Updated:TAMPA, FLA. —
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will host a farewell rally at the Lakeland, Fla., airport east of Tampa Friday morning.
On Thursday night, Romney accepted his party’s nomination with a pledge to create millions of jobs.
But the speech also contained repeated criticism of President Barack Obama.
“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division,” Romney said. “This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something.”
Romney also talked about his plan for economic recovery. “Many Americans have given up on this president, but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other, and not on America,” Romney said. “What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs. What America needs is jobs, lots of jobs.”
Romney’s five-step plan includes increased domestic energy development and education reforms.
It also emphasizes new trade agreements, deficit reduction and easing taxes and regulations on small businesses.
Channel 9 anchor Blair Miller has been in Tampa all week covering the Republican National Convention. Miller talked about the atmosphere at the acceptance speech.
“When you talk about those supporters mostly here in this arena, he’s surrounded by his delegates the last two nights because his convention has been condensed. It really seemed worn out, but today they seemed like 100 percent. Also, another back story and really what might be telling out of this, that appearance by Clint Eastwood. It may be one of the big talkers out of this convention,” Miller said.
Eastwood's appearance was supposed to be a surprise, but there was a lot of speculation ahead of his speech.
During his speech, the actor talked to an empty chair, what he called the “invisible Obama.”
A Twitter account with that name already has more than 35,000 followers.
Eastwood criticized the president's economic leadership.
“I remember 3 1/2 years ago when Mr. Obama won the election, and though I wasn't a big supporter, I was watching that night. He was having that thing and he was talking about hope and change and they were talking about ‘Yes we can’. And it was dark and it was outdoors and it was nice. And people were lighting candles and they were saying, and I just thought, ‘This is great.’ Everyone's crying. Oprah was crying. I was even crying. And finally, I haven't cried that hard since I found out there's 23 million unemployed people in this country,” Eastwood said.
Eastwood's speech was scheduled to last five minutes. He took 13 minutes, and did it all unscripted.