September 3rd, 2008
10:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Begala: 'What happened to Mitt?'

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at the RNC earlier this evening.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at the RNC earlier this evening.

What's happened to Mitt Romney? He was a pretty strong campaigner, but at the convention he fell into self-parody.

A guy from Massachusetts who's worth $500 million, whose father was the president of American Motors, the governor of Michigan and a cabinet secretary - he's criticizing the "Eastern elite"?

Who is he kidding? Again and again he spat out the word "liberal." I was waiting for him to attack the pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, pro-universal health care liberal governor of Massachusetts - Mitt Romney.

I suppose Mitt has decided to rise above principle. Did you notice he never once uttered the word, "Bush."

September 3rd, 2008
10:06 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: The era of the conservative bloody shirt draws to a close

ST. PAUL (CNN) - The question most viewers probably have on the next speaker, Rudy Giuliani, is How many times will he mention 9/11 in his speech tonight?

You know, there’s a phrase for what’s happening in this Republican convention: waving the bloody shirt. For decades after the Civil War, Republicans would win by “waving the bloody shirt” – calling on voters to remember the Union cause for which we sacrificed, and so many died.

After a few decades, it didn’t work anymore

We may be at that point now for the conservative bloody shirt.

The GOP needs to raise the excitement level among the party’s base. The problem is, it’s hard to rally the base without other people noticing. This is “us versus them” politics, portraying Democrats and liberals as somehow alien.

September 3rd, 2008
10:03 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Huckabee strikes roughly the right note

Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke at the RNC earlier this evening.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke at the RNC earlier this evening.

ST PAUL (CNN) - Mike Huckabee’s is the first speech so far that really seems to understand the voters’ point of view.

People are hurting economically, and looking for real change. And he’s a good man to deliver that message - Republicans always do best with candidates not born to wealth and privilege, like Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan.

Huckabee also hits the right notes for this crowd: To these delegates, Europe = socialism.

A good line from Huckabee, if it’s true: Sarah Palin got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden did for President of the United States. Then again, he was only an active candidate in one state – a caucus state, Iowa. And he’s a sitting senator, who drew many times that number of votes in his last statewide election.

There was a touch of authentic populism there in Huckabee’s speech – but I’m still waiting to hear talk about what they’re going to do about the economy. That’s what voters want to hear.

Still very little about George Bush.

September 3rd, 2008
09:58 PM ET
6 years ago

Rudy Giuliani's prepared convention remarks

CNN

Watch: Rudy Giuliani says McCain is 'a true american here'.

FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: Almost exactly one year ago during a Republican presidential debate in Durham, New Hampshire, I said that if I weren't running for President myself, I'd be supporting John McCain. Well, I'm not, and I do.

Every four years, we are told that this Presidential election is the most important election of our lifetime. This year – 2008 – IS the most important.

This has already been historic. It is the longest Presidential campaign in history. And it sometimes felt even longer.

The American people realize this election represents a turning point. In two months they will decide the future direction of our nation. It's a decision to follow one path or another.

‘We the people' – the citizens of the United States – get to decide our next president...not the media, not Hollywood celebrities, not anyone else.

FULL POST

September 3rd, 2008
09:56 PM ET
3 years ago

Palin sister tells CNN how she found out

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

(CNN) - It was 5:30 a.m. last Friday when Heather Bruce, sister of newly minted VP candidate Sarah Palin, got a call telling her to turn on the television.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Kyra Phillips Wednesday night, Bruce said the call was from another one of her sisters, Molly, who said she couldn't believe what was going on.|

News channels were reporting Sarah Palin, their sister, was likely John McCain's choice for his running mate.

"I stayed on the phone with Molly for several minutes," Bruce told CNN. "I said this can't be happening. When did this happen? Nobody told us anything. I'd heard rumors for months kind of floating in the breeze. But nothing was ever really confirmed to us ever."


Filed under: John McCain • John McCcain • Sarah Palin
September 3rd, 2008
09:56 PM ET
6 years ago

Chants of 'zero'

Chants of "zero" are filling the Xcel Center as Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle asks how much executive experience Barack Obama has.

September 3rd, 2008
09:43 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: When in doubt, blame the media

At the 1964 RNC, former President Eisenhower criticized “sensation-seeking columnists and commentators.
At the 1964 RNC, former President Eisenhower criticized “sensation-seeking columnists and commentators.

ST. PAUL (CNN) – The media attack animating this convention isn’t a new one – it goes back decades, to 1964. It was first heard at the Republican convention in San Francisco, when former President Dwight Eisenhower got up and criticized “sensation-seeking columnists and commentators.”

The roar from the crowd surprised even him. There was nearly a riot, as delegates shook their fists at the anchor boxes. From Goldwater on, press bashing has been a winning issue for Republican candidates courting the base.

September 3rd, 2008
09:39 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: The crowd loved Romney's speech – will the country?

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Here’s another blast from the past: We have not heard Al Gore-bashing in recent years. And an update for this cycle: a dig at Michelle Obama

This is a very tough, nasty speech. This is a red-meat speech if there ever was one. Not at all in the spirit of unity and bipartisanship that McCain espouses.

Somehow, that cry of “USA! USA!” coming from the crowd tonight sounds divisive and ugly. Romney gave the crowd extreme partisanship – it’s what they wanted, but I’m not sure that’s going to work for reaching the country right now. People want to hear unity – that’s the basis of McCain’s appeal.

September 3rd, 2008
09:17 PM ET
6 years ago

Prepared remarks by Mike Huckabee

CNN

Watch: Mike Huckabee takes on Obama in his convention speech.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE: As much as I appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight, I really was originally hoping for the slot on Thursday called the acceptance speech. But I am delighted to speak on behalf of my 2nd choice for the Republican nomination for President, John McCain - a man with the character and stubborn kind of integrity that I want in a President.

I grew up at a time and in a place where the civil rights movement was fought. I witnessed first hand the shameful evil of racism. I saw how ignorance and prejudice caused people to do the unthinkable to people of color not so many years ago.

So, I say with sincerity that I have great respect for Senator Obama's historic achievement to become his party's nominee - not because of his color, but with indifference to it. Party or politics aside, we celebrate this milestone because it elevates our country.

Watch: Huckabee says Americans want less government

But the Presidency is not a symbolic job, and I don't believe his preparation or his plans will lift America up.

Obama was right when he said this election is not about him, it's about YOU.

FULL POST

September 3rd, 2008
09:15 PM ET
6 years ago

New buttons on the convention floor

Various playful buttons have been spotted at the RNC.
Various playful buttons have been spotted at the RNC.

Two new buttons have appeared on the floor:

One says "Super Huck" and has a picture of former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee dressed as superman.

The other is a toast to Sarah Palin – it's a white button with a big pink heart surrounding her name.

UPDATE: Another new button spoted:

"The hottest VP from the coolest state"

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