|Presidential tweet during First Lady's 2012 DNC Speech|
By Brody Levesque | CHARLOTTE, NC -- In uncompromising honesty tinged with personal emotion and a great deal of passion, the two major speeches of the opening night of the 2012 Democratic Convention appeared to have electrified both convention goers as well as millions watching on live broadcasts.
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's keynote speech to the packed audience at the Time Warner Center sent a direct message to voters: "Mitt Romney, quite simply, doesn't get it."
The 37 year old mayor is not well known outside of his native Texas and its political circles, but tonight's address, with plenty of red meat and potatoes issues brought delegates and other attendees to their feet several times along with numerous bursts of applause.
Castro and and his identical twin brother Joaquin were raised by a single mother and a grandmother, both immigrants from Mexico. Castro noted that his family achieved happiness and success through hard work and a good education made possible by the American dream.
However Castro warned that GOP nominee Mitt Romney's policies would "dismantle" the middle class if elected, eliminating the chance to achieve that dream for others.
"We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance," Castro said. "And the thing is, Mitt Romney and the Republican party are perfectly comfortable with that America."
He added, "I don't think Gov. Romney meant any harm. I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it," – a dig at Romney's wealth.
"Republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better, that somehow the rest of us will too. Folks, we’ve heard that before. First they called it 'trickle-down.' Then they called it 'supply-side.' Now it’s 'Romney-Ryan.' Or is it 'Ryan-Romney'?" Castro said.
"Either way, their theory's been tested. It failed. Our economy failed. The middle class paid the price. Your family paid the price. Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it.”
The mayor also took Romney to task for his shifting positions on issues like abortion rights, gay marriage and his own push for universal health care as governor of Massachusetts.
The Romney-Ryan budget doesn't just cut public education, cut Medicare, cut transportation and cut job training.
It doesn't just pummel the middle class—it dismantles it. It dismantles what generations before have built to ensure that everybody can enter and stay in the middle class. When it comes to getting the middle class back to work, Mitt Romney says, "No." When it comes to respecting women's rights, Mitt Romney says, "No." When it comes to letting people marry whomever they love, Mitt Romney says, "No." When it comes to expanding access to good health care, Mitt Romney says, "No."
Actually, Mitt Romney said, "Yes," and now he says, "No." Governor Romney has undergone an extreme makeover, and it ain't pretty. So here's what we're going to say to Mitt Romney. We're going to say, "No."
Following the mayor's well received remarks, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke after first being introduced by a short DNC produced film and then a heartfelt personal introduction by a mother who has four of her five children serving on active duty, each one in a separate branch of the U. S.Armed Forces, praising the first lady's commitment to the families of servicemembers as well as those in the military.
Mrs. Obama said that her husband remains anchored by the same values he brought to the White House nearly four years ago, "I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are – no, it reveals who you are," Michelle Obama said. "So in the end, for Barack, these issues aren’t political – they’re personal. Because Barack knows what it means when a family struggles ... Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it."
Mrs. Obama delved more deeply into the details of her husband's policies promoting his health care overhaul, push for tax cuts for middle income earners and the auto bailout. And she took on the economy, her husband's biggest political liability, arguing that he "brought our economy back from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again."
The First Lady underscored her belief in everyday Americans, those who struggle just to make ends meet saying;
"Every day, the people I meet inspire me...every day, they make me proud...every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth."
She related that her husband has a deep rooted understanding of the American Dream and the struggle for it;
"So in the end, for Barack, these issues aren't political - they're personal.Because Barack knows what it means when a family struggles.
He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grand-kids.Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it...and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love.
And he believes that when you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity...you do not slam it shut behind you...you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed."
She closed urging convention delegates and those watching to push forward:
Because today, I know from experience that if I truly want to leave a better world for my daughters, and all our sons and daughters...if we want to give all our children a foundation for their dreams and opportunities worthy of their promise...if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility - that belief that here in America, there is always something better out there if you're willing to work for it...then we must work like never before...and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward...my husband, our President, President Barack Obama.