Two witnesses for the GOP prosecution in Tampa

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens address the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Wednesday. AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens address the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Wednesday. AP/J. Scott Applewhite

TAMPA — A speech before a national political convention begins with a phone call and a surprisingly tight deadline. For Attorney General Sam Olens, that call came three weeks ago.

And it arrived with a slight twist: Olens would perform a rhetorical duet before delegates with his Florida counterpart, Pam Bondi.

Days of emailing and editing, some late-night tweaks and two dress rehearsals later, the bespectacled lawyer — who had been chairman of the Cobb County Commission only two years ago — stepped in front of thousands of delegates to the Republican National Convention and millions of TV viewers with his partner on Wednesday night.

“We know that the Constitution limits federal power, but President [Barack] Obama clearly believes those limits just get in his way. So he ignores them,” Olens began. “He promises to rescue our economy and environment by investing in green jobs, but instead funnels your tax dollars into campaign donors’ pockets.”

Bondi joined in: “He sure does. He talks about giving us more control over health care decisions, but instead grants that power to government bureaucrats.”

The Olens-Bondi duo was sandwiched between and overshadowed by U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, rivals in the ’08 presidential contest. Who were in turn eclipsed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and — the finale of the evening — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

All in all, the seven-minute duet was a modest national debut for Olens. But if you think of a convention as a structured argument, two attorneys general were entirely necessary to Mitt Romney’s prosecution. They served as witnesses to what Republicans see as Obama’s overreaching on health care, illegal immigration, environmental regulation and more.

Olens was at Romney’s side when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its health care decision this summer. Before she became Florida’s attorney general in 2010, the same year as Olens, the telegenic Bondi served as a Fox News contributor — and frequently gave updates on the lawsuit.

”It’s not the fight we want, but it’s the fight we have with this president,” Olens said a few hours before his speech. “When I was running for office, I never imagined a telephone conference where senior officials from the Department of Justice would be on the line, asking me questions to decide who should be sued. I just never really pictured the federal government expending energy to decide which of the 50 [states] is next.”

Olens and Bondi fit well into the evening’s emphasis on diversity. Olens was Georgia’s first Jewish candidate elected to a statewide, partisan office. Bondi is Florida’s first female attorney general.

But both were also early Romney supporters in this year’s contest. In Georgia, where Gov. Nathan Deal backed Newt Gingrich, Olens was the only statewide elected official to endorse the former Massachusetts governor. Olens also supported Romney in ’08.

“The request for me came from Governor Romney. He asked for them to reach out to me,” Olens said. Then came a weeklong lull, followed by a request for copies of past speeches on his fights with the federal government.

Romney’s convention crew cut and pasted the speeches together and helped with “stylistic” flairs. But the words are original, Georgia’s attorney general said.

“I’m sure the public thinks that they give you a speech and you talk,” Olens said. “That’s absolutely not the truth, and I’ve actually been really surprised that it’s not the truth.”

One rehearsal was held Tuesday on the stage within the massive Tampa Bay Times Forum, an experience not nearly as intimidating as Olens anticipated. “It’s a much warmer setting than I expected,” he said. “You don’t get a feeling of the size of the room when you’re up on stage.”

The tag-team concept is what worried Olens the most. “The lectern is really made for one,” Olens said. “Spatially, it’s a challenge. It’s hard for us to be in that same space at the same time.”

It took some effort, but the two dodged out of each other’s way when it counted Wednesday night. But our poor seat behind the RNC stage allowed us an interesting perspective — we could see that Bondi put her partner at a height disadvantage with a pair of high-altitude heels.

Olens’ wife, Lisa, flew down for the speech. A daughter, Lauren, watched from Shenzhen, China, where she teaches English. Olens’ son watched from Syracuse University in New York. The attorney general could have flown Jonathan home for the occasion, but he is on a public servant’s salary and airfare is expensive.

