Cruz, Walker to address GOP convention
On Wednesday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus plans to announce five more names which will be added to the roll of speakers scheduled to address the Republican National Convention at the end of the month.
According to a Republican strategist familiar with the list of speakers, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Republican Senate nominee Ted Cruz, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will be added to the current slate of 11 names, which already includes four women, five current governors and three men Mitt Romney has run against for president.
The latest set of names further signals the GOP’s effort to try highlight a diverse group of Republicans at Romney’s nominating convention. Cruz, whose father is Cuban, and Fortuno, who is Puerto Rican, are rising stars with an ability to help the party build much-needed support among Hispanic voters. Cruz, a former state solicitor general who is fresh off an upset runoff win against establishment-backed Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, is also very popular among tea party voters.
Walker defeated a Democratic effort to recall him from office earlier this year, cementing his popular standing among conservatives who have lauded his state law curbing collective barraging for public employees. Olens was the first Jewish candidate to win a statewide partisan election in Georgia. Bondi, meanwhile, gives the GOP a fifth woman speaker, and another figure from the state that is hosting the convention.
Absent from the list of 16 speakers announced so far are former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who have each been mentioned as possible vice presidential running mates for Romney.