McCain, Rice top first list of headline GOP convention speakers

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are among the high-profile speakers scheduled to address this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

An early list of announced speakers, first reported by the Tampa Bay Times, also includes GOP Govs. Rick Scott (Fla.), Nikki Haley (S.C.), John Kasich (Ohio) and Susana Martinez (N.M.), as well as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

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Scott, Kasich and Martinez are all governors of key swing states that will help determine the outcome of the 2012 race.

Announcing the headliners, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus praised the speakers, whom he described as among the GOP’s “brightest stars, who have governed and led effectively and admirably in their respective roles.”

“Ours will be a world-class convention, worthy of the next president of the United States, and these speakers — and those that will be announced later — will help make it a truly memorable and momentous event,” he added.

The RNC did not specify which nights the announced speakers would address the convention, and said the keynote speaker and additional speakers would be announced ahead of the Aug. 27-30 event.



Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has yet to announce his vice president, and the list of announced speakers notably did not contain the names of those rumored to be on his short list, including Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) or Govs. Bob McDonnell (Va.) and Bobby Jindal (La.).


Rice was rumored to be a front-runner for Romney’s VP pick, after she delivered a widely praised speech at a Romney donor retreat in June and polls showed her as popular with GOP voters. But the former Bush administration official played down speculation.