Tampa: Republican White House challenger Mitt Romney on Thursday vowed to act tough with nations like Iran and China if elected, as he blasted his rival Barack Obama for failing to deliver and declared it was time for a "new leadership" in America.
Formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination at the climax of the party`s national convention here, Romney, 65, accused the current Obama Administration of being apologetic and not being tough with countries like Iran and China.
Casting himself as the best hope in America to lift the struggling US economy, Romney, himself a successful businessman, promised to make US energy independent, slash the deficit and create 12 million jobs.
Taking the centre stage after Hollywood star Clint Eastwood had whipped up the passions, Romney asked Americans to put the "disappointments" of the last four years behind and join him in restoring the promise of America.
With the US facing a tough time, the Republican hopeful in his historic acceptance speech dwelt mostly Romney on the ailing economy and only briefly touched on the foreign policy, promising American friends and allies that they would see "more loyalty".
Romney did not touch issues like Afghanistan and Pakistan and only praised the Navy SEALs for their operation in taking out world`s most wanted fugitive Osama bin Laden, drawing flake from the Obama camp who said he had ignored the Afghan war.
"Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran`s nuclear threat," he said.
"We`re still talking, and Iran`s centrifuges are still spinning. President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro`s Cuba," he alleged.
Romney said the US under his administration will honour America`s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. Romney in particular mentioned China twice in his speech in particular with reference to economic issues.
Romney said Americans wanted to believe in Obama but had suffered from his failures of leadership. He said Obama`s policies has crushed the middle class and vowed to restore American promise.
"His policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them. And this I can tell you about where President Obama would take America: His plan to raise taxes on small business won`t add jobs, it will eliminate them.”
"His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to China," Romney said.
He said Americans have a better choice and deserve better future.
"Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, "I`m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!," Romney said.
"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn`t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something," Romney said.
"If I am elected president of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future," he said in his speech.