Sept. 3, 2004 -- Three speakers at the Republican National Convention in New York City Tuesday night singled out small businesses, although the topic has played a smaller role on the whole than it did during the Democratic National Convention.
Republicans stacked Tuesday night's lineup with heavy-hitters like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), First Lady Laura Bush, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even the president's nephew, George P. Bush, each of whom hammered home the value of President George W. Bush's policies to small business owners.
"Our party has always represented the interests of all people seeking opportunity," said George P. Bush, the son of Florida Governor, Jeb Bush. "We are the home of entrepreneurs."
Both the president's nephew and his wife stressed the benefits of the administration's tax cuts to small business owners and the important role they play in creating jobs. Laura Bush went so far as to single out Carmela Chaifos, an Iowan woman who credits the president's tax relief plan for helping her become the sole female tow truck company owner in her state.
Frist, who was a surgeon before becoming a Senator, spoke about small business owners' primary concern: the cost of healthcare.
"As for small businesses, they're burdened, often crushed, by health care costs," Frist said. "So we want to do is help them band together to provide affordable health care for their employees and their families."
The small business theme should be continued on Wednesday, where speakers like Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Vice President Dick Cheney are expected to continue the roll call of positive economic gains made by the president's economic policies.
At the Democratic National Convention in Boston last month, several key speakers, including presidential nominee Senator John Kerry, pledged their support the for the nation's small businesses at their convention in Boston.
According to a study done by the New York Times, small business issues like jobs, tax cuts and health care costs figured prominently on their Boston agenda, where speakers uttered the words "economy" 45 times, "jobs" 127 times and "healthcare" 161 times.
DARREN DAHL is a contributing editor at Inc. Magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, NC.
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