Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney packed a lot into this line of his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention:
“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans. And to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”
This was, by some accounts, Romney’s key line from the speech. In the first two sentences, Romney mocks a 2008 pledge from Obama to reverse climate change. Romney paused for nearly 15 seconds as the crowd laughed and cheered at his first sentence. He’s referring to a speech from June 2008, when Obama secured the Democratic nomination for president.
Here’s the speech Romney is referring to, and what Obama said, in context:
If we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.
The second part of the line pivots away and delivers a bold promise that’s sure to turn up in some Romney campaign ads in the near future. In a speech of attacks at Obama’s economic policies, this was the most powerful rhetorical line in Romney’s speech.
Watch Romney deliver the line below (video by William Wei):
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