Thursday is the night for republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to address the national convention. His hope is to energize the Republican Party during his primetime speech. Bobby Cuza has more.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Some say Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run began the day he quit the race in 2008.
“In this time of war, I feel I have to now stand aside, for our party and for our country,” he had said.
That year, the former Massachusetts governor had staked his hopes on the early primary states, but never recovered from losses in Iowa to Mike Huckabee and in New Hampshire to John McCain, whom Romney would later endorse.
Fast forward three years and Romney, well-funded and well-organized, had assumed the mantle of frontrunner. Still, with his conservative credentials under attack, core Republicans seemed hungry for an alternative.
One challenger after another burned bright, then flamed out: From Michele Bachmann to Rick Perry to Herman Cain. Once the contests began, it was Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. But Romney kept piling up delegates until his lead was insurmountable.
“After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence and gratitude that you have given me a great honor,” Romney said in April.
There were bumps along the way, with Romney sometimes inadvertently reinforcing the image of an out-of-touch millionaire.
“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," Romney said. “Rick, I tell you what: 10,000 bucks? 10,000-dollar bet? A: I’m not in the betting business.”
But now, alongside a new running mate and with the party coalesced behind him, Romney takes the stage Thursday night hoping for a home run, a speech that will energize the base and win over independents, particularly in the swing states he needs to win to have a chance November 6th.