The Republican National Convention brought out some of the heavy hitters Wednesday in Tampa, as vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was introduced to a national audience.
The parade of speakers included former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, Arizona senator and 2008 presidential candidate John McCain, South Dakota senator John Thune, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Rice, who in the past has tried to avoid the political spotlight, gave a rousing speech on America's place in the world - drawing largely on her experience as Secretary of State for George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009.
"If we are not inspired to lead again, one of two things will happen ... no one will lead and that will foster chaos," she said, "or others who do not share our values will fill the vacuum. ...We cannot be reluctant to lead and one cannot lead from behind."
MaCain's speech took a similar tone.
"America must be on the right side of history," McCain said. "The demand for our leadership in the world has never been greater. People don't want less of America. They want more. Everywhere I go in the world, people tell me they still have faith in America. What they want to know is whether we still have faith in ourselves. I trust that Mitt Romney has that faith, and I trust him to lead us."
While McCain's speech focused more on foreign policy, the more conservative Huckabee - who ran unsuccessfully against McCain for his party's presidential nomination in 2008 - delivered a speech that was geared more toward values and character.
But he also had sharp words for Romney's opponent in November.
"President Obama is out of gas; Americans are out of patience, and our great Republic is almost out of time," Huckabee said. "It's time we no longer lead from behind, but get off our behinds and leave something lasting for those who come after us instead of a mountain of debt and a pile of excuses."
The convention also ran tribute films to perennial Republican presidential candidate and Texas congressman Ron Paul, as well as the presidencies of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
The convention concludes on Thursday with speeches from former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Florida senator Marco Rubio, among others, before Romney closes out the event with his acceptance speech for the GOP nomination.
by RTT Staff Writer
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