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Capital Tonight Aug. 30: RNC Day 4, Rudy Giuliani

On the 7 p.m. edition of Capital Tonight: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani talks with Tim Boyum ahead of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.

Capital Tonight Aug. 29: RNC Day 3 recap

On the 11:30 edition of Capital Tonight: We recap the speeches, including GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan. Senior Political Reporter Loretta Boniti talks with young Republicans from North Carolina and Reporter Brad Broders takes a look at delegate fashion on the convention floor in Tampa, Fla.

Former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee: Common goal united former rivals

Here are his remarks:

I was so very honored to be asked to address one of this week’s themes, "We can do better."

Then, I heard some folks backstage say that after hearing me speak, the delegates will say, "We sure can do better than Huckabee" and will nominate Mitt Romney to be the next President of the United States.

Tampa has been such a wonderful and hospitable city to us. The only hitch in an otherwise perfect week was the awful noise coming from the hotel room next door to mine. Turns out it was just Debbie Wasserman Schultz practicing her speech for the DNC in Charlotte next week. Bless her heart.

Four years ago, Mitt Romney and I were opponents. We still are, but we’re not opposing each other.

We are mutual opponents of the miserably failed experiments that have put this country in a downward spiral.

Our country was in its origin an experiment, but an experiment in recognizing God-given individual liberty and creating a government in which no one is deemed better than another and all of us are equal.

Not equal in abilities, but in intrinsic worth and value. It is the essence of not just who we are, but what we are.

To those who question how once rivals can now be united, it’s simple – we have Barack Obama to thank.

He said, "You didn’t build it."

Translation: "It doesn’t rightly belong to you!"

No small differences among us in our party approximate the vast differences between the liberty-limiting, radical left-wing, anti-business, reckless-spending, tax-hiking party of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, versus an energized America who knows that we can do better.

For four years, we’ve given a chance to a man with very limited experience in governing, no experience in business whatsoever, and since taking office, mostly an interest in campaigning, blaming, and aiming excuses at his predecessor, the Republicans, and people in business, or as Republicans like to call them, employers.

We’ve stagnated into an economy that has taken all that hope "down the slope" and left millions without jobs, forced out of their homes by foreclosure, and herded into dependency upon a government that promises us candy and gives us cavities.

Barack Obama seems intent on enrolling more people on food stamps. Mitt Romney’s focus will be on generating more jobs that would make food stamps unnecessary for them.

We know full well that we can do better.

Mitt Romney turned around companies that were on the skids; turned around a scandal ridden Olympics that was deep in the red into a high point of profitable and patriotic pride; and turned around a very liberal state by erasing a deficit and replacing it with a surplus.

Barack Obama said if he couldn’t turn things around in three years, it would be a one-term proposition. It’s been almost four … let’s make him a proposition he can’t refuse.

Let’s vote him out!

The job of President is admittedly tougher than running a company, Olympic contest, or a commonwealth, but when one sees what even Bill Clinton noted was a sterling record of problem-solving that has marked the life of Mitt Romney, we are confident we WILL do better.

Mitt has been loyal to his wife, his sons, his country, his employees, and his church.

I’m sure the press will tell you he isn’t perfect.

But for the past four years, we’ve tried the one the press thought was perfect, and that hasn’t worked out so well for us.

We can do better!

The Founding Fathers of our great nation left taxation and tyranny seeking religious liberty and a society of meritocracy rather than aristocracy. They created a bold experiment in government, believing God gave us unalienable rights, and government’s role is simply to make sure they are protected.

So fearful were they that government would grow beyond their intention that even after crafting our magnificent Constitution, they said, "We can do even better." They added amendments that we call the Bill of Rights that limit what the government can do and guarantee what "We the people" have the unimpeded right to do – whether to speak, assemble, worship, pray, publish, or even refuse intrusions into our homes.

Many of them died to pass on that heritage. They had lived under the boot of big government and said, "We can do better."

As a kid growing up in a household with a dad who never finished high school and a family in which no male upstream from me had ever finished high school, much less gone to college, I was taught that there was nothing I could do about what was behind me, but could change everything about what was in front of me.

My working-poor parents told me I could do better. They taught me that I was as good as anyone else. It never occurred to them to tell me that I could rest comfortably and wait for Uncle Sugar to feed me, lead me, and then bleed me.

They told me to get off my backside, work hard, take risks, and treat people honestly and honorably. And look what’s happened – I have become as the press label me, "a failed candidate."

