CARSON CITY – Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval had his moment in the national spotlight today at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, using his six minutes at the podium to talk of his humble beginnings and the need for change in the White House.
He emphasized his Hispanic roots, noting that his father was one of 10 children, and his mother lived with her family in a tiny two-bedroom house in the Southwest.
“When I was a boy, my parents brought us to Nevada in search of opportunity,” he said. “My first job was cleaning sheep pens. In college, I worked in a hospital cafeteria. I worked my way through law school.”
Sandoval said he dreamed of public service, becoming a state lawmaker, attorney general, gaming regulator and federal judge.
While serving as a federal judge, Sandoval said he saw Nevada’s economy falter due to the failed policies of the Obama Administration, and decided to run for governor.
Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 12 percent in July, and has been among the states with the highest foreclosure rate.
“Make no mistake: The current administration’s failed experiment with big government gets in the way of economic recovery,” he said. “Their love affair with government regulation is a drag on business confidence.
“From personal experience, I can tell you what will help states like Nevada and families like mine: Elect the team that understands how to get America working again. Send Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to the White House!”
Sandoval criticized the Obama Administration for telling Americans that government is the answer, when “we know it’s the problem.”
“They tell us we didn’t build our businesses, but somebody else made it happen,” he said. “They tell us not to dream, but to settle. You and I know America is better than that.”
Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange said in a statement in response to Sandoval’s remarks: “Governor Sandoval has already made clear how out-of-touch Mitt Romney is on the economy after he waited until all other options were exhausted to endorse the Republican nominee.
“But now that he finally has, he has developed a case of political amnesia regarding his previous statements applauding President Obama’s efforts at creating jobs in Nevada and criticizing Mitt Romney for being out of touch on the state’s foreclosure crisis,” she said. “The reality is that after outsourcing jobs as a corporate layoff specialist, outsourcing jobs as governor of Massachusetts and pledging to outsource jobs as President, Mitt Romney is just wrong for Nevada’s middle-class.”
Sandoval, who early on endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary, was mentioned frequently by media pundits as a possible vice presidential pick by Romney. Sandoval repeatedly said he was not interested in the position, and that he would serve out his term as governor and run for a second term in 2014.
Sandoval is focusing on economic diversification and job growth as governor, announcing earlier this year a goal of creating 50,000 jobs by the end of 2014. Nevada recently was successful in bringing Apple to Northern Nevada with a package of tax breaks.
He has presented a position of calm and consistency in Nevada as the Nevada State Republican Party has struggled to find a united front. Earlier today, many Nevada convention delegates continued to support Ron Paul despite Romney’s overwhelming delegate count that has made him the Republican nominee.