CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Gov. Pat Quinn appeared to relish his role of attack dog Tuesday, taking to the Democratic National Convention stage to rip Republicans over what he says were misstatements by the GOP about President Barack Obama last week.
"Tonight, I want to talk to you about a scary subject for many, many Republicans," Quinn told the massive gathering in Charlotte, N.C. "I want to talk about facts."
The line drew applause from the crowd in their first official night of the convention.
Quinn cited fact-checkers who have taken some Republican speakers from last week's convention in Tampa to task over misstatements about Obama and his policies on welfare and Medicare, in particular.
Quinn called Republicans' claims that Obama weakened work requirements for welfare "ridiculous."
He credited Obama for boosting the auto industry in Illinois.
"When President Obama took office in January of 2009, the Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Ill., employed just 200 people," Quinn said. "Today, because President Obama saved the auto industry, that same Chrysler plant is employing more than 4,000 American workers.
"America is moving forward under President Obama's leadership -- and that's a fact," Quinn said.
Quinn's speech got high marks from his fellow delegates.
"I think the governor hit strongly and used Illinois as an example," said state Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat.
Quinn spoke as an ardent Obama supporter who has backed the president's ideas in his home state of Illinois. But the governor faces turmoil back home as he eyes 2014 with public employee unions -- some of Democrats' strongest backers -- fighting him both in court and in public over pension cuts, prison closures and pay raises.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady hit at some of those issues while responding to Quinn's speech.
"With a failed record of higher taxes, spiraling debt and high unemployment, Pat Quinn is the wrong politician to lecture Americans on who should lead our nation over the next four years," Brady said.
Quinn ended his tightly scripted speech with one of his most-repeated sayings, a line that might seem new to the national crowd.
"All of us should join together in voting for President Obama and together let's make the will of the people the law of the land," he said.