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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 some advice to his party's nominee: Focus on your strengths.

Isakson, 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 need 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."

"E Pluribus Unum" August 31, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Mittens has been unemployed for over 15 years while running for the presidency. Talk about welfare....the Republican ticket has no heart or soul.
"E Pluribus Unum" August 31, 2012 at 01:47 PM
BTW...Clint Eastwood perfectly represented the face of the Republican party...old, white, male, angry, rich, afraid, spoiled, and likely benefitting from Medicare. The only thing I'll give Dirty Harry credit for is that he's not fat and unattractive like the crowd in attendance in Tampa. So, whenever the TV cameras panned the floor of the convention, I saw old, fat, unattractive, angry, spoiled, afraid, rich, white, men, obviously benefitting from Medicare (which makes them hypocrites). If they support their party's platform, have been remarried two or three times and are Christians, they are even bigger hypocrites. I bet they have big guns stuffed in their pants, briefcases, car glove compartments, and under their beds. I also bet they support sending our young men and women off to fight stupid wars while never serving in the military themselves. More layers of hypocrisy. Finally, for a group of men with raging testosterone, why are they taking so much Viagra? It must be in fear of losing their drive while married to their much younger trophy wife. BTW, does Medicare pay for Viagra under a doctor's prescription?
Medlock Park Resident August 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I'm guessing you missed the multiple speeches by minorities and women (quite a few minority women) since MSNBC purposely didn't show any of them but Rubio's (which they basically had to).
Eddie E. August 31, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Quite accurate in all respects!
"E Pluribus Unum" August 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Medlock Park Resident...I did watch those speeches. I thought Condoleeza Rice, Ann Romney, Mia Love, Susana Martinez, and Marco Rubio are were outstanding. As a matter of personal opinion, I thought the minority and women speakers were soooo much better than the bitter, angry, hateful white men who spoke. Yes, there were minorities who spoke, but I guess the word "tokenism" comes to mind. These were token participants because 87% of registered Republican voters are white. Also, if you look at the Republican platform, it is a systemic attack on women and minorities, including any social justice gains in our country over the past 50 years. Unfortunately the Republican party has been taken over by an ultra extreme conservative right that should be a concern to all U.S. citizens, regardless of political affililiation. Finally, do you own research. Even Republican leaders will say the party is old, white, and male, and this demographic is a threat to their long term existence. Unfortunately their "moderate" POV is discredited. So, run out tokens, but the proof is in the behavior pudding of the Republican rhetoric, platform and legislation. Their actions drown out anything they say. I'm not fond of pandering.

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