"After four long years, help is on the way," McConnell told delegates on the second day of the convention at Tampa Bay Times Forum. "America is about to turn the page on Barack Obama's four-year experiment in big government."
The invocation was delivered by Ishwar Singh, president of the Sikh Society of Central Florida, who said in prayer, "Help us remember that we belong to one family."
The country is "in desperate need" of leadership, "and we believe Mitt Romney is the man for the moment," McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said.
Obama has spent four years lowering expectations, McConnell said, telling Americans that "we're just like everybody else, that America isn't unique."
"But it's not true," he said. "We are different. Not because of where we were born, but because of who we are as a people."
Obama is taking America down the path of Europe, McConnell charged, because the administration isn't for renewal but a "great leveling out."
"It wants the kind of government-imposed equality that in a single generation transformed Western Europe from a place where for centuries high achievement and discovery and innovation were celebrated and prized," he said, "to a place where they have elections about whether people should have to work. Where they make promises they can't keep and write checks they can't cash."
The election is important because it is a choice about what the country is, the Senate GOP leader said.
"Are we still a country that takes risks, that innovates, that believes anything is possible?" he asked. "Or are we a country that is resigned to whatever liberty the government decides to dish out?"
Obama has been running away from problems and "working to earn a spot on the PGA tour," not working to earn re-election, McConnell said.
In contrast, Romney, who was formally nominated as the party's presidential candidate Tuesday, sees a country ready for a comeback, the senator from Kentucky said.
"I believe firmly he's the man to lead it," McConnell said.
"For four years, Americans have waited for the faintest light to flicker at the end of the tunnel," McConnell said. "And this president has let them down again and again and again."
"It is time to move on."