House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) fired up GOP delegates Tuesday night with a call to "throw out" President Obama in November.
Boehner, who is serving as the convention’s chairman, was the opening act on a night Republicans choreographed to highlight Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remark, which the GOP sees as encapsulating what it believes is the president’s disparaging view of private business.
While delegates were returning to the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Speaker built on his line of attack to gain the attention of the hall.
“If a guy walked into our bar ... and said, ‘if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,' do you know what we’d do? Throw him out. ... President Obama just doesn’t get this,” Boehner said.
“So in 70 days, when the American people walk into the voting booth, what should we do? Throw him out,” the Speaker concluded to loud applause.
Boehner addressed the delegates as convention volunteers passed out white signs with the words "We Built It" painted in red and blue.
He spoke a few hours before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is delivering the convention’s keynote address, and Ann Romney, the wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Boehner said he agrees with at least one Obama position: that the country can “do better.”
“We can do better. We can do a lot better. It starts with throwing out the politician who doesn’t get it, and electing a new president who does,” Boehner said.
“President Romney will keep his word and his courage, too. ... He’ll keep faith with the idea that government exists to serve the people, and the people build the economy.”
The Speaker also gave a shout out to Romney's VP running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis), calling Ryan "second to none when it comes to rooting out and fixing Washington's worst habits."
"When I met Paul Ryan 22 years ago, he was a student at Miami of Ohio volunteering on my campaign. Soon, he will be our party's nominee for vice president of the United States. Who says this isn't the greatest country on Earth?" Boehner asked.
Ryan is set to address the convention on Wednesday night, while Romney will give the finale on Thursday night in a speech accepting the GOP nomination.
—This story was first posted at 6:35 p.m. and has been updated.