Gov. Mary Fallin took center stage Tuesday evening at the 2012 Republican National Convention with the message that the Romney-Ryan team will reverse the tide of the nation’s economic woes.
Hurricane Isaac did not dampen the enthusiasm of Republicans meeting in Tampa Bay, Fla., to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president of the United States with Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for vice president.
“They know that it’s hard-working families, not the federal bureaucracy that has built our great and glorious nation,” Fallin said in her address. “Mitt Romney is ready to lead. He has the experience, he has the vision, and we will restore America’s economy and its greatness.”
Americans can overcome current economic challenges if the federal government gets rid of the regulations choking business, Fallin said, as delegates held up signs stating, “We built it.”
The message was a sharp contrast to the words of President Barack Obama, who was quoted Tuesday repeatedly at the convention with the words, “You didn’t build that,” said Oklahoma County Commissioner Ray Vaughn, a guest at the convention.
Romney will make the U.S. stronger, not by depending on government, but by encouraging hard work and entrepreneurship, Fallin said. Romney encourages Americans to reach their potential, Fallin continued.
Oklahoma’s pioneer spirit built the state as people pursued their dreams for a better life, Fallin said.
“Eight years after the Land Run, a handful of very adventuresome pioneers risked their own money,” Fallin said. “It wasn’t the federal government’s money.”
Oklahomans risked their own money to drill Oklahoma’s first oil well, the Nellie Johnstone, marking the beginning of the state’s petroleum industry, Fallin said.
“Today, Oklahoma is one the nation’s key energy producers and job creators with an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent,” Fallin said.
News of Oklahoma City’s renaissance was shared Tuesday afternoon by Mayor Mick Cornett. Oklahoma City is recognized as the most entrepreneurial city in the U.S., with the most start-ups per capita, he said in a brief address.
“Twenty years ago we decided ‘we can do better’ and we have,” Cornett said. “Today, we have the nation’s lowest unemployment rate among large U.S. metropolitan areas. While there is a role for Washington in addressing our city’s critical infrastructure needs — we chose to invest in ourselves.”
Former Edmond Mayor Saundra Naifeh said Fallin embraced the fact that an entrepreneur spirit and can-do attitude makes a stronger nation.
“Everyone can do this if you embrace these principles,” Naifeh said. “And I think she made her statement positive, upbeat and successful.”
Oklahoma delegate Carol Hefner said Fallin electrified the packed Tampa Bay Times Forum.
“Mary did justice, I think the most perfectly crafted message of her life,” Hefner said. “Thank God she delivered it here.”
“Besides the birth of my children and the marriage of my awesome husband, this is one of those (moments),” she said. “Every second it gives me goose bumps. It’s incredible.”
Congressman James Lankford said Gov. Fallin hit her speech out of the park at the national GOP convention.
“She reminded America that Oklahoma is a state that embraces the values of hard work, dedication and entrepreneurial vision,” Lankford said. “States like Oklahoma with less bureaucratic red tape who promote values like honesty and integrity have the lowest unemployment rates in America.”
Lankford is running for re-election to Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. He will face Democrat Tom Guild in the Nov. 6 election. Independent candidates, Pat Martin of Jones and Robert Murphy of Norman, are also running for Lankford’s place in Congress.
“Gov. Fallin’s example of Harold Hamm and his colleagues in the energy industry proves how American energy production can put Americans back to work,” Lankford said. “Gov. Fallin illustrated once again that the best way to help them is for the government to set clear guidelines and get out of the way.”
THE 2012 Republican National Convention is being held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. For more information about the 2012 Republican National Convention, www.GOPConvention2012.com.