It’s true; I have fallen from the high perch of politics and now wallow in the mud of the media, but I still know that as a country, we can do better, and with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, we will.

Let me clear the air about whether guys like me would only support an evangelical. Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition of marriage, believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and tells people of faith that they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care.

Friends, I know we can do better!

The attack on my Catholic brothers and sisters is an attack on me. The Democrats have brought back the old dance the "Limbo" to see how low they can go in attempting to limit our ability to practice our faith.

This isn’t a battle about contraceptives and Catholics, but of conscience and the Creator.

I care far less as to where Mitt Romney takes his family to church than I do about where he takes this country. Joe Biden said, "Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value." Well, in the Senate, Joe’s party hasn’t produced a budget in three years.

What does that say about their values?

Speaking of budgets, Joe Biden’s budget shows that while he wants to be generous with your money through higher taxes and government spending, for years he gave less than two-tenths of 1 percent of his money to charity.

He just wants you to give the government more so he and the Democrats can feel better about themselves. Mitt Romney has given over 16% of his income to his church and charity, and I’d feel better about having a leader who gives more of his own money instead of mine.

My concern is not Barack Obama’s past; my concern is for the future – not his future, but the future of my grandchildren.

And under this President, we burdened each of them with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and a system that will collapse upon itself because he thinks we can prosper by punishing productivity and rewarding reckless irresponsibility.

The Democrats say we ought to give Barack Obama credit for trying. That sounds like the nonsense of giving every kid a trophy for showing up.

Friends, we’re talking about leading the country, not playing on a third-grade soccer team!

I realize this is the man who got a Nobel Peace Prize for what he would potentially do, but in the real world, you get the prize for producing something, not just promising it.

Sometimes, we’re so close to the picture, we can’t really see it clearly. I’ve worked with Bono for the past few years in the ONE campaign to fight AIDS and hunger and disease around the world.

He’s an Irishman and a great humanitarian who told me of his admiration for America. He said we’re more than a country; we’re an idea.

He reminded me that we are an exceptional nation with an extraordinary history who owes it to the generations coming after us to leave them an extraordinary legacy.

If we don’t change the direction of our nation now, our bequest will be nothing but an extraordinary shame.

But we can do better.

President Obama is out of gas; Americans are out of patience, and our great Republic is almost out of time. It’s time we no longer lead from behind, but get off our behinds and leave something lasting for those who come after us instead of a mountain of debt and a pile of excuses.

Tonight, it’s not because we’re Republicans; it’s because we’re Americans that we proudly stand with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to say we will do better!

Former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty: Obama is the ‘tattoo president’

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had harsh words for President Obama during his speech Wednesday at the Republican National Convention. He said Obama is like a tattoo – it sounds like a good idea at first but then the decision doesn’t seem so good.

Here are his remarks:

Thank you. Thank you very much. Good evening everyone, and welcome to Barack Obama’s retirement party!

Four years ago, we came together for this convention back in my home state of Minnesota, and a lot’s happened since then.

We’ve had four years of Barack Obama in the White House.

Ah, the Obama White House, one bad decision follows another. Hard to say exactly just what his worst mistake has been. There’s so many to choose from: The stimulus. His energy policy. Obamacare. Taxes. Joe Biden.

I hear Joe’s particularly interested in tonight’s proceedings. He even thought about coming here to Tampa. And he’s taking notes because when Paul Ryan speaks, Joe will finally get to hear what a real vice president sounds like!

But you know, President Obama isn’t as bad as people say, he’s actually worse.

The president takes more vacations than that guy on the Bizarre Foods show.

And I’ll give Barack Obama credit for creating jobs these last four years for golf caddies.

Actually, Barack Obama is the first president to create more excuses than jobs! In his view, it’s George’s fault. It’s the bank’s fault. It’s Europe’s fault. It’s the weather’s fault. It’s Congress’ fault. Mr. President, if you want to find fault, I suggest you look in the mirror!

I’ve come to realize that Barack Obama is the tattoo president. Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young.

But later on, that decision doesn’t look so good, and you wonder: what was I thinking?

But the worst part is you’re still going to have to explain it to your kids.

Next week, Barack Obama will plead with America to give his failed ideas another chance. He’s asking Americans to give him more time and more money.

Well sorry, Mr. President, but you’re out of time, and we’re out of money.

Barack Obama’s failed us. But look, it’s understandable. A lot of people fail at their first job.

