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Sen. Johnny Isakson: Romney Should Play To His Strengths

Speaking from party's national convention, Georgia senator also says it's time for those who were initially were lukewarm on Romney to "get on board."

TAMPA, FL -- As Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney prepares to give the most important speech of his life Thursday night, U.S. Senate Johnny Isakson offered up a bit of advice to party's nominee: Focus on your strengths

Isakson, who is in Tampa for the Republican National Convention, told Patch that Romney has had numerous successes in his career — as a businessman, former governor of Massachusetts and head of the Salt Lake City Olympics. And he shouldn't be shy about letting people know about those achievements, Isakson said.

"He is a very accomplished man who has done very, very many things and has been successful," the senator said. "He’s been maligned a lot by many in the other party and many on the outside, but he’s the real deal. He’s a humble, dedicated person who wants to be a great public servant."

When Romney gives his acceptance speech Thursday night, "he needs to talk about what he’s good at — the economy, getting people back to work," Isakson said. "And I think that will resonate with delegates here and with the American people."

Isakson, like other GOP leaders in Tampa this week, said the campaigns of President Barack Obama and his supporters have been trying to shift the focus from the economy to other issues, like abortion or Romney's tax returns.

"They’ve talked about Bain Capital, they’ve talked about tax returns, they’ve talked about anything but the economy and jobs, where they have had a poor performance," he said. "I think when the campaign is focused and down to two candidates, which is it now...it’ll be a head-to-head battle, lke a championship boxing match between two very accomplished politicians, and I think those distractions will go out the window."

Isakson said he realizes Romney was not the first choice of many Georgia voters. by taking nearly twice as many votes as Romney.

But, the senator said, Republicans to put that behind them.

"It’s now time for Republicans to lock arms and go head to head with the opposition and be in full support of our nominee," said Isakson, who did not endorse any presidential candidate in the GOP primary. "It doesn’t matter whether you were on board two years ago or where you on board two months ago. The important thing is being on board now."

In 2008, Republican presidential candidate John McCain defeated Obama in Georgia by 5 percentage points, and Isakson predicted Romney will win by at least that margin in November.

But, he said, turnout will be critical.

"Anybody who says, 'Well, my guy didn’t win and I’m going to go home and not participate,' is making a big mistake," he said. "This is a critically important election and we need everybody on board."

