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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."

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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