The RNC opened quietly Monday, with Republicans aware of the possible damage that might be incurred by Hurricane Isaac, and quietly waiting for the real action to begin today. But as quiet as the convention was, there was a silent but explosive visual that dominated the scene: a huge debt clock that started at zero when the gavel sounded and would increase rapidly to indicate the amount the national debt was increasing with every passing minute. Within minutes, the debt incurred was already over $2 million.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who called the convention to order, explained: “This clock reminds every delegate and every American why we are here in Tampa — because America can and must do better. Every American’s share of the national debt has increased by approximately $16,000 during the current administration."
Another debt clock was planned for the convention room that would show the total growing amount of U.S. debt, which at the start of the convention totaled $15.9 trillion.
The focus for Republicans has been and continues to be the mismanagement of the economy under Barack Obama, and the members of the party were absolutely united in their perception of that as the cardinal issue; Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss, said, "This week is about convincing the 10 percent of undecided voters that Romney has always been called to come out and fix broken organizations. We've got to make the case that he is uniquely qualified in this hour … the country is in bankruptcy."
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, echoed those feelings to his state’s delegates, saying of Obama: "It's time to stop blaming others and take responsibility. There are families all over Ohio that are suffering as a result. He hasn't measured up to his own standards. "