Pete August 31, 2012 at 11:24 AM
I agree with all points above. With the financial crisis this country has gone through in the past due to the deregulation and investment fiasco that has resulted, it is VERY important to see how he might have benefited, because he isn't going to work very hard to change loopholes to screw his donor friends. And regard to the academic record being sealed - I have NO problem with that, to me that is no different than with doctors, lawyers or any other professional - a diploma is a diploma, and unless you have something to promote (ie first in class, etc.) there is no reason to let the vultures pick through - is a doctor that received A's and graduated any more qualified in the grand scheme of life than one who received C's? And regarding Obama - I seem to recall a certain republican (who I voted for ) that set the mess in motion long before Obama took office - I don't give the man a pass by any stretch, but OB wasn't exactly given a clean slate to work from, and I am not sure anyone would have been successful in one term.
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 02:08 PM
5) Good point we should not allow government officials to do business with enemies of America. I know you like to speculate and implicate. How about some REAL proof, oh, I don't know like David Plouffe. "David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser who was President Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, accepted a $100,000 speaking fee in 2010 from an affiliate of a company doing business with Iran’s government. A subsidiary of MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company, paid Plouffe for two speeches he made in Nigeria in December 2010, about a month before he joined the White House staff. Since Plouffe’s speeches, MTN Group has come under intensified scrutiny from U.S. authorities because of its activities in Iran and Syria, which are under international sanctions intended to limit the countries’ access to sensitive technology. At the time of Plouffe’s speeches, MTN had been in a widely reported partnership for five years with a state-owned Iranian telecommunications firm."
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 02:24 PM
How about GE? Appointed by Obama lead his jobs council. "General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt admits General Electric is doing business with Iran. Iran has been sending platter charge improvisational explosive devices, also known as Explosively Formed Penetrators, into Iraq that have been maiming and killing American soldiers and marines since I was there in 2005. They have also made continuing and substantial fiscal contributions in support of anti-American and anti-Iraqi forces."
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 02:35 PM
"The Obama administration has been bragging about the strength of the international coalition it has assembled against Iran and the “crippling sanctions” it has imposed on the Islamist regime. But the dirty little secret about the sanctions is they are riddled with loopholes. Not only has the Treasury Department issued thousands of exemptions to companies that wish to do business with Iran, but President Obama has also specifically granted permission to China and India to go on importing oil from it. " Wow, Frank imagine that a duplicitous Obama administration. Who need a shell when you have Obama and the media covering for him.
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 02:47 PM
2)"Puppet Master and unrepentant Nazi collaborator, George Soros is poised for a big win with the financial “reform” feculence being by phonied up by Chris Dodd , Barney Frank and the rest of the corruptocrats. Managed Funds Association (MFA), a lobby group championing the protection of hedge funds, including Soros’ own Quantum Fund, from scrutiny. The hedge fund short sellers, who are members of the Managed Funds Association, are running our government today. They are the ones who authored the Dodd bill. Soros, naturally, is the leading member of the MFA, as well as its busiest and most influential member. The repeal of the uptick rule and other safeguards enable unregulated hedge funds to wreak market mayhem: The repeal of the safeguard regulations, such as the uptick rule, circuit breakers and trading curbs, and the introduction of the short ETFs (Exchange traded funds), which began under Christopher Cox at the Securities and Exchange Commission, has given the members of the MFA tremendous power and influence. He says these individuals include George Soros, John Paulson, Jim Chanos, James Simon, and other hedge fund short sellers, including those who operate Quant Funds and engage in computerized trading. The uptick rule essentially operated as a circuit breaker to prevent complete catastrophe driven by market exploitation. The removal of the uptick rules allows hedge fund short sellers to manipulate stock prices by triggering panic selling. "
Pete August 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I'm with you - to me the biggest fallacy here is that we still believe government is "for the people" - that changed with the advent of the special interest group, and the career politician - regardless of which side of the isle they reside.
BStein August 31, 2012 at 03:09 PM
