Republican National Convention 2012 Live Blog - Join us for day 3 of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Headliners tonight include Mitt Romney's running mate Rep. Paul Ryan and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Tuesday saw Romney officially dubbed the GOP nominee, a heartfelt plea from his wife Ann Romney for women to put their trust in him and a rousing keynote address by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Watch our live stream from 7 p.m. ET til 11 p.m. ET at abcnews.go.com/politics/live
Reporter Finds Gun in Romney Plane Bathroom; Secret Service Officer Removed from Trip - 8:41 p.m. ET - From Emily Friedman:
A member of Mitt Romney's Secret Service detail was removed today from a campaign trip after she accidentally left her firearm unattended in the candidate's charter plane bathroom.
The agent in question left a gun unattended in the bathroom of the plane during a flight between Tampa and Indiana. The gun was found by a reporter on board who immediately informed the agent, who then went back into the bathroom and retrieved the weapon.
Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the United States Secret Service, told ABC News that officials are "aware of the incident."
"We take the care and custody of our equipment - especially firearms - very seriously," he said. "We will deal with this matter internally and in an appropriate manner."
The Thursday Mystery and the Eastwood Question - George and Diane Discuss - 8:36 p.m. ET - From earlier on World News, but first you have to watch Jon Karl's informative piece:
McCain Speech Re-Cap: Defense, Defense, Defense - 8:33 p.m. ET - Elizabeth Hartfield reports: McCain's speech focused heavily on defense issues- and the biggest applause line in the speech was when he specifically called the administration out on intelligence leaks saying "we can't afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media" (This was about equal to the applause he received at the end of his speech when he said 'let's elect our next commander in chief and the next leader of the free world, my friend Mitt Romney.) He immediately referenced Romney in his first paragraph- saying he was honored to be there to nominate him. He then proceeded to quickly reference his candidacy in 2008- saying he had hopes to be at this convention under different circumstances.
The Applause-o-Meter Shows Tea Party Growth - 8:24 p.m. ET - From ABC's Chris Good in the convention hall:
Another sign that the Tea Party have won tremendous influence in the GOP: Rand Paul, situated at the small nexus of conservative, Tea Party friendly Senators considered to be led by Jim DeMint, elicited a far, far more energetic response than Mitch McConnell.
Delegates barely paid attention to the speech by the Senate Minority Leader, who is the most powerful and highest ranking Republican in the room, second in the nation to John Boehner.
Rand Paul's speech elicited standing applause and occasional whoops from Ron Paul supporters, but it was clear that Paul is a star to many more here.
Paul drew 21 applause lines by my rough count and one energetic boo for President Obama. McConnell drew two applause moments, both tepid.
Perhaps most significant, delegates applauded heartily for this line: "Republicans must recognize: Not every dollar spent on the military is well spent"
Paul's biggest applause line was about America's "promise of security," which drew extended applause and a few whoops.
Where Have All the Vets Gone? - 7:58 p.m. ET - With John McCain about to speak at the GOP convention and the announcement today that John Kerry will speak at the DNC next week, its worth noting the fact that neither ticket, for the first time in generations, has a veteran on the ticket. And it's increasingly unlikely that a Vietnam veteran will serve as president. Matt Negrin's recent story.
RNC Sentiment On Twitter - Positive Outweighs Negative… By a Hair - 7:55 p.m. ET - Some charts n grafs from Yahoo! News' Chris Wilson:
Mia Love to Jon Karl: 'I'm Not a Guy and I'm Not White - 7:49 p.m. ET -
Rand Paul: Americans Must Slay Their Sacred Cows - 7:41 p.m. ET - Kentucky senator tells GOP crowd they'll have to chip in too, cut defense spending and more.
Ron Paul to ABC News' Chris Good on His Son Rand's Future - 7:36 p.m. ET - From an interview conducted last week:
ABC News: Your son, Sen. Paul, would you like to see him run for president, or take up the mantle you have created for yourself?
Ron Paul: He's already involved, and has made a record of his own. He's a senator and challenged the establishment there, so I'm sure he's going to be a senator for a long time.
ABC NEWS: Do you see it as a handing off to him? you've become an icon on your own and people identify with that, and he is your son. Do you see an opportunity for him to take over?
Ron Paul: Oh, I think that' a possibility. I'm sure he's the one who will finally make that decision on what he does and how far he goes but I'm sure he's interested and very much involved in trying to promote these ideas.
ABC: Do you talk to him about that at all?
