CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick used his speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night to slam predecessor Mitt Romney and call on Democrats to stand up for President Barack Obama.
"Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed," Patrick said. "I can tell you Massachusetts was not one of them. He's a fine fellow and a great salesman, but as governor he was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job."
Patrick told Democrats in the impassioned speech that if they want to win elections, they need to grow a backbone and stand up for what they believe. He said that includes telling the story of what Obama has done, including passing the health care law, bringing Osama bin Laden to justice and ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.
"With a record like that and a vision that hopeful and powerful, I for one will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office — and neither should you," Patrick said. "I want you to be clear. What's at stake is real."
Patrick talked about Orchard Gardens Elementary School in the Roxbury section of Boston, which he said was in trouble but has turned around in part because of Obama administration policies. He told convention delegates about meeting a class of first-graders who were learning about Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. He said Republican policies would leave those first-graders on their own, while Obama will champion them from the White House.
"Let's fight for that. Let's canvass and phone bank and get out the vote for that," he said. "Let's go tell everyone we meet that, when the American dream is on the line, we want Barack Obama in charge."
Absent from the speech was any mention of the Massachusetts health care overhaul passed during Romney's tenure that became the model for the national version Obama pushed through. In the past, Patrick has praised Romney for his role in instituting the state law while criticizing him for vows to repeal the national version.
Patrick has been traveling around the country stumping for Obama. A political action committee formed last year to fund his travels and other activities on the president's behalf had raised $1.3 million as of June.