reduce the debt, as he said Michigan has under Gov. Rick Snyder. Calley predicted that Obama could not win without taking Michigan.
“We know that it’s possible to keep that promise to the next generation,” he said. “We have a road to the White House right through Michigan.”
A new poll released on Thursday by Lansing-based firm EPIC-MRA shows Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 46 percent in Michigan. Data for the poll, which has a 2.6 percent margin of error, was collected before Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney spoke on Tuesday evening and prior to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday evening.
“It gives us an idea where things are before Romney makes his speech. We were at six points, now it’s three. It’s tightening up,” EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday. “It could be even after Romney’s speech tonight.”
Tuesday night headlined first with Ann Romney’s address, where she talked about womanhood framed in the story of their 43-year marriage — a move many experts thought to close the gender gap and change the perception that Mitt Romney is distant and out of touch.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie followed, preaching the party’s need to call out the failures of Democratic leaders while only briefly touching on Romney himself.
Then, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., "accepted his nomination Wednesday night":http://statenews.com/index.php/article/2012/08/ryan_takes_center_stage, preaching fiscal responsibility and preserving protections like Medicaid.
Although the 42-year-old leader of the House Budget Committee successfully riled Republicans, many fact-checking organizations said Thursday the speech included blatant mischaracterizations, particularly an anecdote where he blamed Obama for shutting down a General Motors Co. plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis.
In his speech, Romney added to the message, promising to rebound the economy and create 12 million new jobs.
“This president can tell us that the next four years can get it right,” Romney said, “but this president cannot tell us you’re better off today than when he took office.”
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