Now, our opponents claim to be the party of the middle class. But Democrats don’t understand this fundamental point: it’s really hard for people to be part of the middle class if they don’t have a job!

I know a bit about these things. I grew up in a meatpacking town.

For much of his life, my dad was a truck driver. My mom was a homemaker. She died when I was 16, and my dad lost his job not long after that. And I was the only one of the five kids in our family who had a chance to go to college.

When I traveled the country these past few years, I met Americans from all different walks of life.

If you ask middle-class Americans about their hopes and dreams, they’ll share their heart, but also their concerns.

Can they pay the mortgage? Will they have enough money to buy groceries, or gas for the car? Will they be able to get their kids into college or pay the tuition?

But jobs don’t come from politicians. They come from entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators and risk-takers.

America’s entrepreneurs know taxes are too high, and regulations are too costly and complex. Obamacare frightens them. And they want more American energy.

And they’re collectively making one common plea. They’re saying: I want to grow my business and employ people, but they’re also saying this: Just get the government off my back!

We need to let them know help’s on the way, and help’s name is Mitt Romney.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have the best candidate. This isn’t his first job, or the first time he’s been a leader who has produced results.

He made a success of failing companies. He made a success of the Olympics. He even made government in Massachusetts more effective and efficient.

And now he’s ready to help get America back on track and Americans back to work. He has a plan to strengthen and grow America’s middle class with lower taxes; a government that works for the American people instead of dashing their hopes and dreams; lower energy prices; and greater access to a quality education for all.

There’s one other thing I want to leave you with tonight. It’s important for America to know that Mitt Romney is not only a great leader, he’s also a remarkable person. He’s smart, gracious and wise. And he has this infectious good cheer about him – something I appreciate and something America needs.

Mitt Romney never quits moving. When he sees a problem, he goes after it and finds the solution.

It’s that can-do spirit, combined with a lifetime of service and success that convinced me to support him. And it’s that can-do spirit that we need in the White House, leading America now.

As a former governor, I know that leadership takes optimism, but not blind optimism.

We need a leader who understands the depth of our challenges, but who also doesn’t shy away from them.

Mitt Romney knows what our problems are, and he has the tools, the experience, the energy and the right polices to fix them.

After four years of this president, we need Mitt Romney now, more than ever.

I’m proud to be supporting him for president of the United States, and I know you are too.

And with any luck, in a few months, Barack Obama will at last get some experience in the private sector.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Sen. John McCain: People don’t want less of America

Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential candidate in 2008, took a different tone than other Republican leaders by focusing on foreign affairs and military spending cuts.

Here are his remarks:

Thank you.

It’s an honor, as always, my fellow Republicans, to join you at our national convention, and add my voice to yours as we nominate the next president of the United States, my friend, Governor Mitt Romney.

I had hopes once of addressing you under different circumstances. But our fellow Americans had another plan four years ago, and I accept their decision.

I’ve been blessed for so long to play a role in our nation’s affairs that I’m conscious only of the debt I owe America, and I thank you for the honor.

When we nominate Mitt Romney, we do so with a greater purpose than winning an advantage for our party.

We charge him with the care of a higher cause. His election represents our best hopes for our country and the world.

It is said this election will turn on domestic and economic issues. But what Mitt Romney knows, and what we know, is that our success at home also depends on our leadership in the world.

It is our willingness to shape world events for the better that has kept us safe, increased our prosperity, preserved our liberty and transformed human history.

At our best, America has led.

We have led by our example, as a shining city on a hill. We have led at the direction of patriots from both parties.

We have led, shoulder to shoulder, with steadfast friends and allies. We have led by giving voice to the voiceless, insisting that every human life has dignity and aiding those brave souls who risk everything to secure the inalienable rights that are endowed to all by our Creator.

We have led with generous hearts, moved by an abiding love of justice, to help others eradicate disease, lift themselves from poverty, live under laws of their own making and determine their own destinies.

We have led, when necessary, with the armed might of freedom’s defenders.

And always we have led from the front, never from behind.

This is what makes America an exceptional nation: It is not just a matter of who we are, it is the record of what we have done.

It is the responsibility that generation after generation of Americans has affirmed and carried forward.

It is the cause that many Americans have sacrificed everything – absolutely everything – to defend.

And when they have gone into battle, as they do today, they have done so with the conviction that the country that sent them there is worth their sacrifice, that it stands for something more than the sum of our individual interests.

