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RNC headline speakers to include Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Susanna Martinez, John McCain, Condoleezza Rice and Rick Scott
The GOP convention schedule is packed with high-profile names to fire up divergent wings of the Republican Party, from social conservatives to fiscal hawks. They will speak ahead of Mitt Romney’s formal acceptance of his party’s presidential nomination.
Convention leaders were not ready to announce the keynote speaker, a prime speaking slot that has the potential to catapult a rising member of the party to national prominence.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the first female governors of their states, are among party leaders slated to address the gathering that begins Aug. 27. Martinez has the additional distinction of being the first female Hispanic governor in the country.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the first black female to hold that job, is also scheduled to speak.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona was set to speak, as well as a one-time rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The two, along with Romney, vied for the 2008 presidential nomination, with McCain outlasting both Romney and the former Baptist pastor in the primary campaign.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who briefly ran for the GOP nomination in 2000, also was set to speak at the convention, as was Florida Gov. Rick Scott, whose state is host to the event. Both are tea party favorites and are set to speak to fiscal issues many Republicans hold dear.
“They are some of our party’s brightest stars, who have governed and led effectively and admirably in their respective roles,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in prepared remarks. “These speakers — and those that will be announced later — will help make it a truly memorable and momentous event.”
Republicans are holding back on announcing other speakers, including the keynote speaker.