Kentucky's two U.S. senators unloaded sharp criticism on President Barack Obama in their speeches Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green questioned whether Obama is qualified to lead America, implying that Obama does not understand how the private sector works.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Louisville said the United States "is in desperate need of leadership, and we believe Mitt Romney is the man for the moment."
McConnell and Paul led off the evening speeches on the second day of the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., to make Romney the party's presidential nominee. Paul's speech drew a more vocal response from the crowd. McConnell spoke for 7 minutes, and Paul's speech lasted 16 minutes.
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Paul first criticized the Affordable Health Care Act enacted during the Obama administration, labeling it unconstitutional despite a Supreme Court decision that largely upheld the law.
He then spent most of his speech on Obama's recent remark that "if you've got a business, you didn't build that."
Republicans have pounced on that line to make the case that Obama doesn't understand the private sector.
Democrats say the comment simply conveyed that government-funded investments in things like infrastructure help businesses succeed.
Paul said when he first heard the president's comment, he was insulted, angered and saddened that "anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around.
"Anyone who so fundamentally misunderstands American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation," he said.
Paul pointed to the Taing family from Cambodia that runs a donut shop in Bowling Green as an American success story.
"So, Mr. President, don't you go telling the Taings, 'You didn't build that.'"
Paul invoked his own ancestry as a symbol of success through hard work.
He said his grandfather "would live to see his children become doctors, ministers, accountants and professors. He would even live to see one of his sons ... a certain congressman from Texas ... run for president of the United States of America."
Paul was referring to his father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. A video about Ron Paul's career was shown before McConnell and Rand Paul spoke.
Rand Paul also chastised Obama for seeking a tax on the rich and railed against the national debt.
"When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class," Paul said.
"Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows," Paul said. "Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed."
McConnell, who has said his priority is to make Obama a one-term president, did not hold back in his criticism of Obama.
"As we meet here tonight, America is suffering through an economic calamity of truly historic dimensions. Some are calling it the slowest recovery in our nation's entire 236-year history," McConnell said. "To call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries."
McConnell, who is hoping to become Senate majority leader next year with a GOP takeover of the chamber, contended that Obama has been running from the nation's problems and has not been working to earn re-election.
"He's been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour," he said.
Americans know "what the president's got on his iPod, but we don't know what he plans to do about a looming tax hike that could trigger yet another serious recession that would result in even more Americans losing their jobs," McConnell said.