May God bless all who have served, and all who serve today, as He has blessed us with their service.

We are now being tested by an array of threats that are more complex, more numerous and just as deadly as any I can recall in my lifetime. We face a consequential choice – and make no mistake, it is a choice.

We can choose to follow a declining path, toward a future that is dimmer and more dangerous than our past.

Or we can choose to reform our failing government, revitalize our ailing economy and renew the foundations of our power and leadership in the world.

That is what’s at stake in this election.

Unfortunately, for four years, we’ve drifted away from our proudest traditions of global leadership – traditions that are truly bipartisan. We’ve let the challenges we face, both at home and abroad, become harder to solve.

We can’t afford to stay on that course any longer.

We can’t afford to cause our friends and allies – from Latin America to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, and especially in Israel, a nation under existential threat – to doubt America’s leadership.

We can’t afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world.

We can’t afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media.

I believe we can’t afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy.

By committing to withdraw from Afghanistan before peace can be achieved and sustained, the president has discouraged our friends and emboldened our enemies, which is why our commanders did not recommend that decision and why they have said it puts our mission at greater risk.

We can’t afford another $500 billion in cuts to our defense budget – on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making. His own secretary of defense has said that cutting our military by nearly $1 trillion would be "devastating."

And yet, the president is playing no leadership role in preventing this crippling blow to our military.

A wise congressman from Wisconsin has said, "Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course." And that man is our next vice president, Paul Ryan.

But most of all, we can’t afford to abandon the cause of human freedom. When long-suffering peoples demand liberation from their jailers and torturers and tyrants, the leader of the free world must stand with them.

Unfortunately, this is not happening.

When Iranians rose up by the millions against their oppressive rulers, when they beseeched our president, chanting in English, "Are you with us, or are you with them?", when the entire world watched as a brave young woman named Neda was shot and bled to death in a street in Tehran.

The president missed a historic opportunity to throw America’s full moral support behind an Iranian revolution that shared one of our highest interests: ridding Iran of a brutal dictatorship that terrorizes the Middle East and threatens the world.

The situation is far worse in Syria. What began as peaceful protests has now become, 18 months later, a savage and unfair fight.

With the full backing of Iran, and Hezbollah, and Russia-with tanks, and helicopters, and fighter jets, Bashir Assad is murdering men, women and children.

More than 20,000 people have perished. Extremists are gaining ground. And the conflict is becoming more dangerous by the day for our allies, and for us.

In other times, when other courageous people fought for their freedom against sworn enemies of the United States, American presidents – both Republicans and Democrats – have acted to help them prevail.

Sadly, for the lonely voices of dissent in Syria, and Iran, and elsewhere, who feel forgotten in their darkness, and sadly for us, as well, our president is not being true to our values.

For the sake of the cause of freedom, for the sake of people who are willing to give their lives so their fellow citizens can determine their own futures and for the sake of our nation – the nation founded on the idea that all people, everywhere, have the right to freedom and justice – we must return to our best traditions of American leadership, and support those who face down the brutal tyranny of their oppressors and our enemies.

Across the world, people are seizing control of their own destinies. They are liberating themselves from oppressive rulers. And they want America’s support.

They want America’s assistance as they struggle to live in peace and security, to expand opportunity for themselves and their children, to replace the injustices of despots with the institutions of democracy and freedom.

America must be on the right side of history.

The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don’t want less of America.

They want more.

Everywhere I go in the world, people tell me they still have faith in America.

What they want to know is whether we still have faith in ourselves.

I trust that Mitt Romney has that faith, and I trust him to lead us.

I trust him to affirm our nation’s exceptional character and responsibilities.

I trust him to know that our security and economic interests are inextricably tied to the progress of our values.

I trust him to know that if America doesn’t lead, our adversaries will, and the world will grow darker, poorer and much more dangerous.

I trust him to know that an American president always, always, always stands up for the rights, and freedoms, and justice of all people.

I trust Mitt Romney to know that good can triumph over evil, that justice can vanquish tyranny, that love can conquer hate, that the desire for freedom is eternal and universal, and that America is still the best hope of mankind.

And now, my fellow Americans: Let’s elect our next commander-in-chief, and the next leader of the free world, my friend, Governor Mitt Romney.

Sen. Rand Paul: I still think ‘Obamacare’ is unconstitutional

When the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the first words out of my mouth were: I still think it is unconstitutional!

The leftwing blogs were merciless. Even my wife said — can’t you pleeeease count to ten before you speak?

