One of the most quoted politicians at the Republican national convention over the last three days was a Democrat -- President Obama himself.
His “you didn’t build that” remark, which many observers point out has been taken largely out of context, became a mantra for almost every speaker on the first day of the convention. “We Built It” was the day’s official theme.
Thursday night, Mitt Romney coopted more of Obama’s best-known phrases in his acceptance speech, making the implicit promise that some of Obama’s grand promises might finally be filled -- by Romney, not Obama.
“Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college,” Romney said, “do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.”
”This was the hope and change America voted for,” Romney said, quoting Obama’s campaign-winning motto in 2008. “Hope and Change had a powerful appeal,” he added, with a caveat. “If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him.
In his most direct appropriation of Obama’s soaring rhetoric for his own purposes, Romney called repeatedly for a more united America, the very same theme that brought Obama to national prominence during his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston..
In 2004, Obama said: “There is not a liberal American and a conservative America. There is a United States of America," to roaring applause. "There is not a black America, a white America, a Latino America, an Asian America, there’s the United States of America."
Echoing that theme in 2012, Romney said, “Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.”