Ann Romney takes the stage at GOP Convention


Chris Christie was the keynote speaker Tuesday night and he delivered, but it was Ann Romney's speech that got the biggest reaction at the forum. She took the stage saying she wanted to talk not about politics, but about love.

"I want to talk about a deep and abiding love I have for a man who I met at a dance," said Ann. She said Romney, the son of a governor, was determined to be successful. "I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success. He built it."

She called women "the best of America" and said "I love you women." Downplaying her own wealth, she talked about how the economy and how it's made life harder.

"It's all the little things that pile up to be big things and the big things, the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder. Everything has become harder," said Ann. She ended by saying you can trust Mitt. "He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance. Give him that chance. Give America that chance."

With that, Mitt came on stage and embraced his wife, the convention hall rocked, and New Jersey's governor delivered a fiery keynote.

"[The Democrats] believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children. They believe in teachers' unions, we believe in teachers," said Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. "We have a nominee that will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction and now he has a running mate that will do the same..."

But he just couldn't compete with the woman who stole the show. Wednesday night it's Paul Ryan's night.

Mitt and Ann Romney flew into Tampa on Tuesday and before the speech Ann told reporters her speech would be heartfelt. She was expected to speak about Mitt Romney in terms of being a father, a husband, and a grandfather, presumably making him more sympathetic particularly to women voters.

"If there were only men voting, Republicans would win every election," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, Calif.

That's Issa's way of acknowledging polls that Romney is having some trouble attracting women voters. Republican women from the Bay Area acknowledge there have been some memorial gaffs.

"The comments by Senate candidate [Todd] Akin, I don't think there was anyone who didn't just go, 'ugh,'" said Sashi McEntee of Mill Valley.

McEntee was talking about Missouri Republican Akins' comments on what he called "legitimate rape."

"It makes the rest of us look bad and I don't know anyone who doesn't think that man is an idiot," said McEntee.

San Jose Republican Jean Lu said, "I think some women really need help so they think Obama can help them because they need government assistance."

Alternate delegate Danean Smith of Morgan Hill said, "I think they need to listen to the words said from Ann Romney because she's a wonderful woman and she knows how important it is to be led by a man who is a wonderful man."

But most of the deletes ABC7 talked to told us it's the economy.

"The Republicans who want to get people back to work and want to make this country strong again that applies to men women, people of all genders, people of all races, whatever... I don't understand the distinction," said Alzada Knickerbocker of Davis.

Far from the delegates hotel at a tent camp called "Romneyville' Green Party vice president candidate Cheri Honkala says Republican women are right it is the economy.

"And my message to them is Romney and Ryan don't give a damn about you either. They don't know what it's like to punch a time clock, they don't know what it's like to worry about whether you're going to be able to pay your mortgage," said Honkala.

Those two parties are about as far apart as you can get in Tampa.

Back to the convention, given that California is a blue state and not even considered a swing state, the delegation still got pretty good seats near the stage. It seems a lot better than four years ago.

There was some opposition at the RNC that was a surprise from some -- it was from Ron Paul supporters, not necessarily the Tea Party as a block. Paul got quite a reception on the floor. People were very happy to see him, but some of his delegates were not very happy with an agreement that gives the nominee control of the delegates, instead of the other way around. They threatened a floor fight, but that didn't happen due to a compromise.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, spoke to the California delegates Tuesday. He does think the Republicans will take control of the House this fall. He also talked a little bit about the gender gap or the trouble that Republicans have attracting women voters, but are apparently doing quite well with men.

Boehner also addressed Nancy Pelosi's efforts to take back the House and said, "The only way she is going to get this job back is to pry that gavel out of my cold stone hands."

It seems Boehner was trying to channel Charlton Heston when he said, "cold stone" but maybe he was talking about ice cream.

We're also working on a story about the Democratic war room that is set up here in Tampa and who is fact checking the fact checkers.

Republican National Convention live coverage
ABC News is providing live coverage of the convention and we'll be streaming it here live from 4 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Weeklong Local ABC7 News coverage
ABC7 News political reporter Mark Matthews will be reporting from Tampa all this week and you can follow along on Twitter at @MatthewsABC7 or on Facebook for instant updates.

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