Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and wife Ann greet the crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 28, 2012 during the Republican National Convention. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/GettyImages)
TAMPA, Fla. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says it's time to end what he calls an "era of absentee leadership" in the White House.
Delivering the keynote address at the Republican National Convention, Christie aimed some of his remarks at President Barack Obama, saying, "Real leaders don't follow polls" -- but instead they "change polls" through the strength of their convictions. Instead of worrying about being popular, he said, leaders need to say "no" when necessary.
He spoke of his own experience in New Jersey -- cutting taxes, balancing the budget and taking on the public sector unions -- and said when faced with tough choices, people were willing to share in the sacrifice.
That record in New Jersey helped make Christie a hero to many conservatives, and helped earn him the keynote speaking slot that has been used by Obama and others as a stepping stone to a presidential bid.
Christie told delegates he doesn't want his children and grandchildren to inherit an "enormous government" that has taxed, spent and borrowed Americans into "second-class citizenship." Instead, he said, he wants them to see "a second American century" of strong economic growth, in which America and its values are examples for the world.
Mitt Romney has told his wife that she gave a "fabulous" speech to the Republican National Convention.
To the cheers of convention delegates, Romney joined his wife Ann on stage at the end of her speech at the party's convention at the end of her speech.
In a speech aimed at showing the warm, human side of her husband, Ann Romney told of how they have stood together through tough times in their 43 years of marriage, including her battles with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.
She told delegates that her husband had worked hard to achieve his success, and she said it "amazes" her to see that success being "attacked."
Ann Romney also set out to show that she and her husband understand the plight of America's struggling families. She spoke of Americans who need to work extra hours to make ends meet, and who don't know how they will pay the rent or the mortgage. And she said it's women who often bear the heaviest burden.
She said her husband is someone who "will not fail" and "will not let us down."