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CONVENTION WATCH: Ryan's calling, Kasich's music

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Around the 2012 Republican National Convention and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details to you:



GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans to tell the Republican convention he accepts "the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old."

Ryan gives his big convention speech Wednesday night. In excerpts released by the campaign, Ryan says he and Mitt Romney have a goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

"We will not duck the tough issues — we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others — we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles," Ryan says.

— Stephen Ohlemacher — Twitter http://twitter.com/stephenatap



Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am called it dope on Twitter when the rover Curiosity beamed his new song "Reach for the Stars" from Mars to Earth. Not so much when Ohio Gov. John Kasich walked on stage at the Republican National Convention hours later Tuesday night to a snippet of the musician's song, "I Gotta Feeling."

Add to that Kasich's opening remarks: "You know, you know, I don't know about you, I don't about you but I've got a feeling, you know I gotta feeling ... that we're about to elect a new president of the United States of America."

To which will.i.am tweeted: "Hey Gov Kasich (hash)Igottafeeling that Ohio needed the auto bail out...(hash)unitedamericanotdivided let's educate our youth (hash)reachforthestars."

— Leanne Italie — Twitter http://twitter.com/litalie



Many workers and residents seem comforted by the platoons of police roaming downtown during the convention, but at least one man isn't.

Donny Rhode stood on the edge of a park Wednesday in the spitting rain, holding a cardboard sign criticizing Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. It said, "Generalissimo Buckhorn Declares Victory" and "Free Speech Dead."

Rhode was angry about the thousands of police deployed to Tampa for the convention. He wondered how much that cost taxpayers. And he said it resulted in fewer protests.

Clearly, the number of demonstrators in the city is far less than police anticipated, and they have been more peaceful than expected. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, only two protesters had been arrested.

Some anti-GOP protesters praised police officers, though they said their presence was perhaps more than needed.

"I haven't experienced one rude cop. They have been great," said Nick Sabatella, who came to Tampa from New York with Occupy Wall Street. "I walk by the cops and I say 'hi' and they say 'hi' back."

— Tamara Lush — Twitter http://twitter.com/TamaraLush



If it's beer and brats, it must be the Wisconsin party.

Paul Ryan and his wife, Janna, dropped in on his home state delegation's brewski and bratwurst feast Wednesday, but Ryan didn't have much to say.

"I've got to give this speech later on today so I'm going to keep it brief and save my voice," he joked.

Ryan's big moment — a speech that will introduce him to millions of Americans as the party's vice presidential nominee — comes Wednesday night.

— Philip Elliott — Twitter http://twitter.com/philip_elliott



Around the 2012 Republican National Convention and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details to you:

Mitt Romney is previewing the sorts of choice words for President Barack Obama that are likely to show up in his acceptance speech Thursday night.

Speaking to the American Legion in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Romney said leadership to protect the world's peace and freedom must come from the U.S.

"For the past four years, President Obama has allowed our leadership to diminish," he said. "In dealings with other nations, he has given trust where it's not earned, insult where it's not deserved and apology where it's not due."

— Sam Hananel — Twitter: http://twitter.com/SamHananelAP



White House press secretary Jay Carney says President Barack Obama hasn't watched any Republican convention speeches because "he has other things to do." Obama's campaign staff, however, has apparently been watching closely.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One Wednesday that a theme invoked by many convention speakers was "built on a house of lies." She specifically cited what she said were distortions of Obama's "you didn't build that" comment and his positions on Medicare and welfare.

Psaki praised Ann Romney's speech, saying she did "a great job" in telling the public about her relationship with her husband.

"She gave a very powerful speech about her husband and their family and the strength of their bond," Psaki said.

— Julie Pace — Twitter http://twitter.com/jpaceDC



Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan visited the convention stage to get used to the teleprompters, the lights and the sound while his three children played around at the podium.

The 42-year-old congressman from Wisconsin gives the biggest speech of his career so far on Wednesday night.

He asked aides where delegates from Wisconsin and Michigan would be sitting, as well as the location of running mate Mitt Romney's box.

"I'm going to point to them in my speech," Ryan said.

That's about all he gave away, even when reporters pestered him for a preview of his remarks.

"You'll find out tonight," he said. "Why would I spoil it now?"

— Julie Mazziotta



Even though Isaac has moved beyond Florida, the hurricane's still having an impact on the Republicans meeting in Tampa.

Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is considering a visit to hard-hit Gulf Coast areas after the storm passes.

Convention activities on Monday were canceled because of the approaching storm, but GOP officials say they have no plans to make further changes to the schedule.

Still, as rain and flooding in New Orleans and surrounding areas intensifies, there is increasing media coverage of the storm, threatening to overshadow the convention events surrounding Romney's nomination. His acceptance speech is set for Thursday night.

Many speakers Tuesday night mentioned the hurricane at the beginning of their remarks, and the top of the official convention page features a promotion for Red Cross relief efforts.

— Kasie Hunt — Twitter https://twitter.com/kasie



Talk about getting into character.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, ran into each other on a CNN set at the convention Wednesday.

Van Hollen greeted Portman as "Mr. President."

Van Hollen is playing the role of Rep. Paul Ryan for the Democrats as Vice President Joe Biden prepares for the vice presidential debate.

Portman is playing President Barack Obama for the Republicans as Mitt Romney prepares for the presidential debates.

— Nancy Benac — Twitter http://twitter.com/nbenac



It wasn't all politics at the convention. There was time for romance, too.

RNC Production Manager Bradley Thomson, 32, proposed to Laura Bowman, 27, on the convention stage Wednesday morning. Thomson led Bowman onstage, where the screens were filled with pictures of the couple and their dog. Thomson got down on one knee, and Bowman immediately accepted.

She later said that the engagement was a surprise, although she knew something was up. "I thought there was something fishy when he said that there was a sound problem, because there never is," Bowman said.

The couple met in New York and have dated for about two years.

— Julie Mazziotta — Twitter http://twitter.com/julietmazz



The Republicans put their convention in Tampa for a reason — Florida's outsized role in electoral politics.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio predicted the state will go for Mitt Romney come November.

If the speeches in the convention hall aren't enough to do the trick, there's always this:

"The folks that have been visiting this week have done great, leaving great tips," Rubio said Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show. "That's going to help, too. They're real good tippers."

— Nancy Benac — Twitter http://twitter.com/nbenac



After returning from Indiana on Wednesday evening, the newly nominated Mitt Romney is expected to be "down" at his hotel watching the convention proceedings on TV with his wife, Ann. That's according to spokesman Rick Gorka, who says he doesn't know whether Romney might visit the convention floor later in the evening.

Will Romney make another surprise appearance at the convention on Wednesday night next to his running mate, Paul Ryan?

— Steve Peoples — Twitter http://twitter.com/sppeoples



Romney running mate Paul Ryan takes center stage at the GOP convention Wednesday night.

What to make of him?

When voters were asked what one word comes to mind when thinking of him, the most frequent responses were conservative, intelligent, good, unknown, and young. People offered roughly an equal number of positive and negative descriptions.

That's according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post.

— Nancy Benac — Twitter http://twitter.com/nbenac


EDITOR'S NOTE — Follow AP journalists on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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