The Tea Party is the American Taliban...holding this country hostage and laughing all the way to the election. Let's hope most people in this country aren't as dumb as the people spewing iditoc hate on this message board. Here are some facts for you people to digest. 1. President Obama (respect the office even if you don't respect the man) is a Natural Born U.S. citizen 2. The deficit has gone up because revenue is down, not because spending is up, Spending growth has grown at it's slowest pace since the 1950's. 3. Mitt Romney has not released his tax returns, even though his father believed that 10 years of returns should be released
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 04:04 PM
BS you are really the biggest BSer around. 1) Who here is claiming otherwise ? 2) ROFLMAO Are you freaking kidding? You and your comment are just too dumb for words. I'm not even going to bother linking to the hundreds of sites that unlike you, care about facts. The fact is that domestic spending has skyrocketed under Obama - anyway you count it. And no, you can't put all of Obama's first year of spending in the Bush column. It's a tactic that's already been debunked. 3) Distract, distort and divide. Knowing the kool aid drinkers and the lame stream media will carry the water ever time..
BStein August 31, 2012 at 04:32 PM
You must be one of them. Here're some education for you "Truthseeker" http://www.marketwatch.com/story/obama-spending-binge-never-happened-2012-05-22?pagenumber=2 Corporate profits have never been higher, but they're not hiring...you know why? Because they're in bed with Romney....what a shocker..... Can't wait to see Romney and corporate cronies crying in their lemonade on Nov 6th.
Chris Long August 31, 2012 at 04:51 PM
BS (fitting initials), WOW, if anything it "iditoc", it's your posts. I really hope you're just trying to get under people's skin, b/c I'd hate to think someone who posts such remedial nonsense the way you do actually believes they're posting fact & educated opinion. 1st of all, "The Tea Party is the American Taliban". Riiiiiight. The TP's problem is that they allowed themselves to get co-opted by the GOP, but you have proven that you have absolutely no concept of what the TP is about. The depth of your analysis pretty much ends at parroting MSNBC/MoveOn talking points. As for your remark that the TP is "holding this country hostage", thank you for admitting that the dems have been so ineffective that they've let a minority faction within the minority party derail their majority agenda. Your honesty is refreshing.
Chris Long August 31, 2012 at 05:09 PM
1. People who question Obama's citizenship ARE respecting the office b/c natural citizenship is a requirement of the office for EVERY POTUS. Given Obama's background, it's natural for people to wonder, & his [calculated] reluctance to address the issue made it a bigger issue than it needed to be. Obama was the one who did not respect the requirements of office by failing to offer proof quickly & w/o obstruction. Have some taken it too far, even after proof was given? Sure, but that's no different than libs who tried to pull the birther issue on McCain. Acting as if that's a mainstream view is ridiculous. 2. Your point on the deficit is priceless. So, just b/c spending isn't INCREASING AS FAST as it normally does, spending is not the problem. This is the same specious reasoning that says people are "cutting spending" when all they are doing is decreasing the percentage of an increase. Regardless of where revenue is at, SPENDING is the main culprit in the deficit. 3. It's funny that you bemoan others for asking that Obama provide REQUIRED proof, but you think Mitt Romney is obligated to produce MORE taxes than he already has even though it is NOT required. If Romney was a tax cheat, we'd have heard about it by now after 2 primaries & a governorship, & no IRS problems. Besides, even if all of your liberal wet dreams were true about Romney's taxes, Obama & the dems have already proven that being a tax cheat does not preclude you from serving in government.
Chris Long August 31, 2012 at 05:12 PM
BS, you truly are a lost cause if you think the dems are not just as beholden to corporate & special interests as the GOP.
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I knew you were a follower of Rex Nutting's fatally flawed, long ago disgraced attempt to mislead the stupid. Congratulations you fit to a T his target audience. You fell for it. At some point you should be either ashamed or embarrassed at your attempt to continue to repeat the scam on others. http://www.frugal-cafe.com/public_html/frugal-blog/frugal-cafe-blogzone/2012/05/24/obama-is-most-frugal-least-spending-of-presidents-hardly-wsj-rex-nuttings-nutty-dishonest-hilarious-claim-is-debunked-about-our-spending-binge-president/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/05/actually-the-obama-spending-binge-really-did-happen/ http://spectator.org/archives/2012/05/30/plenty-of-nutting http://yesbuthowever.com/ceis-hans-bader-dissects-rex-nuttings-fatally-flawed-analysis-of-obama-spending/
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 06:08 PM
