Romney to Say Obama Promises ‘Gave Way to Disappointment’

Mitt Romney will say the excitement among Americans when Barack Obama won the presidency almost four years ago has given way to “disappointment and division.”

“Tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama?” Romney will ask delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, as he accepts his party’s presidential nomination in a speech shortly after 10 p.m. local time, according to excerpts released by his campaign.

“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 will say as he makes the case for his own candidacy.

The “hope and change” Obama promised and Americans voted for was supposed to usher in a time when the nation would pay down debt, families could get ahead and companies would add workers, Romney says in the speech. He is to be introduced by Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

“I wish president Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed,” Romney says. “Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.”

Jobs Focus

Zeroing in on his economic message, he will say that what the nation needs “is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs. What America needs is jobs. Lots of jobs.”

Playing off a line from a speech Obama gave during his 2008 campaign, Romney says: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

Romney is under pressure in his speech to show undecided voters more personality and emotion and connect with the public, even as fiscal conservatives in his own party say he must better define his plans for reining in the federal budget deficit and improving the economy.

Romney will speak of his parents and the family he and his wife have sought to raise.

‘Loving Hearts’

“Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren,” Romney will say. “All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers.”

In an effort to close the gender gap -- Obama’s lead over him among female votes in polls -- Romney talks of the women he has worked with and relied on over the course of his career.

“As governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman lieutenant governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies,” he will say.

Romney, who failed in his bid for the party’s 2008 nomination, will be more open about his Mormon faith.

He will say that early in his marriage, he and his wife “found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church.”

Before Romney takes the stage, members of his church are to tell the convention how Romney helped support them during trying times. As a Mormon bishop, Romney counseled many congregants on their toughest decisions, from weighing whether to have an abortion to counseling parents with dying children.

Bain Capital

Part of tonight’s agenda will spotlight Romney’s career in the private sector, including his time as head of Boston-based private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC, with a film about Indiana- based Steel Dynamics, a Bain investment.

Romney will broach Bain in his speech, according to the excerpts.

“That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story,” he will say. “Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples -- where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons.”

Obama and allied political action committees have attacked Romney over his work at Bain, linking him to job layoffs and outsourcing by companies that the firm invested in.

New Website

Romney’s campaign unveiled a website today, SterlingBusinessCareer.com, designed to paint a positive picture of his business experience. The site features testimonials from former executives of Staples Inc. and Brookstone Inc., among other companies.

Tonight’s speakers also will tout Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts and former Olympians will highlight his role overseeing the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Romney and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, will campaign together tomorrow, with appearances in Florida and Virginia, two of the election’s most crucial swing states.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lisa Lerer in Tampa, Florida, at llerer@bloomberg.net Catherine Dodge in Tampa, Florida at cdodge1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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