So, I’ve had time now to count to ten and, you know what? I still think it’s unconstitutional!

Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds?

I think if James Madison himself — the father of the Constitution — were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!

This debate is not new and it’s not over. Hamilton and Madison fought from the beginning about how government would be limited by the enumerated powers.

Madison was unequivocal. The powers of the federal government are few and defined. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers.

So, how do we fix this travesty of justice? There’s only one option left.

We have to have a new president!

When I heard the current president say, "You didn’t build that," I was first insulted, then I was angered, then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around.

Anyone who so fundamentally misunderstands American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation.

The great and abiding lesson of American history, particularly the Cold War, is that the engine of capitalism — the individual — is mightier than any collective.

American inventiveness and desire to build developed because we were guaranteed the right to own our success. For most of our history, no one dared tell Americans: "You didn’t build that."

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Taing family owns the Great American Donut shop. Their family fled war-torn Cambodia to come to this country. My kids and I love to eat doughnuts, so we go there frequently.

The Taings work long hours. Mrs. Taing told us that the family works through the night to make doughnuts. The Taing children have become valedictorians and National Merit Scholars.

The Taings from Cambodia are an American success story so, Mr. President, don’t you go telling the Taings: "You didn’t build that."

When you say they didn’t build it, you insult each and every American who ever got up at the crack of dawn. You insult any American who ever put on overalls or a suit.

You insult any American who ever studied late into the night to become a doctor or a lawyer. You insult the dishwasher, the cook, the waitress.

You insult anyone who has ever dragged themselves out of bed to strive for something better for themselves or their children.

My great grandfather, like many, came to this country in search of the American Dream. No sooner had he stepped off the boat than his father died.

He arrived in Pittsburgh as a teenager with nothing, not a penny. He found the American Dream: not great wealth, but a bit of property in a new land that gave him hope for his children.

In America, as opposed to the old country, success was based on merit. Probably America’s greatest asset was that for the first time success was not based on who you were, but on what you did.

My grandfather would live to see his children become doctors, ministers, accountants and professors. He would even live to see one of his sons, a certain congressman from Texas, run for president of the United States of America.

Immigrants have flocked to our shores seeking freedom. Our forbearers came full of hopes and dreams. So consistent and prevalent were these aspirations that they crystallized into a national yearning we call the American Dream.

No other country has a Dream so inextricably associated with the spirit of its people.

In 1982, an American sailor, John Mooney, wrote a letter to his parents that captures the essence of the American Dream:

"Dear Mom and Dad, today we spotted a boat in the water, and we rendered assistance. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees. As they approached the ship, they were all waving and trying as best they could to say, ‘Hello America sailor! Hello Freedom man!’ It’s hard to see a boat full of people like that and not get a lump somewhere between chin and bellybutton. And it really makes one proud and glad to be an American. It reminds us all of what America has always been — a place a man or woman can come to for freedom."

Hung and Thuan Tringh are brothers and friends of mine. They came to America on one of those leaky, overcrowded boats. They were attacked at sea by pirates. Their family’s wealth was stolen. Thuan spent a year on a South Pacific island existing on one cup of rice and water each day until he was allowed to come to America. Now both of these men and their families are proud Americans. Hung owns his own business and Thuan manages a large company. They are the American Dream.

So, Mr. President, don’t go telling the Tringh family: "You didn’t build that."

When the president says, "You didn’t build that," he is flat out wrong. Businessmen and women did build that. Businessmen and women did earn their success. Without the success of American business, we wouldn’t have any roads, or bridges, or schools.

Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share. When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class.

When you seek to punish Mr. Exxon Mobil, you punish the secretary who owns Exxon Mobil stock.

When you block the Keystone Pipeline, you punish the welder who works on the pipeline.

Our nation faces a crisis. America wavers. Unfortunately, we are one of a select group of countries whose debt equals their gross domestic product.

The republic of Washington and Jefferson is now in danger of becoming the democracy of debt and despair. Our great nation is coming apart at the seams and the president seems to point fingers and blame others.

President Obama’s administration will add nearly $6 trillion to our national debt in just one term.

This explosion of debt is unconscionable and unsustainable. Mr. President, we will not let you bankrupt this great nation!

Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows. Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed.

Republicans and Democrats must replace fear with confidence, confidence that no terrorist, and no country, will ever conquer us if we remain steadfast to the principles of our Founding documents.