It turns out Rex Nutting, author of the phony Marketwatch chart, attributes all spending during Obama's entire first year, up to Oct. 1, to President Bush. That means, for example, the $825 billion stimulus bill, proposed, lobbied for, signed and spent by Obama, goes in ... Bush's column. Nutting's "analysis" is so dishonest, even The New York Times has ignored it. He includes only the $140 billion of stimulus money spent after Oct. 1, 2009, as Obama's spending. And he's testy about that, grudgingly admitting that Obama "is responsible (along with the Congress) for about $140 billion in extra spending in the 2009 fiscal year from the stimulus bill." Nutting acts as if it's the height of magnanimity to "attribute that $140 billion in stimulus to Obama and not to Bush ..." Nutting's "and not to Bush" line is just a sleight of hand. He's hoping you won't notice that he said "$140 billion" and not "$825 billion," and will be fooled into thinking that he's counting the entire stimulus bill as Obama's spending. (He fooled Ed Schultz!) The theory is that a new president is stuck with the budget of his predecessor, so the entire 2009 fiscal year should be attributed to Bush. cont.
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 06:09 PM
But Obama didn't come in and live with the budget Bush had approved. He immediately signed off on enormous spending programs that had been specifically rejected by Bush. This included a $410 billion spending bill that Bush had refused to sign before he left office. Obama signed it on March 10, 2009. Bush had been chopping brush in Texas for two months at that point. Marketwatch's Nutting says that's Bush's spending. Obama also spent the second half of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP). These were discretionary funds meant to prevent a market meltdown after Lehman Brothers collapsed. By the end of 2008, it was clear the panic had passed, and Bush announced that he wouldn't need to spend the second half of the TARP money. But on Jan. 12, 2009, Obama asked Bush to release the remaining TARP funds for Obama to spend as soon as he took office. By Oct. 1, Obama had spent another $200 billion in TARP money. That, too, gets credited to Bush, according to the creative accounting of Rex Nutting. There are other spending bills that Obama signed in the first quarter of his presidency, bills that would be considered massive under any other president -- such as the $40 billion child health care bill, which extended coverage to immigrants as well as millions of additional Americans. These, too, are called Bush's spending. cont.
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Frustrated that he can't shift all of Obama's spending to Bush, Nutting also lowballs the spending estimates during the later Obama years. For example, although he claims to be using the White House's numbers, the White House's estimate for 2012 spending is $3.795 trillion. Nutting helpfully knocks that down to $3.63 trillion. But all those errors pale in comparison to Nutting's counting Obama's nine-month spending binge as Bush's spending. If liberals will attribute Obama's trillion-dollar stimulus bill to Bush, what won't they do? Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ann-coulter/2012/05/24/coulter-column-figures-dont-lie-democrats-and-hack-journalists-do#ixzz259EJ4oQ1 BS PLEASE stop with with crap. Obama is a disaster and we all know it.
BStein August 31, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Are you really using "Newsbusters" as a source and saying that its truthful? You really think I'm that stupid? Your "Truth" is so far slanted to the right, it's amazing. The only disaster I see here is YOU!
BStein August 31, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Terrorism comes in all forums...and your propaganda is definitely part of it.
Chris Long August 31, 2012 at 07:10 PM
That's quality humor. Thank you for the laugh.
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 07:41 PM
yawn
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 07:44 PM
It turns out Rex Nutting, author of the phony Marketwatch chart, attributes all spending during Obama's entire first year, up to Oct. 1, to President Bush. That means, for example, the $825 billion stimulus bill, proposed, lobbied for, signed and spent by Obama, goes in ... Bush's column. Nutting's "analysis" is so dishonest, even The New York Times has ignored it
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Nutting's "analysis" is so dishonest, even The New York Times has ignored it BS you seem incapable of comprehending. NUTTING'S ANALYSIS SAYS ALL SPENDING FOR OBAMA'S FIRST YEAR BELONGS TO BUSH. Every penny Obama signed, lobbied, proposed, thought up, promoted for an entire year - Really??? Even you can't be that stupid. Just stop the insanity.
BStein August 31, 2012 at 07:53 PM
You two are still talking? Teabaggers.......figures...
Truthseeker August 31, 2012 at 09:19 PM
BSer thanks for playing. Didn't take too long for you lose your side of the argument.
Bob Pepalis (Editor) September 01, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Participation in this lively discussion has been great, but too many comments are including personal attacks. Attack the issue, not the person. Name calling and use of derogatory terms will not be tolerated.
cindy pocali September 03, 2012 at 05:01 PM
