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Politico: GOP Stars Show Little Interest In Trump Convention Speaking Slots

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By    |   Monday, 27 Jun 2016 07:04 PM

The traditionally coveted gig as Republican National Convention speaker is drumming up little interest with career-conscious politicians wary of presumptive nominee Donald Trump, Politico reports. 

The website reports it contacted more than 50 big-name governors, senators and House lawmakers about a speaking spot at the convention.

"Only a few said they were open to it, and everyone else said they weren’t planning on it, didn’t want to or weren’t going to Cleveland at all — or simply didn’t respond," Politico's Alex Isenstadt writes.

Among the firm no-shows, according to Politico, are:
  • South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who's overseeing a House Select committee's investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of the attacks on Benghazi.
  • South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, a former two-term governor.
  • Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo.
  • New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
  • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.
  • South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
  • New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who helped write the GOP platform at the 2012 convention.
  • North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson.
  • Utah Rep. Mia Love, who's skipping the convention to travel to Israel.

Politico reports rising stars in the party like South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Oklahoma Rep. Steve Russell, a former Army lieutenant colonel who helped capture Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, say they've got no plans to speak. Nor are there plans for rising GOP stars Utah Sen. Mike Lee or former Trump rival Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, to speak.

Even politicians from the convention host state of Ohio, Sen. Rob Portman and Gov. John Kasich, a Trump primary rival, haven't said if they'll speak.

According to Politico, "even the GOP leaders in charge of maintaining the party’s congressional majorities," Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker and Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, aren't saying if they'll speak at the event, Isenstadt writes.

"Everyone has to make their own choice, but at this point, 70 percent of the American public doesn’t like Donald Trump," Stuart Stevens, a GOP strategist who helped craft the 2012 convention, tells Politico.

"That’s as toxic as we’ve seen in American politics. Normally, people want to speak at national conventions. It launched Barack Obama’s political career."

A Trump spokesperson declined to comment on this year’s convention plans, but there are hints the event will be heavy on non-politicians. 

It’s also expected that Trump’s children, including daughter Ivanka and sons Eric and Donald Jr., will get prime-time spots, Politico reports.

Trump supporters like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may be tapped for a spot on the stage, according to Politico. And Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, a former leader of the Navy SEAL team that would later kill Osama bin Laden, hopes to get a shot at the podium, a spokeswoman tells Politico.

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Politics
The traditionally coveted gig as Republican National Convention speaker is drumming up little interest with career-conscious politicians wary of presumptive nominee Donald Trump, Politico reports.
republicans, speaking, slots, donald trump, convention
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2016-04-27
Monday, 27 Jun 2016 07:04 PM
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