Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has won a big consolation prize after being passed over as Republican vice-presidential candidate — he has been selected to introduce presidential hopeful Mitt Romney at the party’s national convention.
The decision gives the freshman senator a place in the national spotlight and should provide Romney with a boost at the conference in Rubio’s vitally important home state, the Tampa Bay Times
The announcement, just a day after the two men campaigned together in Florida, shows that Rubio is considered “an integral part of our campaign,” said Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades.
The party expects a massive television audience for Romney’s August 30 acceptance speech at the Tampa convention. Four years ago John McCain’s speech was watched by 39 million viewers.
"Since the last night of the convention usually has the largest audience, it's a great opportunity to showcase leaders who will play an important role in shaping the future of the Republican Party. Marco Rubio is that kind of leader," Rhoades said in a statement.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called Rubio “one of America’s most dynamic leaders.”
"It is fitting that he will take on such an important role at our convention in his home state," Priebus said. "Throughout his career, he has shown true dedication to constitutional principles, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. As the son of immigrants, he has witnessed the promise of the American Dream firsthand and has worked to secure that promise for future generations."
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