Georgia delegates cast official vote for Romney-Ryan ticket

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TAMPA, Fla. - Georgia's 76 delegates took to the floor of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday and cast their votes for nominee Mitt Romney for president of the United States and then settled in for a night of speeches that included the wife of Mitt Romney and rousing speech by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Mrs. Romney's speech was not so much political but rather the story of her husband, her family and her vision of the American family.

"I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours," Romney said.

"This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair."

"This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard," Snn Romney continued.  

Mrs. Romney told the crowd what a hard worker her husband is and he would do anything for his country.

“No one will work harder. No one will care more. No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live,” Ann Romney said.

She also went on to talk about his success in business and how that experience will move the country forward.

“Because this is America, that small company which grew has helped so many others lead better lives. The jobs that grew from the risks they took have become college educations, first homes. That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions and retirement funds. This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams,” Ann Romney said.

Mrs. Romney also talked about her husband’s stature, saying he will be the hardest worker to get the country back on track.

“This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard,” Ann Romney said. He loves America. He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.”

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Mitt Romney appeared on stage briefly after his wife's speech and then quickly sat down to watch New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie started by telling Republicans about his mother.

"She was tough as nails and didn't suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn't afford to.  She spoke the truth - bluntly, directly and without much varnish," Christie said.

Christie then spent nearly 15 minutes spelling out the differences  between the Republican and Democratic parties, rallying the faithful in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America. Tonight, we choose respect over love. We are not afraid.  We are taking our country back," Christie said. He ended with strong praise of nominee Romney.

"It's time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House. America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now," Christie boomed in the convention hall.

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Inside the arena, former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who won the Georgia primary, told Channel 2's Justin Farmer he's behind the Republican ticket. Gingrich hosted his supporters at an event during the convention's evening recess.

"We're totally committed. It's part of what tonight's all about, to make sure everybody's totally committed," Gingrich said.

Dan Israel, an alternate delegate for Georgia told Farmer that the evening speeches will sway American voters.

"With people like Chris Christie on board and with people like Paul Ryan on board, I think it's going to help show the swing voters that we Republicans are serious about making some substantial changes," Israel said.

Just a few hours earlier, Georgia delegates helped make Romney and Ryan the official nominees of their party.

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Georgia GOP Chairwoman Sue Everhart proudly cast 72 votes for the Romney-Ryan ticket during the state roll call.

Party leaders pushed for much of the week to present all 76 votes unanimously for Mitt Romney, but in the end some could not be swayed. Three delegates remained loyal to Ron Paul and one single delegate was undecided.

Before Tuesday's roll call vote, delegate Tim Fleming from Covington paced the convention floor as anticipation for the first full day of the convention built.

"We're excited to be in Tampa from Georgia to nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and excited to get started tonight," Fleming told Channel 2's Lori Geary.

Georgian Eric Tannenblatt, who is Romney's finance  co-chairman, told Geary that the party is ready to get down to business but also mindful of Hurricane Isaac just a few states away.

"We also want to make sure we do the business of the convention and, you know, it's a delicate balance. We're just going to monitor it tonight and through the next couple of days," Tannenblatt said.

Geary reported seeing Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens on the stage just after noon Tuesday, preparing for his speech on Wednesday night.

She's expected to interview Olens before his speech, along with several other Georgia leaders. Look for complete coverage of the Republican National Convention throughout the day on Channel 2 Action News and WSBTV.com and get minute-by-minute updates on Twitter by following @WSBTV and @WSBVOTE.

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