America can meet this challenge, though, Bush said. He cited the need for school reforms and higher standards, great teachers and school choice, and encouraged people to step up and take on school unions who stand in the way of improvements.
"Fact is, this election is not about just one office," Bush said. "It is about one nation. If we want to continue to be the greatest nation on the planet, we must give our kids what we promise them: An equal opportunity. That starts in the classroom. It starts in our communities. It starts where you live."
Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples
Stemberg, who went to Mitt Romney and pitched the idea for an office supply store that became Staples, said that creating his company was the realization of a dream, and it dismays him to see the White House demonize Bain Capital, the private equity industry and Mitt Romney.
Over and over again, Stemberg said, he hears fiction, half-truths and downright lies from the Obama administration, and he said you have to ask yourself why an administration that can't create jobs would demonize someone who did.
"I've got a theory," Stemberg said. "I think when it comes to jobs, new businesses and economic growth, they just don't get it."
"They've got a job council that never meets, a Democratic Senate that doesn't act, a president who doesn't get it and a vice president who just can't stop talking. They just don't get it," Stemberg said. "They don't get it because they don't believe in the spirit of the entrepreneur."
In contrast, he said, "My friend Mitt Romney gets it."
Jane Edmonds, former Massachusetts Secretary of Workforce
Edmonds, a Liberal Democrat who worked with Mitt Romney as a member of his Cabinet when he was Governor of Massachusetts, spoke at the Republican National Convention, saying Romney is an authentic leader.
Romney struck her in their first meeting as honest, transparent and inclusive, Edmonds said, and she knew that in that meeting she wanted to be around him and in an environment where her passions could be channeled toward the public good.
"My initial size-up of the man held true during the four years I served in his cabinet," Edmonds said. "I saw him up close and personal many times, and he always drove us in his administration to make government better for the people."
Romney is an "amazing" steward and leader, Edmonds said, and someone who is open to good ideas — even if they come from a Liberal Democrat.
"As a great leader he brought out the best in me and I know as president he will bring out the best in our country," she said.
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