Ted Cruz, Scott Walker to Speak at GOP Convention

Wednesday, 08 Aug 2012 12:29 PM

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Tea party star Ted Cruz and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin will address the Republican National Convention later this month, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced.

Also added to the speaking list were Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the first woman in that position in the state’s history; Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, the first Republican elected governor of Puerto Rico since 1969; and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.

"These five remarkable individuals will bring a diversity of experiences and perspectives to the convention stage in Tampa, where they will voice their support for Gov. Mitt Romney,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said.

“They have each served the public in their own impressive ways, and they all share a dedication to the Republican principles of individual opportunity, responsible government, and personal liberty.”

Cruz, 41, the former Texas solicitor general who won a stunning upset over a longtime Texas state officeholder in a Republican U.S. Senate primary runoff, will add considerable star power to the convention. With the win, Cruz was transformed into a national conservative darling and marked a resurgence of the movement to shrink the size of U.S. government.

Walker became the first U.S. governor to overcome a recall despite an intense campaign by big labor to unseat him. GOP insiders tout Walker as a future candidate for national office.

Republicans have not yet announced the convention keynote speaker, a coveted spot that is most times used to highlight a rising political star. The committee said that more convention speakers, including the keynote, will be announced in the coming days.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has been mentioned as a possible candidate, but if he ends up as Romney’s choice for running mate he would almost certainly be ruled out.

Vice presidential nominee observers are now focusing on those who have not been named to speak — a list that includes all the VP favorites: Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

In addition, there are those expected to join Romney's upcoming bus tour, which begins Saturday in Virginia: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.

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