Ron Paul: No. I actually don't. We talk about family things when we talk, or he's called recently and I'm always delighted to talk to him about what we miss in medicine. I never wanted him to quit, just like my parents never wanted me to quit. We talk about that and family things a lot more than the future of the Republican party.
Ron Paul Honored at Convention, Rand Paul Speaks - 7:33 p.m. ET -Here's the video the GOP played to honor Ron Paul, who still hasn't endorsed Mitt Romney, at the convention tonight. His son, Rand, is giving a speech focused on Obamacare right now.
Scott Brown's Daughter Sings Natl. Anthem, But Dad is Training With Natl Guard - 7:22 p.m. ET - Elizabeth Hartfield points out: Although his daughter is singing the national anthem tonight- Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown is not in attendance. He's training with the National Guard for the first part of the week (he was recently promoted to Colonel.) He is expected to be at the convention tomorrow night when Romney accepts the nomination.
Ryan on America's Choice: 'We Don't Have That Much Time' - 6:44 p.m. ET - Per excerpts, Shush Walshe notices a few passages. He'll paint the pain required to solve the budget problems as medicine.
"The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation's economic problems. And I'm going to level with you: We don't have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this."
"The right that makes all the difference now is the right to choose our own leaders. You are entitled to the clearest possible choice because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge. We will not duck the tough issues - we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others - we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles. The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us - all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this."
Jeb Bush Tells Diane Sawyer George W. is Smart to Steer Clear of RNC - In a Republican convention that has yet to prominently acknowledge the party's last president, George W. Bush, Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, hinted to ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer that his brother would be a part of his speech on Thursday night, according to Ben Forer.
"I may say something nice about him," Bush said to Sawyer. "There's a video of he and my dad that will be on tonight, I think. And there may be mention of him tomorrow as well at eight o'clock."
Bush says he does not find it strange that his brother has not been mentioned in the convention hall and understands why his brother decided not to attend the festivities in Tampa.
"[My brother] knows that he will be a target. The president has spent a lot of time and energy around this notion that 'I can't do anything about it. It's all Bush's fault. You know I'm trying, but it's not working because it's Bush's fault,'" Bush told Sawyer. "Now we're in year four of a presidency, think back into American history, think of a president that is blaming his predecessor in the fourth year. So why encourage the bad behavior and I think my brother is smart to stay away."
Meet Paul Ryan's Convention Posse - 6:20 p.m. ET - Shush Walshe has this guide to wife Janna, mom Betty and the little kids. More here .
Where is Ron Paul? Not at the Convention to Watch Rand - 6:18 p.m. ET - Jason Volack reports: Ron Paul's video tribute is scheduled for 7.15 this evening, but the Texas congressman will not be watching from the forum - or anywhere in Tampa for that matter.
The campaign said last week said Paul would stay for his tribute and for his son Rand Paul's speech at 7.30 - but that has now changed. It's unclear why.
Originally Rand Paul was tentatively scheduled to speak on Monday and the video tribute was scheduled for Tuesday, but the condensed convention changed all that.
Obama Reddit AMA Briefly Crashes Reddit - 5:42 p.m. ET - From ABC's tech editor Joanna Stern
Young Love in the Grand Old Party, Cont'd - 5:26 p.m. ET - Jon Karl talked to the new fiancees:
Obama Seizes on Romney Staffer Eschewing Fact-Checkers - 4:48 p.m. ET - Jake Tapper on Obama's counter-programming today in Charlottesville, VA:
President Obama today seized upon a remark by a pollster for his rival's campaign to paint Mitt Romney as determined to "not let the truth get in the way" of his campaign.
Speaking to a crowd of roughly seven thousand supporters, many of them students at the nearby University of Virginia, the president said, " you can prove the cynics wrong one more time. But the other side will spend the next two months spending more money than we have ever seen in our lives - an avalanche of attack ads and insults, distractions - and sometimes they just make things up. But they've got a bunch of folks who can write $10 million checks. And they'll just keep on running them. "
The president continued: "somebody was challenging one of their ads, they just - they made it up about work and welfare…Every outlet said, 'this is just not true.' And they were asked about it and they said - one of their campaign people says: We won't have the fact checkers dictate our campaign. We will not let the truth get in the way."
Make New Friends, But Keep The Old - 4:24 p.m. ET - Today will bring some of the GOP old guard clearly into public view, featuring a slew of sitting senators and former members of the Bush administration.
