In GOP speeches, Obama bashing takes center stage

9:38 PM, Aug 28, 2012   |    comments
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(CBS News) Hours after Republican delegates nominated Mitt Romney for president, the party on Tuesday kicked off its first night of convention speeches, featuring established figures like John Boehner and up-and-coming leaders like Mia Love alike, and setting the tone for the night's festivities with a series of harsh attacks on President Obama and his governing philosophy.

Hitting on familiar refrains, speakers like Love, Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers and RNC chair Reince Priebus blasted the president for suggesting that the government plays a key role in helping build small businesses, reiterating in speech after speech that "we built it" -- not the government.

"I'm delighted to report that we have a wonderful lineup for you," said McMorris-Rodgers, introducing the night's lineup. "Each speaker will be joining together to send a message to President Obama. And that message is three simple words: We built it."

The first batch of speakers adhered consistently  to that theme.

Love, an African-American and the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, talked about her parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti, and their struggle for success.

"When tough times came, they didn't look to Washington -- they looked within," she said. "Mr. President, I'm here to tell you the American people are awake and we're not buying what you're selling in 2012."

"This is our story. This is the America we know because we built it!" she said.

Love was followed by actress Janine Turner, who was on the '90s-era show "Northern Exposure," who argued that God - and not government - "gives us our rights."

"President Obama, I'm here to tell ya, the government didn't build it. God and the American people built it!" she said. "America was not born with a gimme-gimme mentality."

Delaware Lieutenant Governor candidate Sher Valenzuela, meanwhile, spoke about her struggle to raise a special-needs child before pivoting to attacks on the Obama administration for what she called an "all-out assault on free enterprise."

Hammering home the message even further was singer-songwriter Lane Turner, who performed a song called "I built it."

Boehner, the evening's first speaker, was straightforward in his message: "When the American people walk into the voting booth, what should we do? We should throw him out!" he said in his remarks. "Because we can do better - we can do a lot better."

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