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Tampa, Fla. • To restore the American dream, it'll take restoring Republican leaders to the White House, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Tuesday in rallying fellow GOP delegates to back the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket.
Chaffetz, one of two Utahns to grab a brief moment in the spotlight at the Republican National Convention, said the country was in trouble and President Barack Obama's solution of imposing choking regulations, a punishing tax code and runaway spending isn't working.
"This isn't the American Dream," Chaffetz said during a minute-and-a-half address in the afternoon. "Our nation isn't just one good tax increase away from prosperity."
Chaffetz landed his speaking role despite a compressed schedule for the convention, though he spoke to a half-empty convention hall as delegates were slowly trickling in for the evening's later activities.
The Utah Republican, who has served as a surrogate for Romney in several states, said that America's past generations rolled up their sleeves to build a strong and successful nation.
"American success hasn't come from Czars, 'Cash for Clunkers,' endless bailouts, a limitless government credit card, or more taxes for more government," Chaffetz said. "The American Dream was built on the sweat and blood of Americans who took pride and personal ownership in themselves and their country."
The Romney camp has dispatched Chaffetz to speak to several delegations from various states this week as it seeks to boost enthusiasm for the ticket.
He condensed his stump speech for Tuesday but carried the same message.
"We need to make tough choices. We need leadership," Chaffetz said. "We need to elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. We need to believe in America again."