CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Speakers at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday evening amped up attacks on Mitt Romney, repeatedly portraying the GOP presidential candidate as a ruthless and heartless former businessman who doesn’t understand the struggles of average Americans.
The tone was in contrast to Michelle Obama’s well-received keynote speech the previous evening, when she hailed her husband and asked voters to return him to the White House but never mentioned his GOP rival by name.
Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat challenging Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown who was given the evening’s second most coveted speaking spot, devoted a sizable chunk of her address to attacking Mr. Romney’s “tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.”
“But for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails, his plan will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000,” she said, which generated a round of boos.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said the qualities that made Mr. Romney a successful business executive would threaten American jobs were he elected president.
“When your constituents are your financial shareholders, perhaps it makes sense to take control of the company, to suffocate it with debt and get rid of the workers’ pensions,” Mr. Markell said. “That kind of thing worked for Mitt Romney when he sat in his corporate office, but it won’t work for the country if Mitt Romney is sitting in the Oval Office.”
House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, told the convention that Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have spent the past four years “car[ing] more about tearing down the president than building up America.”
United Auto Workers President Bob King praised the president for his bailout of the automotive industry while ridiculing Mr. Romney for opposing it.
“Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital — the corporate buy-out firm he founded — too often has made their money not by building companies up but by taking them apart,” Mr. King said. “Too often, the workers ended up in the streets even as Romney and his partners made millions of dollars.”
Kamala Harris, the Democratic California attorney general, said Mr. Romney would’ve done nothing to help Americans hurt by the housing foreclosure crisis.
“Mitt Romney subscribes to the cynical logic that says the American dream belongs to some of us and not all of us,” she said.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, charged the Romney-Ryan economic plan would reward the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
“Mitt Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s obsession with tax breaks for the wealthy is part of a rigid ideology: Give people like Mitt Romney a break and hope something will trickle down and lift others up,” Mr. Van Hollen said. “But this theory crashed in the real world.”