Republicans attending the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., plan on making political waves of their own as Tropical Storm Isaac reaches hurricane proportions this week heading toward New Orleans and the Florida panhandle.
“It’s extremely important for the Republican Party and for the country for this to be a successful convention, because we are facing one of the most important elections in a generation,” Gov. Mary Fallin said Monday. “President Obama is driving this country in the wrong direction with reckless spending, over-regulation and job-killing tax hikes.”
Fallin is set to make a keynote address Tuesday between 7-8 p.m. CST at the GOP convention, said Alex Weintz, communications director.
“We think it’s going to be at 7:20 p.m., but that could change if the program runs short or long,” Weintz said. “I don’t expect it to be on network television but I think it will be on cable, like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.”
The GOP convention is scheduled to run through Thursday with the presidential nomination of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan filling the vice presidential slot.
“Some of the things I plan to talk about are the Oklahoma pioneer spirit, and the innovation and hard work that has brought success to countless families and businesses in our state,” Fallin said. “President Obama says that ‘we didn’t build this.’ He believes that government, not individuals, produce success and prosperity. The pioneers who settled Oklahoma, the wildcatters searching for and finding oil and the countless entrepreneurs across dozens of industries in our state know that’s not true.”
Fallin will use a well-known Oklahoman to make her case, Weintz said. Under Fallin’s leadership, Oklahoma has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 4.7 percent, a full 3.6 percent below the national average.
“We need new leadership so we can reverse the damage this administration has done and get American families back to work,” Fallin continued. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are ready to provide that leadership, and the GOP Convention is a great opportunity to showcase their positive agenda to the entire country.
Fallin said she will contrast the success and vision of Oklahomans with the bureaucracy and government handouts that Obama champions.
Oklahoma City Mayor Cornett is also scheduled to address the convention. Cornett serves as president of Republican Mayors and Local Officials, the national organization representing Republican mayors.
“Though I have respect for anyone willing to serve, including our current president, I believe Oklahoma’s interests would best be served by a Romney/Ryan administration,” Cornett said. “This election represents a critical opportunity to return our nation to economic and financial stability, and that’s why I am proud to have the opportunity to address the Republican Convention as it nominates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.”
This is the first GOP convention for Edmond resident Polly Hawkes to attend. Hawkes is the state treasurer of the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women.
“Even though Hurricane Isaac did defeat us today, I am very happy to be here and we’re having a lot of fun,” Hawkes said. “I’m hoping that Mitt Romney gets an easy, easy time to get nominated for president. … He needs to be our leader.”
Significant flooding will be possible as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the northern Gulf late Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Storm surge and inland flooding are expected in the immediate coast and in combination with high tide.
THE 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. For more information about the 2012 Republican National Convention, www.GOPConvention2012.com.
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