Appearing on stage with dozens of GOP U.S. House candidates and incumbents running this year, Chaffetz said President Barack Obama’s solutions haven’t worked and aren’t working.
“America is in trouble,” said Chaffetz. He then described just how much debt the country is in.
“We pay more than $6 billion a day in interest” on that debt.
“And we deficit spend $3 billion a day.”
Federal regulations are choking American businesses, he said.
Several times Chaffetz said the American ideal was built on private ownership, not government action.
“When times got tough, generations built a stronger nation. Government didn’t build it. They built it.”
Tough choices must be made, said Chaffetz in his three-minute talk. “We need to believe in America again” – and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the folks to lead that.
Considering that Utah’s conservative 3rd District representative spoke at around 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time, it’s not likely many Utahns saw or heard him.
But that’s OK.
Speaking slots at the national party conventions are really more about helping campaign fundraising and later sound bites and video pics.
I recall some years ago when then-Gov. Mike Leavitt got an afternoon speaking slot at the national GOP convention.
Utah media were all atwitter (this is before Twitter).
And various Utah political pundits praised Leavitt as an up-and-comer in national politics.
Leavitt worked hard on his brief address.
Because it was early in the afternoon session (and many delegates miss the afternoon sessions to sightsee or catch up on sleep) the Utah delegation was specifically asked to attend Leavitt’s address and move down front in the hall so it appeared there actually were some folks listening.
And, of course, asked to cheer loudly for their governor – which they were glad to do.
All this was done. Leavitt did a good job and got some fine pictures in his political portfolio.
But the only TV channel (the internet was just getting started) to carry his speech was, I recall, C-SPAN, which just ran the whole hall convention gavel to gavel.
At the end of it all, Leavitt told me (I was at that convention) that his appearance was probably blown out of proportion by himself, his staff and the local media.
Yes, Leavitt was tapped later by President George W. Bush to join his administration – first as EPA director and later as the secretary of Health and Human Services.
And while there were some rumors that Leavitt wished to run for president himself one day, he ended up not doing so – Sen. Orrin Hatch taking up that lost cause instead.
So, Chaffetz, a strong Mitt Romney supporter and surrogate campaigner in a few western states, did get his short convention speech and photo ops.
But don’t let it go to your head too much (although, as always, Chaffetz looked good and spoke well).
Should Romney win he can’t afford to appoint many, if any, Utah Mormons to top administration jobs.
And for Chaffetz, an open governor’s seat is still four years away (maybe longer). An open U.S. Senate seat is still six years away.