NEW YORK – Thursday's theme at the Republican National Convention was "A Safer World and More Hopeful America." FOXNews.com asked prominent convention-goers what that means to them.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Empower America Co-Founder Jack Kemp: "I think the Democrats said the same thing [at their convention.] What I would say is, 'a rising tide lifts all boats' — and Bush will say this tonight, it will be great. We want everyone to own their own health care insurance, we want people to own their own retirement accounts. Ownership, when you own something, you treat it differently than when you don't. Ever send your rental car to a car wash?"
Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: "I think clearly on the message of the security front – that has been driven home and driven home, I think successfully, by our folks. On the economic front, I think we could be stronger. I think that Bush is going to lead with that tonight and talk about how important that is, and drive home more concrete terms about what he is going to do to improve the quality of life for people in America."
Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman: "I think the stage has certainly been set. We saw with Senator McCain and Rudy Giuliani, talking about a safer world and the kind of leadership we need. Some of the quieter speeches by [North Carolina Senator] Elizabeth Dole, [Senate Majority Leader] Bill Frist, [Education Secretary] Rod Paige — their speeches did not get as much coverage, but they were talking about everything from health coverage, talking about family, talking about education, so in the end what you see is the president talking about his vision for the future.
"The other side calls themselves optimists, they use that phrase, but then all they talk about is how terrible things are. What's their solution? What's their answer? We have a vision for a safer world and a more hopeful future."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: "I think certainly the effort has been made at every level from Senator McCain's speech to [California Governor] Arnold Schwarzenegger, [Vice President] Dick Cheney last night, that if you want a safer world you have to have strength and courage, and that there's a great contrast between the stability of Bush's position and the confusion of Senator Kerry. And second, I think there is a very sharp difference in philosophy, between those of us who believe you create jobs through lower taxes, and better small business and better local business and those like Senator Kerry, who believe that higher taxes, bigger government and more bureaucracy is better for the economy. I think the president is trying to communicate that difference and I think those two things will be the central argument for the next 60 days."