Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says electing Mitt Romney will help the U.S. raise its standing in the world by working to improve the domestic economy.
Her tone at the Republican National Convention was markedly different than that of the other speakers.
For example, few of the speakers—mostly elected officials and longtime politicians—begin by greeting the boisterous crowd as "distinguished delegates."
Rice, of course, is America's former top diplomat and a longtime academic, and she's known for a more formal speaking style, as befits her professions.
Yet despite the academic cast to her words, her address was overtly political, as she described for the crowd what she called a nation at risk of falling into decline and told the crowd that America cannot "lead from behind."
And the crowd did not respond formally—instead giving her several rounds of clamorous standing ovations.
Rice didn't mention President Barack Obama by name but said America's position as the most successful political and economic experiment in history is in danger today.
Rice recalled her own history of growing up in segregation. She said a little girl who couldn't buy a hamburger at a segregated lunch counter in Birmingham, Ala., grew up to be secretary of state.
She said the nation's education system needs major improvements, including allowing school choice, which she called "the civil rights issue of our day."
Rice said education is a means to prevent what she called an attitude of "entitlement and grievance."