5:45 A.M. Mitt Romney's wife Annwas introduced by Luce Vela Fortuno, Puerto Rico's first lady, who called her "Mitt Romney's secret weapon for over 40 years".
Ann Romney, dressed in bright red, received an enthusiastic welcome, with audience members waving homemade signs that read, "We love you Ann."
She began by referring to Hurricane Isaac, suggesting that people pray that danger evades those in the storm's path.
"Iwant to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party," she continued. "I want to talk not about what divides us, butwhat holds us together as an American family.... Tonight I want to talkto you about love. I want to talk to you about the deep and abidinglove I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profoundlove I have, and I know we share, for this country."
Romney spoke atlength about women's and mothers' need to balance and do things "justbecause it needs to be done," with large screens on stage showingphotographs from the Romney family album.
Ann Romney's purpose, as with manypoliticians' wives, was to make her husband seem more human, moreaccessible. She spoke about the blue-collar origins of both of their families ("His fatherwas a carpenter," "I am a granddaughter of coal miner"). "It's not a storybook marriage, what Mitt Romney and I have is a realmarriage," she told the audience.
"No one will work harder, no one will move heaven andearth to make this country a better place," Ann Romney said about her husband. "You cantrust Mitt. He loves America. He will take us to a better place, just ashe took me home safely from that dance. Give him that chance. GiveAmerica that chance," she said, adding, "This man will not fail. This man will not let us down".
Her speech received a standing ovation. In the audience, applauding and visibly moved, was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
5:00 A.M. The convention paid tribute to the Tea Party movement's surge by giving a speaker's slot to Ted Cruz, who won the election for the Republican Senate nomination in Texas, defeating the party's establishment candidate, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. "He wants to divide America, separate us into groups," Cruz said, with the audience repeatedly bursting into applause and approving chanting.
4:30 A.M. Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum spoke at the convention, accusing President Obama of turning "the dream of freedom and opportunity" into "a nightmare of dependency" and ruling "like he is above the law."
"In four years, he borrowed five trillion dollars, trying to convince you to put trust in him and the government to solve all the problems. The result: growing debt and anemic growth. That's not how America grows," former Pennsylvania Senator said, also calling "to stop an assault of family and marriage" and give parents more choice to chose their kids schools.
He spoke emotionally about his youngest daughter Isabella, born with the chromosomal disorder Trisomy 18. "Each of us has dignity, and all of us have the right to live the American dream."
3:30 A.M. The Republicans have published their platform.
On Israel, the platform reads: "Israel and the United States are part of the great fellowship of democracies who speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every person to live in peace. The security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States; our alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also shared values. We affirm our unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security and will ensure that it maintains a qualitative edge in military technology over any potential adversaries."
"We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security. For that to happen, the Palestinian people must support leaders who reject terror, embrace the institutions and ethos of democracy, and respect the rule of law. We call on Arab governments throughout the region to help advance that goal. Israel should not be expected to negotiate with entities pledged to her destruction. We call on the new government in Egypt to fully uphold its peace treaty with Israel..."
Read the rest of the Republican platform here.
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said in response, "The Republican Party remains unwavering in its commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel alliance and its rejection of pressuring Israel to negotiate with those intent on her destruction."
3:20 A.M. A recent NBC/WSJ poll found that Barack Obama holds an impressive lead over Mitt Romney among minority groups, including an astonishing 94% to 0% among African-Americans. Still, speakers at the Republican National Convention and on its margins noted the presence of many prominent Latino Republicans.
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain told Fox News, however, that the black vote is not predetermined. "They are not voting on color," he said.
Mia Love, an African-America
As the speeches continued in Tampa on Tuesday evening, Obama's name came up in almost every second sentence during GOP Chairman Reice Priebus' speech.
"The last four years under President Obama have been trying and troubling," Priebus said. "We can't afford any more disappointments