(CNSNews.com) - Former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, a black Democrat-turned-Republican, thanked Republicans Tuesday night "for welcoming me where I belong."
He had a message for people of all parties: "We have a country to turn around," he told the Republican National Convention. And he described Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as "the most experienced executive to seek the presidency in 60 years."
Calling Romney a leader, Davis said, "He has no illusions about what makes America great, and he doesn't confuse the presidency with celebrity, or loftiness with leadership."
Davis also alluded to his support for Barrack Obama in the 2008 presidential race:
"Now, America is a land of second chances, and I gather you have room for the estimated 6 million of us who know we got it wrong in 2008 and who want to fix it," he said.
"Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don't end well. Maybe the Hollywood stars and the glamour blinded us a little: you thought it was the glare, some of us thought it was a halo.
"But in all seriousness, do you know why so many of us believed?" Davis asked. "We led with our hearts and our dreams that we could be more inclusive than America had ever been, and no candidate had ever spoken so beautifully.
"But dreams meet daybreak. The jobless know what I mean, so do the families who wonder how this administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting. So many of those high-flown words have faded."
In 2012, it's time to face reality, Davis said:
"So, this time, in the name of 23 million of our children and parents and brothers and sisters who are officially unemployed, underemployed, or who have stopped looking for work, let's put the poetry aside, let's suspend the hype, let's come down to earth and start creating jobs again.
This time, instead of moving oceans and healing planets, let's get our bills in order and pay down the debt so we control our own future."
Davis addressed part of his speech to "those Democrats and Independents whose minds are open to argument," telling them that if they listen, they'll realize that Democrats don't speak for them:
"When they (Democrats) say we have a duty to grow government even when we can't afford it, does it sound like compassion to you -- or recklessness?
"When you hear the party that glorified Occupy Wall Street blast success; when you hear them minimize the genius of the men and women who make jobs out of nothing, is that what you teach your children about work?
"When they tell you America is this unequal place where the powerful trample on the powerless, does that sound like the country your children or your spouse risked their lives for in Iraq or Afghanistan?
Do you even recognize the America they are talking about?" Davis asked.
"John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America. This Democratic Party asks what can government give you. Don't worry about paying the bill, it's on your kids and grandkids."