Liveblogging the final night of the Republican National Convention

Thanks for joining Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson, Associate Editor Barry Smith, and potentially others as we comment on the final night of the Tampa convention.


As always, any opinions belong to the writer. Have fun!


Becki Gray - 11:24 PM

If the Romney/Ryan crew can keep up with all those children chasing after balloons, they can turn this country around in no time!

Rick Henderson - 11:19 PM

AAAnnnnd, we’re out.


Be sure to join us next week as we cover the Democratic National Convention from Charlotte. We’ll have daily news stories and commentary, liveblogs of the key events, and plenty of videos and photos of the goings-on.



Rick Henderson - 11:16 PM

Kids and grandkids on stage playing with balloons as the RNC prepares to wind down. The young’uns are enjoying themselves.

Barry Smith - 11:15 PM

Ryan joins Romney on stage. I see they’re not comparing iPod playlists.

Rick Henderson - 11:15 PM

Romney closes speech by promising a better future. Combination of optimism, resolve, and energy.

Ryan joins him on stage.

And the balloons drop!

Becki Gray - 11:14 PM

Romney promises A military so strong no nation would ever dare to test it.

Let us begin that future of America tonight.

The crowd goes wild.

Barry Smith - 11:14 PM

Romney pushes for “that America” a “united America.”

Barry Smith - 11:10 PM

Romney gives credit to Obama for giving the order to take out bin Laden.

Rick Henderson - 11:10 PM

Romney: We’re still talking to Iran and their centrifuges are still spinning. Hits Obama on axing missile defense in Poland and promising to be “flexible” with Putin. Zing.

Barry Smith - 11:09 PM

Romney digs at Obama promises, then says, “My promise is  to help you and your family.”

Becki Gray - 11:08 PM


Obama promise: Stop the oceans and heal the planet

My promise: help you and your family

Rick Henderson - 11:08 PM

Romney: Obama promised to slow rising oceans and heal the planet. I promise to help you and your family.

Rick Henderson - 11:07 PM

Romney: Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.


I will honor life and protect sanctity of marriage. Protect freedom of religion.

Rick Henderson - 11:06 PM

Romney: Repeal and replace Obamacare.

Barry Smith - 11:05 PM

Romney says he has a plan to create 12 million new jobs. That’s a bold statement. Can he deliver?

Rick Henderson - 11:04 PM

Romney: When it comes to schools, every parent should have a choice and every child should have a chance.

Rick Henderson - 11:03 PM

Romney’s tone is one of disappointment. Effective delivery.

Rick Henderson - 11:02 PM

Romney: His plan to raise taxes won’t create jobs, it would eliminate them.

Barry Smith - 11:01 PM

Romney is sounding Reaganesque: This president cannot tell us that you’re better off today than you were four years ago.

Rick Henderson - 11:00 PM

Romney: This president can tell you that the next four years, he’ll get it right. But he can’t tell you you’re better off than you were when he took office.

Becki Gray - 10:59 PM

How many days have you woken up and felt excitement of something good happening?  Shouldn’t you feel like that now?  The president has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America.

Started Bain Capital with 10 people. Staples, Bright Horizons, Sports Authority were helped by Bain.


Rick Henderson - 10:59 PM

Romney: Steve Jobs was fired at Apple and came back and changed the world. Success requires the possibility of failure.

Barry Smith - 10:58 PM

Romney is going after ’08 Obama voters. He started out making mostly subtle criticisms of his opponents, then shifted to more direct hits.

Rick Henderson - 10:57 PM

Romney: You know there’s something wrong with the job Obama’s done….when your best feeling was on the day you voted for him.

Rick Henderson - 10:55 PM

Romney: The president hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to. He entered the presidency without the most basic experience in business. He thinks jobs is all about the government.


Becki Gray - 10:50 PM

Romney: When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.

Talks about his dad, governor of Michigan. His folks gave them unconditional love. Married 64 years.  Everyday, his dad gave her a rose.  She asked, “Why should women have any less of say about the great issues facing our nation?”  Romney has chosen women for cabinet and business positions.

Barry Smith - 10:44 PM

Romney: “I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.”

Rick Henderson - 10:43 PM

Romney: I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.

Becki Gray - 10:41 PM

Rubio: To he who much is given, much is expected.

We live in a troubled time. Life in America can be better than it has ever been.

His mother was one of seven girls. She and his dad, a bartender never made it big but they were successful – because they made things possible for their children.

Rick Henderson - 10:40 PM

Romney: Four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, more Americans doubt they will deliver a better future to their children.

