Nearly 100 students filled the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s lobby Thursday night to watch former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accept the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
A presentation and panel sponsored by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics followed the speech. Thursday was the finale of a three-day convention featuring various party leaders and prominent party members, including Clint Eastwood.
Typically, the Republican National Convention is a four-day event, but organizers chose to postpone the convention one day because of Hurricane Issac threatening coastal cities in Florida and Louisiana.
In his acceptance speech, Romney emphasized the importance of staying optimistic when facing a tough economy and threats overseas.
“We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life — the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better,” Romney said.
Though Romney claims President Barack Obama’s policies and actions have not made America a better place, he admits he wanted the president to succeed for the sake of the country.
“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed,” Romney said. “But his promises gave way to disappointment and division.”
Jerry Ting, a junior majoring in public relations, political science and philosophy, politics and law, said he supported Obama in 2008 but is disappointed by the president’s performance.
“It’s important to note that Bush did leave a big footprint and didn’t make things easy for Obama, but in hindsight Obama’s campaign was overhyped and his promise to bring about inspiring change was not kept,” Ting said.
According to Romney, Obama’s promises of hope and change made for powerful rhetoric rather than realistic solutions. Romney then explained his plan to create 12 million new jobs and the five steps he would take to make it happen.
Aaron Taxy, the president of the USC College Democrats, said he believes Obama should be elected for another term.
“Romney plans to slash and burn Medicare and has run a negative campaign with no substance,” he said. “Obama has lowered unemployment and is steering the country in the right direction.”
According to Romney, however, Democrats are not acting with as great a sense of urgency now as they did in 2008 because the President has not fulfilled the expectations of voters.
“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,” Romney said.
Some students like Amy Gebert, a junior majoring in art history and political science, said though she is excited to vote in her first presidential election, she is more interested in voting for local initiatives than for presidential candidates.
“Local politics can impact your life and it’s important not just to vote in the presidential election but also in the smaller ones as well,” Gebert said.
The viewing at Annenberg was followed by a panel comprising Margita Thompson, former Bush for President Campaign 2000 press secretary in Calif.; Alex Yebri, President of USC Trojans for Mitt Romney; and Gabriel Kahn, an Annenberg professor. Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, moderated the panel.