But the old hands might bring fresh criticism of President Obama onto the stage. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, is the lead-off speaker during prime time today and will unleash a barrage of criticisms and one-liners on Obama, attacking what he sees as failed policies, according to excerpts obtained by ABC News.
"As we meet here tonight, America is suffering through an economic calamity of truly historic dimensions," McConnell will say. "Some are calling it the slowest recovery in our nation's entire 236-year history. To call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries."
Young Love in the Grand Old Party- 3:50 p.m. ET- Who says there is no love in politics? Not Bradley Thompson, 32, who proposed to his girlfriend of three years, Laura Bowman, on the stage of the Tampa Bay Times forum on Wednesday.
Neither Thompson nor Bowman were at the RNC as delegates - in fact, it's not even clear if they're Republicans; the couple declined to tell reporters when asked which party they support. Bowman is a production coordinator and Thompson is a production manager for the convention. The couple met three years ago on a production job and they live in New York City.
Bowman, who had previously picked out the ring with her hubby-to-be, knew that the couple would eventually tie the knot but didn't expect to have her boyfriend get down on one knee in the middle of the Republican National Convention.
Doodle it Live: Convention Show Guests Drawings: ABC News and Yahoo! News put the drawing abilities of their convention guests to the test.
Isaac Back to Tropical Storm - 3:19 p.m. ET
Clint Eastwood: Will 'Dirty Harry' Be RNC's Thursday's s Mystery Guest? - 3:12 p.m. ET - It's still not clear who's the "TBA" speaker that will address the RNC before Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on the final night of the Republican National Convention. But one website says it has inside knowledge that it'll be Clint Eastwood , Hollywood star, octogenarian, and Republican. Eastwood, who was at one time the mayor of Carmel, Calfornia, attended a fundraiser for Mitt Romney earlier this year. Townhall.com, a conservative website, reports that a "well placed Republican source" confirms it'll be Eastwood. ABC News has not confirmed the veracity of the report. So we're still guessing. But Eastwood, who also supported John McCain in 2008 and could theoretically use his gravelly voice to look at the camera and tell Barack Obama to make his day, would be a good candidate to get the crowd pumped up. Read Townhall's report .
Floor Pix - Marco Rubio Doesn't speak until tomorrow night. But he was on the convention floor earlier today and ABC's Jon Karl and John Parkinson caught up with him:
Did Obama Watch Christie? Nope. - 3:00 p.m. ET - Jake Tapper reports: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the president didnt watch GOP convention; he was reading briefing books and "a lot of material, watching sports…Had other things to do."
Locals in Wisconsin Talk About Paul Ryan at High School Homecoming Rally - 2:41 p.m. ET - One guy says, "He tried to get into Notre Dame, but didn't. That's about all I can tell you." More from Shush Walshe:
Ann Romney: 'Modern Feminist' - 2:05 p.m. ET - Ann Romney followed her heartfelt convention speech Tuesday with a breakfast in her honor Wednesday. Mitt Romney called in to introduce her and all five Romney daughters-in-law spoke, as well as Paul Ryan's wife Janna. Shush Walshe covered .
"One thing I really love about Ann is she's a really modern feminist," Andelynne Romney said. "She's kind of the 21st century woman. She is so comfortable in her own skin, and I promise that's for real. I feel like being a stay-at-home mom myself, one who wants to go back to school, one who's making long-term choices in my life that being part of this family, anything is possible and I have such an amazing role model to follow."
This was one of the first times Janna Ryan had a chance to speak publicly, after shaking her head 'no' to take the microphone at her husband's roll-out two weeks ago, and she made it brief, talking for less than two minutes. Also dressed in a pink dress, she thanked Ann Romney for "her friendship," calling it an "unexpected blessing in this campaign."
@SteveLevitan: Thrilled Ann Romney says ModFam is her favorite show. We'll offer her the role of officiant at Mitch & Cam's wedding. As soon as it's legal. - Tweet - 1:26 p.m. ET
Democrats Tap John Kerry for Stadium Speech on Foreign Policy - 1:08 p.m. ET - Kerry is a longtime senator, 2004 presidential nominee, combat veteran, and subject of the controversial " Swift Boat Veterans for Truth " ads. Devin Dwyer reports :
Kerry is expected to tout Obama's record on ending the war in Iraq, setting a timetable for Afghanistan, and stepping up the targeting of al Qaeda leaders, including the killing of Osama bin Laden.
