All eyes on Mitt Romney after rousing speech from Paul Ryan on Day 3 of the Republican National Convention

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Tonight, the Republican National Convention will conclude with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the 2012 Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates.

And in what might be the most important speech of Mitt Romney’s life, Romney will take the stage in a defining moment for both his base and millions of Americans tuning in. His speech comes on the heels of Ryan’s energizing address, which criticized President Obama’s policies on the economy, health care and jobs.

“President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record,” Ryan said. “But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.”

Other Day 3 speakers included 2008 presidential candidate John McCain, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Republicans count down to Romney’s big speech
Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick | Reuters
4:32 p.m. EDT, August 30, 2012

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) – Mitt Romney faces the biggest test of his White House bid on Thursday when he addresses the Republican convention, a chance to convince America he can forge a path to economic rebirth and provide stronger leadership than President Barack Obama.

Romney will be seen by a television audience numbering in the tens of millions, with some voters getting their first extended look at the 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in 2008.

Romney, who can often come across as stiff and robotic, must inspire fellow Republicans, many of whom have shown little passion for him, and make the broader U.S. electorate feel more comfortable with him. Paying a brief visit to the convention hall on Thursday afternoon, Romney smiled and waved from the podium as he did a walk-through for his speech.

As portrayed by Democrats, Romney is alternately a heartless corporate raider, wealthy elitist, tax evader and policy flip-flopper who should not be trusted with the keys to the White House.

Despite the attacks, Romney is running even with Obama in polls in a race that is too close to call. A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Wednesday showed the two men tied at 43 percent each.

But Obama has the advantage over Romney in likability, an important trait that may mask other problems that the Democratic incumbent has in persuading voters to give him four more years as a weak economy continues to dog the country.

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POLITICO: Transcript of Paul Ryan RNC speech
LATIMES: Ryan rouses GOP convention by trashing Obama on economy