Which raises a question: If Romney wins the White House, will Olens be drawn to Washington? “I think that’s highly unlikely,” Olens said. “I’m here. I’m loving the job.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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98 comments Add your comment

mehlman rings twice

August 29th, 2012
11:00 pm

I think I’m in love with Pam Bondi.

honested

August 29th, 2012
11:14 pm

At one time I viewed sam olens as an Honorable man.

He has now proven me wrong on that count beyond any doubt.

And somebody should teach pam bondi to read before expecting her to follow a script.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
11:17 pm

On August 6, 2011, 30 US service members were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter they were being transported in crashed in Wardak province, Afghanistan. It was the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs were killed in the crash.

Yesterday, Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, spoke at the Defending the Defenders forum sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots outside the RNC Convention in Tampa. Karen brought a copy of the form letter they were sent following their son’s death.

It’s a form letter.
It was signed by an electric pen.

That’s not all.
Karen Vaughn reached out to the parents of the other SEALs killed in that crash.
Their letters were all the same.
Form letters – signed by an electric pen.

After the deadliest single loss of US forces in Afghanistan, Barack Obama sent out form letters to the parents.

This is how the VILE Choom soetoro rolls

ROMNEY / RYAN 2012

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
11:26 pm

AGs Olens and Bondi did a great job, and wow I am so in Love with Paul Ryan!!!!

ROMNEY/RYAN 2012

PatDowns

August 29th, 2012
11:46 pm

@ Galloway – “The Olens-Bondi duo was sandwiched between and overshadowed by U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, rivals in the ’08 presidential contest. Who were in turn eclipsed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and — the finale of the evening — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of Wisconsin…”

Purposely leaving out Gov. Susana Martinez who came on after Dr. Condi and before Ryan just because she is the first female Hispanic governor?

td

August 29th, 2012
11:46 pm

Sam Olens will be the next governor of this great state.

Kris

August 29th, 2012
11:48 pm

It looks like a banner year for Ms. Clairol Hair Color products. When is smutty gonna tell whiny ryanno his job has been outsourced

Re-elect A True President

OBAMA 2012

cc

August 29th, 2012
11:49 pm

TrishaDishaWarEagle @ 11:17 pm:

Even though I expected no more than that from the Kenyan, I am sorry that the parents and families of those kiiled n action serving our country were shown no more respect than a form letter signed by an auto-pen.

cc

August 29th, 2012
11:52 pm

PatDowns:

If you’re looking for fair treatment of the GOP here, you have definitely come to the wrong place!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
12:38 am

@cc, amen.. EVEN I would have thought the vile marxist barry soetoro would never stoop that low.

I WAS WRONG The vile marxist barry soetoro does stoop that low

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
12:49 am

Defenders of ALL that is Evil…….

Kris

August 30th, 2012
12:54 am

There are some prayers against evil,
But none against stupidly
Re-elect President OBAMA.

liberalefty

August 30th, 2012
1:38 am

THE RACIST REPUBS are feeling desperate…lol

liberalefty

August 30th, 2012
1:39 am

@trish

so what soldiers die everyday…

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
1:49 am

@liblefty thankfully, so do welfare queens and their spawn

Derrick

August 30th, 2012
2:36 am

I’m a registered Republican and I can’t believe people still fall the idiotic chain emails like the one TrishaDishaWarEagle posted above.

If you do a google search, you will find that no legitimate media outlet, not even Fox News, reported anything remotely resembling the jibberish from the chain email that was copy/pasted above. All a Bing or Google search turns up are random people on craigslist and obscure bloggers re-posting the chain email.

There are PLENTY of legitimate things to disagree with Obama about. Don’t be one of the fools who believes manufactured chain emails that contain not a shred of truth.