Rick Henderson - 10:40 PM

Romney: We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.

Rick Henderson - 10:37 PM

Romney looks like he’s tearing up a little.

Rick Henderson - 10:36 PM

Romney at the podium. Loud cheers.

Rick Henderson - 10:33 PM

Romney gets a hug from Orrin Hatch.

Rick Henderson - 10:33 PM

Romney works the crowd as he approaches the stage.

Rick Henderson - 10:30 PM

Rubio personalizing story of the American Dream, though saying, that’s not my story, that’s your story. It’s the story of everyday people who did extraordinary things.


Rick Henderson - 10:23 PM

Rubio: America was founded on the principle that every person had God-given rights. On the belief that power belongs to the people … we should be free to go as far as our talent and our work takes us.

Rick Henderson - 10:22 PM

Rubio: Under Obama, hope and change has become divide and conquer.

Barry Smith - 10:22 PM

Rubio cracks on Obama’s “Forward” campaign theme. He says Obama’s policies have moved us backward… “Hope and change has become divide and conquer.”

Rick Henderson - 10:20 PM

Obama’s ideas are the ideas people come to America to get away from …

Rick Henderson - 10:20 PM

Rubio: Obama is a good husband, a good father, a good golfer — thanks to lots of practice. But he’s a bad president.

Rick Henderson - 10:14 PM

Now, the non-mystery speaker: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Barry Smith - 10:13 PM

Eastwood: “Politicians are employees of ours… When somebody does not do the job, we’ve got to let them go.”

Rick Henderson - 10:12 PM

“When someone isn’t doing the job, we let ’em go.”

Rick Henderson - 10:12 PM

Eastwood: “We own this country … Politicians are employees of ours.”

Rick Henderson - 10:08 PM

Eastwood addressing an empty chair as Obama. Odd, but possibly effectively.

Barry Smith - 10:07 PM

Clint Eastwood, the comedian.

Becki Gray - 10:07 PM

Source from the floor of the convention reports Clint Eastwood is not on tele-prompter; speaking from the heart or memory. Or both.

Rick Henderson - 10:06 PM

“23 million unemployed people in America is a disgrace. “

Rick Henderson - 10:04 PM

Crowd chants “make my day!” and Eastwood says, “Save some for Mitt.”

Becki Gray - 10:03 PM

And the mystery guest is…Clint Eastwood.

Rick Henderson - 10:03 PM

Our surprise (not any more) speaker: Clint Eastwood —

Rick Henderson - 10:02 PM

Very effective biographic video of Romney.

Rick Henderson - 9:51 PM

GE Smith’s band rockin’ “Get Ready.” … for whom?

Becki Gray - 9:48 PM

Derek Parra’s powerful remarks about 9/11 flag at 2002 Olympics in Utah bring tears and chants of U.S.A. to crowds.  Another endorsement of Romney’s leadership.


Barry Smith - 9:47 PM

Olympian Derek Parra bears his heart as he tells of a touching 2002 Salt Lake City moment. Olympians offer praise for Mitt Romney’s efforts to save the 2002 Games.

Rick Henderson - 9:45 PM

Derek Parra, 2002 champion, tears up as he describes carrying the U.S. flag from the World Trade Center along with seven other athletes at the opening ceremony of the Winter Games.

Rick Henderson - 9:39 PM

Mike Eruzione offers a rousing defense of Romney’s leadership.

Rick Henderson - 9:35 PM

Mike Eruzione of the “miracle on ice,” just entered to chants of USA!, so these are not just competitors from 2002 games.

Rick Henderson - 9:34 PM

Scott Hamilton gets a huge round of applause.

Rick Henderson - 9:33 PM

Now, a group of Olympic champions from the 2002 Winter Games are on the stage to support Romney.

Rick Henderson - 9:15 PM

Former Mass. Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey now describes how she helped convince Romney to return to Mass. after the Olympics to run for governor.

Rick Henderson - 9:12 PM

Fernandez: My life is better today because of Bain Capital.

Rick Henderson - 9:10 PM

Ray Fernandez, owner of a Florida pharmacy, now on stage explaining Bain Capital’s role in his company.


He speaks of his family who emigrated from Cuba, “where government owns everything and nothing works.”

Becki Gray - 9:06 PM

Staples CEO did build his business.  Others just don’t get it. Bright Horizons Daycare – 5 years w/o a profit – but Mitt and Bain stuck with it to provide childcare – today employs over 19,000 people. Steel Dynamics employs 6,000 people – another company Bain helped.

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