We have nothing to fear except our own unwillingness to defend what is naturally ours, our God-given rights. We have nothing to fear that should cause us to forget or relinquish our rights as free men and women.

To thrive we must believe in ourselves again, and we must never — never — trade our liberty for any fleeting promise of security.

Author Paul Kengor writes of a brisk evening in small-town Illinois. Returning home from a basketball game at the YMCA, an 11 year old boy is stunned by the sight of his father sprawled out in the snow on the front porch. "He was drunk," his son later remembered. "Dead to the world, crucified." The dad’s hair was soaked with melted snow, matted unevenly against the side of his reddened face.

The boy stood over his father for a minute or two. He simply wanted to let himself in the door and pretend his dad wasn’t there. Instead, he grabbed a fistful of overcoat and heaved his dad to the bedroom, away from the weather’s harm and neighbors’ attention.

This young boy became the man – Ronald Reagan – whose sunny optimism and charisma shined so brightly that it cured the malaise of the late seventies, a confidence that beamed so broadly that it pulled us through a serious recession, and a faith that tugged so happily at all hearts that a generation of Democrats became Republicans.

The American Dream is that any among us could become the next Thomas Edison, the next Henry Ford, the next Ronald Reagan.

To lead us forward, away from the looming debt crisis, it will take someone who believes in America’s greatness, who believes in and can articulate the American dream, someone who has created jobs, someone who understands and appreciates what makes America great, someone who will lead our party and our nation forward.

I believe that someone is our nominee: Governor Mitt Romney.

As Reagan said, our freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. If our freedom is taken, the American Dream will wither and die.

To lead, we must transform the coldness of austerity into the warm, vibrant embrace of prosperity.

To overcome the current crisis, we must appreciate and applaud American success. We must step forward, unabashedly and proclaim: You did build that. You earned that. You worked hard. You studied. You labored. You did build that. And you deserve America’s undying gratitude. For you, the individual, are the engine of America’s greatness.

Thank you.

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell: After four long years, help is on the way

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell kicked off Wednesday night’s events with a call to action for the delegates, saying Obama’s four year big government experiment is over.

Here are his remarks:

Ladies and Gentlemen.

We’re here this week for the simple reason that our nation is in desperate need of leadership.

And we believe Mitt Romney is the man for the moment.

That’s the hopeful message coming from Tampa this week: after four long years, help is on the way.

America is about to turn the page on Barack Obama’s four-year experiment in big government.

And it starts by renewing our belief that we’re called to something better.

Over the past four years Americans have been led to believe we’re just like everybody else, that America isn’t unique.

But it’s not true.

We are different.

Not because of where we were born, but because of who we are as a people.

Because of what we have in here.

The President scoffs at this idea. To him, this kind of thinking is the problem, not the solution.
That’s why he’s spent the last four years lowering Americans’ expectations instead of raising them.

That’s why he’s been missing in action on the greatest challenges of the day.

What this administration has in mind for America isn’t a renewal, it’s a great leveling out.

It wants the kind of government-imposed equality that in a single generation transformed Western Europe from a place where for centuries high achievement and discovery and innovation were celebrated and prized, to a place where they have elections about whether people should have to work.

Where they make promises they can’t keep and write checks they can’t cash.

But that’s not who we are.

It just doesn’t occur to an American that someone else will solve their problems.

Americans take pride in solving problems for themselves.

And if we fail, we get back up and try again.

It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

This President may want to give up on the problems we face, manage the decline.

But the American people don’t.

And that’s why this election is so important. It’s a choice about who we are.

Are we still a country that takes risks, that innovates, that believes anything is possible?

Or are we a country that is resigned to whatever liberty the government decides to dish out?

I tell students all the time the only way to fail in America is to quit.

I truly believe that. And I know Mitt Romney does too.

For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems.

He hasn’t been working to earn reelection. He’s been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.

Mitt Romney has spent his entire life finding ways to solve problems.

Mitt Romney has never been resigned to what someone else said was possible.

He cut his own path.

That’s why he believes in his heart that America has a future full of opportunity and hope.

And that’s why when Mitt Romney looks down the road, he sees a country that’s ready for a comeback.

I firmly believe he’s the man to lead it.

As we meet here tonight, America is suffering through an economic calamity of truly historic dimensions. Some are calling it the slowest recovery in our nation’s entire 236-year history.

To call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries.