Here’s an actual news story on the tragic events referred to in TrishaDishaWarEagle’s post…
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0809/SEAL-Team-Six-Obama-honors-troops-killed-in-helicopter-crash

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
2:52 am

TrishaDishaWarEagle copy/pasted from a story form this website written by Jim Hoft…
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/obama-honored-fallen-seals-by-sending-their-parents-a-form-letter-signed-by-electric-pen/

If you’ve never heard of Jim Hoft, google him and you will find stuff like this…
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2010/09/21/jim-hoft-dumbest-man-on-the-internet/170927

Before you dismiss the media matters link as biased, take a look at some of the examples they cite of Hoft’s previous work. Regardless of what you might think of media matters, I think Hoft’s track record speaks for itself.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
2:53 am

No chain email, it is linked thru drudge to the gateway pundit which has video of the parents in the story recounting the story AT the RNC convention in Tamps

I win! I always win..

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/obama-honored-fallen-seals-by-sending-their-parents-a-form-letter-signed-by-electric-pen/

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
3:01 am

Damn it feels good to be a Righty.. We all know the left is in abject panic mode, that os why they have become even more shrill. I fully expect many of them to die of hypertension prior to election day..bonus!.. and I did not find media matters article on the Yahoo news washington bureau chief being fired for calling romney racist and for partying while blacks drown, hmm, i am sure it was an oversight.,.haha..mediamatters is useless and so far choooms butt he calls them the tapeworm.

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
3:08 am

Like I said, look at “The Gateway Pundit” a.k.a. Jim Hoft’s track record. It speaks for itself.

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
3:12 am

Oh, and, by the way, there is no video of the parents in the story. ;-)

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
3:18 am

Another thing you should ask yourself is: “If that story about the form letters is true, why are the parents just now talking about it?” The letters from his blog post are all from September 2011. The parents have had a year to speak out on this. Why does this blogger with a track record of posting boatloads of “stories” that were proven to be ludicrous, have the scoop? Why does he not have video? Why is he the only person reporting on it? To the objective eye, it just doesn’t add up.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
3:23 am

The parents were invited to speak this week bec ause this is the RNC ..this is when their story can do the most damage to the vile rupugnant hussein, and I for one, am glad it has come out..and also the forthcoming book by the SEAL who was on the bin laden raid coming out is good timing..it shows the vile repugnant hussein has lied about details and the timeline.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
3:29 am

First sourse corroboration of the gateway pundits story , as the Tea Party Patriots hosted the forum Defending the Defenders at the RNC in Tampa

Yesterday, the Tea Party Patriots were honored to support our military men and women who have bravely served our country. Unfortunately, those men and women have been ill-served by President Obama. Whether one supports or opposes the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, the fact that is that this Administration has failed the troops as they continue to protect our freedoms.

We were proud to be joined by many supporters of our troops. Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of a Navy Seal who died in service, spoke articulately and persuasively about the President’s failure to protect those in the military. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) spoke as well, pointing out that this President does not seem to understand the sacrifices made by service members.

http://www.teapartypatriots.org/2012/08/tea-party-patriots-honors-the-military/

As the obama team lies constantly, I always give the other side the benefit of the doubt, and this corroborates it

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
3:30 am

Yet you see no issues at all with “The Gateway Pundit” a.k.a. Jim Hoft’s track record of “reporting” blunders or give any consideration to the valid questions I raised? LOL. That tells me all I need to know. I won’t waste any more of my time here. It could be that the blog post turns out to be true but given all the questions I mentioned before, I would be stunned and amazed if that turned out to be the case. I’m no fan Obama and I’m not a Dem. I’m just looking at this particular situation objectively based on what I do know to be true.

liberalefty

August 30th, 2012
3:33 am

trishawareagle has been exposed as a liar…lol…must be that trailer park meth she smokin on

liberalefty

August 30th, 2012
3:35 am

if youre unemployed stop blaming the guvment and get off your lazy arse and get a job

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
3:35 am

That link doesn’t corroborate anything “The Gateway Pundit” said. All it confirms is that Billy & Karen Vaughn spoke. It doesn’t mention anything about the letters and there is still no video of their speech (you claimed earlier that there was). The letters probably would’ve been worth mentioning on tea party link, wouldn’t you say?

