Mitt Romney accepts GOP nomination for president, addresses Convention

TAMPA -- After 17 drafts, Mitt Romney delivered a speech Thursday night, August 30th at the GOP Convention he largely wrote himself, and accepted the Republican nomination for president. It was Romney's chance to put his plan for America before the public.

With all of Wisconsin's GOP Convention moments in the books, the final night belonged to the GOP's presidential nominee -- Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

Romney delivered his big speech one day after Wisconsin's Paul Ryan formally accepted the nomination for vice president, and addressed the crowd.

One of the top people in Tampa is Kyle Downey -- a Cedarburg native who serves as the press secretary for the entire Republican National Convention. He says as Romney takes his message to the stage, the stage itself may convey a message.

"They added a section. They lowered it and they brought it out, so it'll be a much more intimate, closer connection that Mitt Romney will have with the audience in the forum," Downey said.

Downey says he doesn't feel a failure to connect has been a weakness for Romney thus far.

"Look at Barack Obama -- a very charismatic man and what has that gotten us?  Three years of failed policies. Mitt Romney by contrast has a record of success in his private life, public life and professional life, so I'll take proven success over charisma any day of the week," Downey said.

Romney made a brief appearance on the stage in the Convention hall to take a photo with his entire campaign staff and check out the podium, from which he will deliver the most important speech of his life Thursday night.

Thursday, Ryan offered a preview of Romney's theme:

"We owe the country a very clear choice.  It's not going in the right direction.  I think President Obama has offered us failed leadership. He's ducking the tough issues. He's distorting to divide the country to try to win by default and we're not going to fall for it," Ryan said.

The Wisconsin delegation was eagerly awaiting Romney's speech Thursday night -- knowing with a Wisconsinite on the ballot, there is a chance the state could go for the Republicans for the first time since Ronald Reagan.

"We have a golden opportunity with Paul Ryan on the ticket to make Wisconsin red for the first time since 1984," Brad Courtney said.

In yet another Wisconsin connection, former Milwaukee Archbishop and now Cardinal Timothy Dolan is set to deliver the final prayer to close the Republican National Convention Thursday night.

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