This is not the result of forces beyond our control. It is not the result of some sinister political plot; as some of the more paranoid inhabitants of the left-wing fever swamps would have you believe.

It is the result of the policies that Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress spent two full years carefully putting into place, and which they are determined to continue, if they win again.

Policies that are meant to gently lull us into a state of lower expectations and diminished dreams.

We’ve gotten a preview of this future over the past few years.

We hear the stories every day now.

…the father who puts on a suit every morning and leaves the house so his daughter doesn’t know he lost his job.

…the recent college grad facing up to the painful reality that the only door that’s open to her after four years of study and a pile of debt is her parents’.

These are the faces of the Obama economy.

And this is America’s future if we don’t do something to change the course this President seems perfectly content to leave us on.

Think about it.

On the same day we learned that unemployment went up in 44 out of 50 states last month, the President of the United States took to the airwaves to tell the people of Albuquerque that he enjoys green chile, but prefers red.

We know what the President’s got on his iPod, but we don’t know what he plans to do about a looming tax hike that could trigger yet another serious recession that would result in even more Americans losing their jobs.

Ladies and Gentlemen: America cannot afford another four years of this.

For four years, Americans have waited for the faintest light to flicker at the end of the tunnel.

And this President has let them down again and again and again.

It is time to move on.

It is time for a leader who will lead.

That leader is Mitt Romney.

Thank you!

Capital Tonight Aug. 29: RNC Day 3, Sen. Richard Burr

On our 7 p.m. edition of Capital Tonight: Ann Romney takes on a new role as she smooths out her her husband Mitt’s image, Sen. Richard Burr talks with Tim Boyum and protestors begin gathering in Charlotte for the DNC next week.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: Moment ‘improbable’ for me

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gives a very personal keynote speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Tuesday night, talking about his parent’s struggles and successes.

Here are his remarks:

This stage and this moment are very improbable for me.

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight.

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother.

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable.

My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer. She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger. Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives. Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree.

Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing. She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day. And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children – her two younger siblings.

She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to. She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish.

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore.

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old.

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade.

And I am still her son today, as Governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth.

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved.

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times.

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path.

It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues. And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.

But tonight, I say enough.

I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid. We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it.

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey.

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do – to do the big things.

There were those who said it couldn’t be done. The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix.

But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow.

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit.

Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy.
With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful. Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it.

The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice.

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth. History shows that we stand up when it counts and it’s this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America.

Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats.

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities. Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn’t add up.
With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government.

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government.

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements.

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren.

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election.

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children.
We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.

They believe in teacher’s unions.

We believe in teachers.

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles.

It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party.
We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing.

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades, a spiraling out of control deficit, an education system that’s failing to compete in the world.

It doesn’t matter how we got here. There is enough blame to go around.

What matters now is what we do.

I know we can fix our problems.

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it’s possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results.

The people have no patience for any other way.

It’s simple.

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.
Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses.

Leadership delivers.

Leadership counts.

Leadership matters.

We have this leader for America.

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction. And now he has a running mate who will do the same.

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey.
It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real.

This moment is real.

It’s a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.
How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge.

Not to look around and say “not me,” but to say, “YES, ME.”

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo.

I have faith in us.

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history.

There’s only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll.

You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.
That’s what we need to do now.

Change polls through the power of our principles.

Change polls through the strength of our convictions.

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation.

We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world. Now it’s our time to answer history’s call.

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we.

What will our children and grandchildren say of us? Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century.

I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship.

I want them to live in a second American Century.

A second American Century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.

A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one.
This is the American way.

We have never been victims of destiny.

We have always been masters of our own.

I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you.

It’s now time to stand up. There’s no time left to waste.

If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you.

If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you’re willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I’m here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling.

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history.

Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us.

Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States.

And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness.

Ann Romney: Mitt and I have a real marriage

Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, gives a heartfelt speech about her life, her marriage and praising American women at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. on Tuesday night.

Here are her remarks:

I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party.

And while there are many important issues we’ll hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts.

I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours.

Tonight I want to talk to you about love.

I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country.

I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.

And I want us to think tonight about the love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done.

They are here among us tonight in this hall; they are here in neighborhoods across Tampa and all across America. The parents who lie awake at night side by side, wondering how they’ll be able to pay the mortgage or make the rent; the single dad who’s working extra hours tonight, so that his kids can buy some new clothes to go back to school, can take a school trip or play a sport, so his kids can feel… like the other kids.

