HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mitt Romney's speech accepting the Republican nomination to run for president was a hit with local members of the GOP. But Democrats said it wasn't enough to change their opinions, and that Hawaii will still be, as they put it, Obama country in November.
About 25 of those Democrats, including retired educators, some members of Planned Parenthood, and the party's rank-and-fail, gathered at the Big City Diner at Ward Centre to watch the speech. Some of them said they wanted more specifics from the former Massachusetts governor.
"He has not said anything," said retired teacher June Motokawa after the first ten minutes. "He's talking about his family now. He talked about his growing up. But that doesn't tell us what he's going to be doing as president."
"It's just unfortunate that, I think, he is not in touch with the average person, and especially people like myself here in Hawaii," said party member Robin Khim.
"I think he did succeed in humanizing himself and showing some parts of his life that maybe people hadn't been aware of," said Democratic Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. "But I think the ideas that he has are not consistent with the ideas that we hold dear in the state of Hawaii."
Local Republicans who watched the speech said that Romney was able to concentrate on the economy and to offer a plan. "I think his five point plan, which is really a job creation plan, energy independence, trade agreements, small business development -- those are the engines that attracted so many people to America," said Republican state Rep. Gene Ward, the house minority leader.
The head of the Hawaii Republican party has been attending the convention in Tampa, Fl. He agrees that Romney has been able to concentrate on economic issues to draw Hawaii voters. "What people in Hawaii know is that Mitt Romney knows how to create jobs, he knows what it means to struggle, he knows what it takes to put America back on the path to prosperity," said Hawaii GOP chairman David Chang.