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MILLER: Circling the wagons for Romney

Republican Party unifies to take on Obama

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No punches were pulled in the fight to land the Republican Party's presidential nomination this cycle. Social conservatives, Tea Partyers, libertarians and moderates split to back their favored candidates in the primary campaign, but now the dust has settled and Mitt Romney has earned the nomination. From the floor of the GOP convention, it's clear the party faithful have for the most part set aside past differences so they can realize the common goal of ousting Barack Obama from the White House.

"We have a diverse party with a lot of different opinions on the best way to further limited-government conservatism," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told The Washington Times Wednesday. "But we're all united and enthusiastic about the opportunity we have here to replace a president who doesn't believe in the principles of limited government and free enterprise with someone who does."

Ed Gillespie, an adviser to the former Massachusetts governor, echoed the sentiment. "When we come out of Tampa, this will be a unified party behind Mitt Romney going forward." The former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman told The Washington Times that the party platform adopted on Tuesday, "has conservative principles and reflects input from a lot of people in the party."

The policy document is solidly pro-life and pro-traditional marriage and calls for Obamacare's repeal, reform of entitlement programs and the adoption of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

Only Rep. Ron Paul remains outside the fold, with the Texas Republican declining to pass his delegates' votes to the frontrunner. As a result, the libertarian wasn't given a speaking role during the convention, but a video tribute to his career will be played. His son, Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who endorsed Mr. Romney, will speak after the video on Wednesday evening.

Dr. Paul's supporters weren't happy about new RNC rules that determined delegates from the statewide vote, diluting the voice of smaller factions. Asked about this in an interview, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor brushed off any talk of lingering internal strife. "We are a large party and can take a robust debate -- not everybody has to agree," the Virginia Republican explained to The Washington Times. "Our party is united to address the nation's problems and take on Barack Obama."

Forceful advocates of cutting government down to size should be pleased about the prominent, prime-time roles given to the likes of Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz, who is running for Senate from Texas. Likewise, Mr. Rubio has the top honor of introducing Mr. Romney on Thursday night.

The Florida senator told us he hopes his speech will convince voters, "This election is not only a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, it is a referendum on our identity as a people and as a nation and the choices between remaining special and becoming like these other countries in the world." Mr. Rubio added, "We can turn that around in one election if we make the right decision."

The stakes are higher in the 2012 election than any in a generation. The four-year experiment in socialism and big government will only be put mercifully to rest if Americans pull the lever for conservative change.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

 

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