Thu, September 13, 2012
World > Americas > U.S. 2012 general election

GOP nominate Romney at storm-hit convention

2012-08-28 23:10:06 GMT2012-08-29 07:10:06(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Delegates celebrate as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney gets the necessary delegate votes to put him over the top and secure the Republican presidential nomination during the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012.Reuters

Delegates celebrate as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney gets the necessary delegate votes to put him over the top and secure the Republican presidential nomination, during the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012. Reuters

Delegates celebrate with MITT! signs after Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney got the necessary delegate votes to put him over the top and secure the Republican presidential nomination, during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012. Reuters

Convention goers enjoy their pizza lunch in front of a large video screen showing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, during the second session of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, talks with convention and campaign officials as she tours the stage and podium before the start of the second session of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and wife Ann wave to the crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 28, 2012 during the Republican National Convention. (Photo/AFP)

Republicans formally nominated Mitt Romney on Tuesday to challenge President Barack Obama for the White House, kicking off their storm-delayed convention with a barrage of sharp attacks on Obama's economic leadership.

The nomination sets up a two-month dash to the November 6 election, with polls showing Romney running even or slightly behind the Democratic president.

Finally opening the festivities after a storm threat delayed the convention by a day, Republicans condemned Obama's economic record and reminded voters of the country's stubbornly high unemployment rate and ballooning budget deficit.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, warned that re-electing Obama would mean "four more years of failure."

"We have a message for America: Elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and they'll get America working again," he said to loud cheers. "We must send America's comeback team to Washington."

The first night will be capped by prime-time speeches by Romney's wife, Ann, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Romney, who had originally planned to stay out of the spotlight until Thursday night when he accepts his party's nomination, made an early appearance in the Florida host city to be on hand for his wife's turn at the podium.

Republicans hope to make an aggressive argument to voters to replace Obama while being careful to avoid the appearance of unseemly celebration as New Orleans and swathes of the Gulf Coast were under threat from Hurricane Isaac.

Romney is struggling to overcome a "likability gap" with the president and refute Democrats' efforts to paint him as a job-killing former private equity executive who is out of touch with middle America.

Before the roll call of the states to nominate Romney, chanting supporters of libertarian congressman Ron Paul of Texas briefly disrupted the convention in a protest against a decision to unseat 10 Paul delegates from Maine and institute rules changes they believe will weaken their power in the next election cycle.

The changes, approved by the convention on voice votes, will bind delegates to the results of a statewide vote and reduce the role of smaller state-level conventions where Paul had success.

"We were disenfranchised by our party. We won't participate with this chaos," said Russell Montgomery, 52, of St. George, Maine. "We won't legitimize this fiasco. This is as bad as the other party - the corruption."

(Agencies)

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