Like I said, I’m just looking at this objectively and there are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many red flags with that blog about the letters, especially when you look at the track record of the blogger.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
3:35 am

more corroboration the event took place, for the tin foil hat crowd (yes, we ARE out to get you)

Tuesday
Aug. 28, 2012

Billy & Karen will be speaking at
Defending our Defenders
(Veterans for a Strong America)
Liberty Plaza, 180 S. Morgan St. Tampa, FL
4pm -6pm

from http://www.forourson.us/upcoming-speaking-engagements.html

The personal memorial website and blog of Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of Special Operations Chief (SEAL) Aaron Carson Vaughn

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
3:39 am

http://www.forourson.us/index.html

About Us…

Billy & Karen Vaughn (Aaron’s parents) are now making themselves available to speak publicly across America in an effort to carry the torch Aaron passed to them.

They speak primarily about the threats facing our republic due to enemies both within and without and also address the outrageous disregard the current administration seems to have for the lives of our military heroes who are forced to fight a war with both hands tied behind their backs; a war against an enemy our country refuses to even name.

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
3:40 am

Again, no mention of the letters. I think it’s pretty clear that Billy & Karen spoke. The issue is the letters mentioned in the blog post you cited. Nobody but the blogger with a shoddy track record of reporting anything resembling facts has “reported” on the letters.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
3:42 am

To those who defended obama above, feel that sting in the back of your throat?. That’s pride Messin with you. Pride only hurts when you are wrong…

Vic Deakins

August 30th, 2012
3:44 am

Trisha, Feel that warmth coming over your face? That’s the embarrassment that comes from falling for a hoax. ;-)

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
4:00 am

Excerpts from the Father, Billy Vaughn’s, blog..I think this is so very wonderful that this family can turn their tragedy into something constructive by calling out this vile petty little man, obama, on his stupid tying the hands of the military in Afghanistan!

As I said before, I believe the shoot down of the Chinook was an act of war, but if you’ll allow me, I’d like to to stretch the definitions of tragic and tragedy, and talk about a few “for instances” that satisfy the parameters of those words:

It is tragic that the area in which Extortion 17 was operating had already been cleared by U.S. warriors three previous times according to the military, but had not been maintained by the Afghans who were charged with manning the area and keeping it safe.

..It’s tragic that on the night of August 6, 2011, overhead, circling above Extortion 17 and the fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers on board, were some of the most capable Air Weapons Teams the world has ever seen (two AH64 Apaches and an AC130 Gunship). But because of the Rules of Engagement, no pre-assault fire paved the way for Extortion 17 to deliver its payload for their night’s work. The Air Weapons Teams over Extortion 17 that night watched the chopper fly into the hot zone without even firing shots into the air, so to speak, in order to make the enemy keep their heads down. All pilots were afraid of legalities they were bound to by the ROEs written and enforced by people in a peaceful, far away land.

…It’s tragic that the policy of the Commander in Chief also allows the AFGHAN National Army, the AFGHAN National Police, and the AFGHAN Security Ministry to be informed of all phases of special op missions in theater. Let me clarify…they know all ins and outs of each operation, including the flight routes. Tragic, in this instance, is an insufficient term.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
4:08 am

I would laugh if it were not so tragic..so I will HATE those of you on the left a little more, instead.

zeke

August 30th, 2012
5:35 am

do us a favor, join the military if you are such a patriot, they accept females

zeke

August 30th, 2012
5:42 am

Romney Pollster: We Will Not ‘Be Dictated By Fact-Checkers’

great strategy, tell dumb massess lies and bet on hate

Ronnie Raygun

August 30th, 2012
6:39 am

Pam looks a little old for Mittens. He said to “bring ‘em young”, not “bring on the pie wagons”.

Yo!