"Senator Kerry will speak to how the President has restored America's leadership in the world, has taken the fight to our enemies, and has a plan to bring our troops home from Afghanistan just like he did from Iraq," said an Obama campaign official on condition of anonymity.
"He will contrast the president's strong leadership in this area with Mitt Romney, who has embraced the go-it-alone, reckless policies of the past that weakened America's place in the world and made us less secure here at home," the official said.
The Obama campaign believes that with the president getting some of his strongest polling numbers on foreign policy they can effectively woo independent voters by highlighting the his record.
Much Love for Mia - 12:59 p.m. ET - From ABC's Jon Karl: Mia Love had only two minutes to speak yesterday. Her time slot was during the 7pm hour when most delegates are still milling around the hall and not paying much attention. But she managed to do what many of the later bigger name speakers failed to do: energize the hall and bring the delegates to their feet.
That's why there's a lot of talk about Mia Love today. She is the African American (and Mormon) Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. And she has a good shot of becoming the first black woman Republican elected to Congress if she can beat Utah Democrat Rep. Jim Matheson.
Her speech last night focused on the American Dream attained by her parents, who emigrated from Haiti with "ten dollars in their pocket."
President Obama's version of America is a divided one - pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status. His policies have failed! We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, and no rhetoric, bumper sticker, or campaign ad can change that.
Mr. President I am here to tell you we are not buying what you are selling in 2012.
The American Dream is our story. It is a story of human struggle, standing up and striving for more. It's been told for over 200 years with small steps and giant leaps; from a woman on a bus to a man with a dream; and the bravery of the greatest generation, to the entrepreneurs of today.
This is our story. This is the America we know because we built it.
I caught up with her back in may for an interview for the ABC/Yahoo Power Players series. The video went viral, generating a million views.
Secret Menu Details Perks, Access for Elite Romney Donors-11:59am- ABC reports that Governor Romney will have a two hour lunch today with the Romney Victory Council, a group consisting mainly of elite campaign donors. Romney's Vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan, Ann Romney, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will also be in attendance. Marked "Confidential," the schedule offers a rare inside look at how the Republican National Convention is playing out for those who have raised and donated the most to see Romney in the White House.
In a campaign where the candidates will combine to raise well over $1 billion, the techniques for rewarding top donors with titles and attention have been carefully honed. With exclusive retreats, briefings from campaign insiders and fully-stocked luxury lounges, the environment is conducive to the networking that has become the lifeblood of national political conventions.
From the Road to Victory Suite, the council will watch Romney accept his party's nomination and they will return home with brass clocks and wooden captain's chairs with personalized brass plaques imprinted with the GOP nominee's signature. Without a doubt, the nurturing of major donors has become an important staple of the political conventions.
Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan; GOP Foils - 9:15am- Today, four years ago marks the day that Sen. John McCain of Arizona confirmed that he had picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate. Though the Palin VP and the Paul Ryan VP Pick seem to be drastically different, ABC's Gregory Krieg and Suhushannah Walshe point out that maybe they are not as different as they seem .
But their easily apparent differences aside, the entries of Palin in 2008, and Ryan this season have added strikingly similar dynamics to their respective races.
And it goes beyond just the aesthetics, although there is that, too. Ryan today is just two years younger than Palin was when she addressed the convention in St. Paul, Minn., four years ago. They both have young children, a passion for exercise and a taste for hunting (although Ryan prefers crossbows to Palin's helicopters and guns).
More importantly, they both appeal to a part of the Republican Party that's caused fits for McCain and Mitt Romney: The base.
Ryan, with his deficit-hawk bible called "The Roadmap," is Romney's inside man. Question Romney's dedication to the conservative cause? Well, your answer is Ryan. Palin was unfamiliar to the national media but, like Ryan, her mere presence quieted internal worries about McCain's interest in keeping the party line.
Rubio admits to GOP's Immigration 'Challenge'- 8:22 AM- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told ABC's George Stephanopoulos this morning that he agreed with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who said Tuesday that "you can't just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate."
The comment made by Villaraigosa was referring to the number of prominent Hispanic Republicans expected to speak at the Republican National Convention this week, but Rubio said the mayor's message applies to both parties.
Recent polls show that the GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, is struggling with Latino voter.
This morning, Rubio said that Mitt Romney would replace an executive order made by President Obama that would "I think he's going to replace it. That's what I think you can expect from the Romney presidency and I think the obligation of some of us in the Congress is to find that permanent solution," he says.
That Democratic colleague, Craig Hanna, was also really concerned about the five percent unemployment of the day.