Republican governors had the opportunity to put their states and their beliefs in the spotlight at the Republican National Convention to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Tampa, Fla., in August.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
“Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America.
“Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy.
“Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.”
Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño,
2012 CSG President
“When I took office, I inherited a $3.3 billion budget deficit, the largest of anywhere in the nation. We could not even meet our payroll. We were on the brink of bankruptcy but we did not shy away from our responsibility to lead. We cut government expenses by 20 percent, starting with my own salary. We reduced our deficit 90 percent while continuing to invest in our schools, hospitals and highways. At the same time, we slashed taxes 50 percent on individuals and 30 percent on businesses, the largest tax cuts in Puerto Rico history.
“Guess what? Our private sector, the real economy, began to create jobs again. Imagine if we had national policies that support rather than prevent growth, we’d then be able to truly unleash the engine of prosperity that our country and our people deserve. That’s what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will do for America.”
© AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell
“Look at the results of Republican policies in the states.
“In states with Republican governors, the average unemployment rate is a full point lower than in states with Democratic governors.
“Republican governors lead seven of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates, and 12 of the 15 states ranked best for business.
“While the Obama administration borrows over $3 billion a day just to keep the lights on, Republican governors have closed $65 billion in budget shortfalls, without raising taxes.”
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
“This election should not be about political parties. Too many Americans are out of work, and our debt is out of control. This election needs to be about those issues (like welfare, the size of government and taxes) and it is the responsibility of both parties to offer up real solutions and have an honest debate.
“In New Mexico, I inherited the largest structural deficit in state history, and our legislature is controlled by Democrats. We don't always agree, but we came together in a bipartisan manner and turned that deficit into a surplus. And we did it without raising taxes.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
“Because he is a former governor, Mitt Romney understands that states must lead this national movement (on education). In Massachusetts, Gov. Romney narrowed the gap between students of different races, raised testing standards, and put into place a merit scholarship, the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, that gives students four tuition-free years at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning. He's a champion for bringing hope to education.”
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
“President Ronald Reagan once said that ‘there are no great limits to growth, because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination and wonder.’
“He believed, like I believe—like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan believe—that the potential for America is limitless.
“We can—and we will—overcome any economic challenge IF government lets go of the regulatory chokehold zapping the air out of the economy and deflating the spirits of our entrepreneurs.
“We need a president who will applaud and encourage those who work hard to pursue their dreams … to reach their potential … and, in doing so, make themselves and America better and stronger.
“That man is Mitt Romney.”
© TANNEN MAURY/epa/Corbis
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
“Like many places across the country, Wisconsin lost more than 100,000 jobs from 2008 to 2010. Unemployment during that time topped out at over 9 percent. But because of our reforms, Wisconsin has added thousands of new jobs and our unemployment rate is down from when I first took office.
“Equally as important, we improved the economic climate for job creators. Today, 94 percent of our employers believe Wisconsin is headed in the right direction. That compares to just 10 percent who thought the same thing two years ago. Elections have consequences!
“What makes America amazing is that there have always been men and women of courage who were willing to think more about the future of their children and grandchildren than they did about their own political careers. Let this be one of those moments.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
“We build things in the Palmetto State. We build planes. We build cars.
“We have three of the four largest tire producers in the world and are about to become the number one tire-producing state in the country.
“And not too long ago, The Wall Street Journal said, ‘Anyone still thinking the U.S. has lost its manufacturing chops hasn't been to South Carolina.’ We have so much potential and so much to be proud of.
“But like so many states, we have our challenges, whether they be unemployment or education or poverty. And like so many of my fellow governors, I work day in and day out to try and improve the lives of the people of my state.”
“And, sadly, the hardest part of my job continues to be this federal government, this administration, this president.”
© Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News/Corbis
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval
“So I stepped down from a lifetime appointment to make a difference. I ran for governor, was elected and, like Republican governors all across this nation, I chose to make the tough decisions:
“On issues like economic development, education reform and redesigning how state government operates.
“On job creation, and reducing state spending, and eliminating red tape. It hasn't been easy. And we're not through it yet.
“But I have put my faith in the people of my great state—because they are the ones who will grow our economy.”
© AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
“I took office in 2011. And when I came into office, we were 48th in the nation in job creation—48th. We had an $8 billion budget deficit, the largest in the history of the great state of Ohio, and we had 89 cents in our rainy day fund. Most toddlers have more than 89 cents in their little piggy banks, let alone what was in our Treasury. Our credit rating was headed down the drain. And we were—we had suffered a loss of 400,000 jobs.
“And ladies and gentlemen, tonight, the greatest moral issue in America today is job creation. We had lost 400,000 jobs. Our people were hurting and our families were hurting as a result of the recession. In Ohio, we were following a policy of tax, spend and duck. And that’s too much of what politicians do. They want to avoid the tough issues. But when we came into power, with my colleagues in the legislature, we took our problems head on. We balanced our budget; that $8 billion deficit was eliminated without a tax increase in the state of Ohio.”