(TAMPA, Fla.) — Turns out Chris Christie was not the only rock star governor speaking at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night. Enter Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who successfully fought off a recall attempt this year.
“As was the case in Wisconsin two years ago, too many Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction,” Walker said. “But Mitt Romney understands, like I understand, that people — not governments — create jobs.”
Walker also offered a well-received nod to fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan, a vice presidential pick that Walker said “showed that he has the experience and the skill needed to become president” and “the courage and the passion to be an exceptional president.”
He may have been passed over as Mitt Romney’s running mate, but Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell addressed the convention and immediately jabbed Vice President Joe Biden’s state mix-up earlier this month.
“Are you ready to elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in 70 days?” McDonnell asked. “Imagine that, we’ll have a president who actually knows how to create jobs, and a vice president who actually knows what state he’s in.”
Like Ryan is sure to do Wednesday night, McDonnell spoke of his Irish roots.
“This election is about restoring the American Dream, the dream that led my grandfather, a poor farm boy, to leave Ireland 100 years ago and come to Ellis Island to begin his journey of freedom,” McDonnell said.
He also mentioned women specifically, an electorate Romney desperately needs to woo and a group he has had problems with.
“We need a president who will say to a small businesswoman: Congratulations, we applaud your success, you did make that happen, you did build that,” McDonnell said repeating the line that has become a GOP punching bag.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a fast-rising star in her party, immediately brought up Ronald Reagan in her speech, but quickly moved to where she came from: her home state of Oklahoma.
“The history of my state of Oklahoma offers a great example of pursuing the American Dream,” Fallin said. “It was built and settled by pioneers moving West to seek better lives. During the great Land Run of 1889, thousands of families rushed to put a stake down on empty plots of land. They built tent cities overnight, they farmed the land, and they worked hard.”
And she didn’t stop there. Fallin contrasted the early days of her state, which included drilling “Oklahoma’s first oil well, the Nellie Johnstone,” with the president’s environmental policies.
“President Obama wants us to believe that Oklahomans owe that success to the federal government: to the Department of Energy, to the EPA, the IRS or maybe even to him. Mr. President, we know better. As we say in Oklahoma, that dog won’t hunt,” she said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, Jeremy Diamond and Karl de Vries, CNN
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Daniella Diaz, CNN