I am very anxious to see the upcoming Democratic Convention. It will be interesting to see how many times O's record can be sited in a positive way and how many times they have nothing to say that would help them, so they feel forced to resort to attacks on Romney and Ryan. Romney's 5 issues he will focus on after he is elected were right on target to save this Country. 1) Energy independence -we have plenty of resources and need to be spending our Country's $$ on developing them instead of sending millions of $$$ to South America so they can develop theirs. 2) Career training and Choice in Education- nothing like sending our middle class jobs out of the Country before training those workers to be able to obtain another job- thank you NAFTA. 3) New Trade Agreements with CONSEQUENCES for cheaters. 4) Entrepreneur and Job Creator security- let's help instead of penalize those who create the jobs and income to this Country for a change. 5) Put US on track to a balanced budget- Reduce taxes on small business to encourage growth and hiring-Repeal and replace Obamacare. Did you know that Gov. Romney served his entire term as Governor of Massachusetts without taking a penny in salary! Did you know that Gov. Romney donated all of his father's wealth to charity? If you would like to see a movie that explains why a "smart" man like O would still not be able to see and correct his failed policies after 3 1/2 years in office, go to see 2016 Barack Obama.
Frank Jones September 04, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Cindy...Romney donating his inheritance to charity isn't that big of a deal for someone with $250 million already. And in doing so, Romney probably received a charitable deduction on his tax return. It's possible that Romney offset his own personal charitable by giving his inheritance. We'll never know because Romney won't release his returns. As such, you should use this (your) argument with skepticism. Your argument that Romney didn't take a salary as Governor is meaningless. He's worth $250 million or more and the governor's salary is chump change. Assuming that the salary was $300K, that's less than .1% of his worth and <1% of his income. For Romney, $300K equates to $240-$400 for the rest of us...no big deal. As to the 5 points...energy exploration with continue with or without Romney. Obama will support additional research and develop of alternative energy. Romney has a history of sending jobs overseas. Balanced budget is a goal, however, history shows (if you review the deficits and debt charts), that Dems have done a better job. Further the Romney/Ryan tax plan shifts additional tax burden onto the middle class while further cutting the rates for the wealthy from their already historically low tax rates. Tax rates were significantly higher under Reagan than they are now AND there were fewer high income deductions! Romney/Ryan = Good if You're Already Rich Obama/Biden = Good if You're Trying to Get Rich (or just middle class).
cindy pocali September 10, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Frank, Thanks for your response. Wealth is relative. Obama is very wealthy. What is his charitable donation record? When I listen to the speeches on both sides, I like to compare the promises to the results. Unfortunately, the Obama promises have not only not been fulfilled and we are in much worse shape than ever. The President does not have to know everything, but he has the position to surround himself with the experts. Not only has Obama not chosen his advisers wisely, report after report says he doesn't listen to solutions suggested by the knowledgeable ones. This is a fatal flaw for a leader, and, in this case for our Country. Welfare and making the whole world poor together is not the answer. We need a strong United States to bring the rest of the world to a higher level.
cindy pocali September 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I'm reminded of the real estate mkt situation.12 of the last 14 recessions were corrected by a strong R.E. mkt. Sadly our elected officials had "good intentions" (evryone shld own a home-let's make evryone equal) but no clue as to "what wld happen next". The fatal scenario:1.Banks told to lend to anyone 2.Buyer's credit worthiness- completely ignored 3. Mortgages up to 125% of the FMV. 4. Bad risk buyers went into foreclosure. 5.Banks put the houses back on the market at -not FMV or what was owed, but completely fictitious prices. Would not have been so bad if the banks had said "This is a Fire Sale", but instead, 6.Fictitious bank prce, up to 40%+ off FMV, became the comp for whole neighborhds.7.Avg. hmowners didn't have $$ to bring to the Close, so the avg.hmowner could not accept a job elsewhere,and went on unemp searchng for a local job. If our elected officials had been "awake and knowledgeable" this cld hv been stoppd. Instead banks are bailed out & we're in so deep it may take generations to correct. We need a President who is a leader with a business sense that works in the "real world", not just a bunch of political rhetoric. I am not the all knowing answer giver, but I have spent the last year+ surrounded by eco develprs from across the country- r.e. developers, corp heads, influential leaders in job develpmnt- NOT ONE has agreed with O's programs and decisions, but ALL have agreed that re-election of Obama would have catastrophic results for this country.
Tom September 22, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I'm very sure that the opinions of Johnny Isakson are rooted in partisan politics, rather than in the truth. His characterization of Romney, "He’s a humble, dedicated person who wants to be a great public servant." is laughable! Romney is an egomaniac who has a Nixon-level paranioa. He is not well liked by people who have met him. Romney has expressed contempt for "the least of these", which is why he is not worthy of my vote, or, for that matter, my respect. President Obama's biggest challenge in the debates is avoiding ridiculing Mr. Romney. It will be diffucult to take the GOP candidate with a sufficient degree of seriousness, given the lack of qualifying evidence on the part of Mr. Romney.

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