And the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy. Or that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.

I’ve been all across this country for the past year and a half and heard these stories of how hard it is to get ahead now. I’ve heard your voices: "I’m running in place," "we just can’t get ahead."

Sometimes I think that late at night, if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day, and know that they’ll make it through another one tomorrow. But in that end of the day moment, they just aren’t sure how.

And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it?

It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.

It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters.

You know it’s true, don’t you?

You’re the ones who always have to do a little more.

You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done.

You know what those late night phone calls with an elderly parent are like and the long weekend drives just to see how they’re doing.

You know the fastest route to the local emergency room and which doctors actually answer the phone when you call at night.

You know what it’s like to sit in that graduation ceremony and wonder how it was that so many long days turned into years that went by so quickly.

You are the best of America.

You are the hope of America.

There would not be an America without you.

Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.

I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!

And that’s fine. We don’t want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It’s all the little things — that price at the pump you just can’t believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. It’s all the little things that pile up to become big things. And the big things — the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder. Everything has become harder.

We’re too smart to know there aren’t easy answers. But we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.

And that is where this boy I met at a high school dance comes in.
His name is Mitt Romney and you really should get to know him.

I could tell you why I fell in love with him — he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous — girls like that, it shows the guy’s a little intimidated — and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren’t around.

That’s a good thing. And he made me laugh.

I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines. My dad got his first job when he was six years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms.

When he was 15, dad came to America. In our country, he saw hope and an opportunity to escape from poverty. He moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan. There, he started a business — one he built himself, by the way.

He raised a family. And he became mayor of our town.

My dad would often remind my brothers and me how fortunate we were to grow up in a place like America. He wanted us to have every opportunity that came with life in this country — and so he pushed us to be our best and give our all.

Inside the houses that lined the streets of our town, there were a lot of good fathers teaching their sons and daughters those same values. I didn’t know it at the time, but one of those dads was my future father-in-law, George Romney.

Mitt’s dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter.

He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon.

We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days.

Then our first son came along. All at once I’m 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who’s going to business school and law school at the same time, and I can tell you, probably like every other girl who finds herself in a new life far from family and friends, with a new baby and a new husband, that it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.

That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and I’m still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.

I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a "storybook marriage." Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.

A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.

I know this good and decent man for what he is — warm and loving and patient.

He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one’s fellow man. From the time we were first married, I’ve seen him spend countless hours helping others. I’ve seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble, and been there when late-night calls of panic came from a member of our church whose child had been taken to the hospital.

You may not agree with Mitt’s positions on issues or his politics. Massachusetts is only 13% Republican, so it’s not like that’s a shock.

But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President:

No one will work harder.

No one will care more.

No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!

It’s true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked. Are those really the values that made our country great? As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success?

Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, "Try to do… okay?"

And let’s be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney’s success?

Of course not.

Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. He had two loving parents who gave him strong values and taught him the value of work. He had the chance to get the education his father never had.

But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success.

He built it.

He stayed in Massachusetts after graduate school and got a job. I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work. Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on.

Today that company has become another great American success story.

Has it made those who started the company successful beyond their dreams?

Yes, it has.

It allowed us to give our sons the chance at good educations and made all those long hours of book reports and homework worth every minute. It’s given us the deep satisfaction of being able to help others in ways that we could never have imagined. Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point. And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities. They don’t do it so that others will think more of them.

They do it because there IS no greater joy.

"Give and it shall be given unto you."

But because this is America, that small company which grew has helped so many others lead better lives. The jobs that grew from the risks they took have become college educations, first homes. That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions, and retirement funds. This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams.

At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others. He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up.

He did it in Massachusetts, where he guided a state from economic crisis to unemployment of just 4.7%.

Under Mitt, Massachusetts’s schools were the best in the nation. The best. He started the John and Abigail Adams scholarships, which give the top 25% of high school graduates a four-year tuition-free scholarship.

This is the man America needs.

This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:

This man will not fail.

This man will not let us down.

This man will lift up America!

It has been 47 years since that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance. Not every day since has been easy.

But he still makes me laugh. And never once did I have a single reason to doubt that I was the luckiest woman in the world.

I said tonight I wanted to talk to you about love. Look into your hearts.

This is our country.

This is our future.

These are our children and grandchildren.

You can trust Mitt.

He loves America.

He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.

Give him that chance.

Give America that chance.

God bless each of you and God Bless the United States of America.