TAMPA, Fla. – Previewing his speech to the Republican National Convention, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said Saturday he believes President Barack Obama has “given up on the American dream” and is stifling business and job growth.
Sandoval was scheduled to deliver his address Monday. But he’s now expected to speak later in the week after GOP officials on Saturday delayed the opening of the convention until Tuesday because of the threat from Tropical Storm Isaac heading toward the Tampa area.
A GOP official said elements of Monday night’s programming will be folded into the rest of the week. Sandoval had been set to deliver a 6 p.m. prime-time address, but it’s unclear what sort of spot he’ll get now with the new schedule expected to be released as soon as today .
Sandoval held a telephone conference with Nevada reporters on Saturday to talk about the main messages he would hit upon in his speech. He contrasted the Obama administration with the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin .
“I do believe that the current administration seems to have given up on the American dream and they’ve put all their faith in government programs, not the people,” Sandoval said.
As Nevada’s first Hispanic governor, the popular Sandoval is among the fresh faces the GOP is presenting during what was to be a four-day convention but now is being curtailed by weather.
He also represents the state hardest hit by the economic downturn. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 12 percent and record bankruptcies and home foreclosures.
Sandoval said he is an example of the American dream, a former federal judge, attorney general, gaming official and state assemblyman who rose to become governor in 2010.
“I want to remind everyone in the country … that it’s OK to dream big and we can do better than we have done in the last four years,” Sandoval said. “Nevada is a perfect example of that,” he added. “People have been struggling, but I think that under the Romney and Ryan leadership, it’s nothing but good things ahead.”
Sandoval said too many regulations have stifled business growth as well as an uncertain tax environment with companies afraid to expand and hire. He said Latinos have been hurt, too.
“I’ll talk about Nevada families and businesses, particularly Hispanic businesses, and how they’re being left behind by this administration,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval said he’s frustrated and companies have told him they’re upset by Obama’s attitude, including when he said of business owners, “you didn’t build that” without government help.
“I think they’ve taken that very personally,” Sandoval said, noting private business owners have to “take all the risks” to start up a company and must work hard to succeed.
“These are hardworking people who have risked their capital, who want a better life for their kids and want a better life for themselves,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval expressed confidence that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and businessman, and Ryan, who knows Washington, can boost the economy .
“They’re the right team at the right time,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval’s convention speech may have to be short if the GOP hopes to pack four days’ worth of speakers into three days, starting Tuesday and running through Thursday.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday afternoon that the convention would briefly convene Monday then recess until Tuesday afternoon.
No matter what, however, Priebus said the main business of the convention would happen – officially nominating Romney as the GOP presidential candidate and Ryan as his running mate.
“Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area,” Priebus said. “RNC convention officials and the Romney campaign are working closely with state, local and federal officials, as well as the Secret Service, to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and preserve Florida’s emergency management resources.”
Contact reporter Laura Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter @lmyerslvrj.