August 30th, 2012
7:01 am

Sam, we love ya but you looked like a short stub next to that blond bomb shell….she was yummy to look at :) Oh, btw, their speech was pretty lousy.

Buckhead Boy

August 30th, 2012
7:28 am

Yo!, bad news. Ms. Bondi is engaged again. But, then again, her former marriages didn’t last that long.

Don't Be Silly...

August 30th, 2012
7:41 am

Talk about Canned Speeches… If this had been shot during the days of black & white tvs, this duo would have looked and sounded a lot like the Honeymooners. A short, stubby fat a$$ and a tall pretty woman!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 30th, 2012
7:51 am

honeymooners is better than Amos&Barry

kevin3

August 30th, 2012
7:57 am

Sam Olson is like a ant…….following the path that goes in and out and wherever it stop he will stop. There is a strange thing about the Republician Convention….it has been about everyone speaking about what they have did or done. Ryan really is not the material this country needs, romney is bad for the country because he has lied and can’t be honest about his affairs and he think he will be elected. I hate to see where we have gone to where we will end up. Nothing wrong with the President wanting people to have health care, don’t be fool; go to the hospitals and see who is bieng waited on first with healthcare, those that are still waiting will soon be served at the appropriate time. People lie to you all of the time so why are you looking to elect a man that has lied over and over again. Not sure you really know who Ryan or Romney really is and all about. Oh, they will take your hard earned money too!

Going Right

August 30th, 2012
8:03 am

Vic Deakins (2.36a); “ If you’ve never heard of Jim Hoft, google him and you will find stuff like this… then you post a URL from “mediamatters.org” – surpassed in virulent blather by none only than “Moveon.org(asm)” One can surely gat a “fair and balanced” article when reading the same garbage as the DNC uses for its political ads;

Vic Deakins 3.18a); Why don’t you ask the parents why they waited so long? Could it have been that they would have talked to a “robo-pin” or a pre-recorded diatribe from the Anointed One? Perhaps had it been you as the parent, you would have shown them by God!

Vic Deakins (3.35a); MediaMatters.Org(asm) is one of the main reasons Media Research Center was formed – not for exposing “gaffes” (which, by the way, apparently only Republicans are guilt of), rather for exposing the unbelievable bias of the press and media. The pure schadenfreud of Hoft’s “reporting” is an indication of the socialist left’s attempt to win at all costs, no matter the collateral damage.

Zeke (5.35a); Trisha could, not doubt join the military. They will take any qualified candidate. Sorry, Charlie, you ain’t good enough for the military. As a 26-year USMC retiree, I can tell you that for sure.

Buckhead Boy (7.28a); you’re just incensed because your and your partner’s (alleged) “marriage” isn’t recognized in GA. Try Californicate or Taxachusetts…they will welcome you two with open arms.

mehlman rings twice

August 30th, 2012
8:13 am

To paraphrase a VP candidate, Our parents deserve better than spending their old age in their children’s basement staring at faded Dick Cheney posters because they can’t find a job, or afford to move to China.

honested

August 30th, 2012
8:15 am

trisha-alabama-whatever,

If the parents were worried about receiving a ‘form letter’ why didn’t they have the good sense to discourage their SON not to go be cannon fodder in a fools errand?

honested

August 30th, 2012
8:18 am

Lyin ryan quote:

‘they want to turn our country into a place where everything is free but you’,……

Really? Apparently ole’ lyin’ ryan hasn’t bought gas, groceries, health insurance or real estate in a while.
The scary thing is that the wrong wing nuts can suspend reality and believe such nonsense.

Bob Loblaw

August 30th, 2012
8:18 am

Sam Olens is a breath of fresh air for Georgia. Who cares about his height?

honested

August 30th, 2012
8:19 am

mehlman,

I wonder what it is that causes wrong wingers to have such short and malleable memories?

honested

August 30th, 2012
8:20 am

sam olens, fresh air?

Only if you live too near a swamp.