Santorum, Bush, Paul to speak at GOP convention
August 7th, 2012
07:20 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum, Bush, Paul to speak at GOP convention

(CNN) - Rick Santorum, who emerged as Mitt Romney's fiercest competitor for the Republican presidential nomination, will speak at the Republican National Convention, a senior GOP official tells CNN.

The former Pennsylvania senator is one of four Republicans including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who will be announced Tuesday as primetime convention speakers. They join seven others who Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Monday would address the convention.

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Santorum will be Romney's first rival for the GOP nomination to be named as a speaker at the convention, which will be held in Tampa later this month.

Santorum, whose shoe string nomination run was fueled by conservative support, never developed a close personal or political relationship with Romney following the primary. Giving Santorum a primetime speaking role may help quell speculation about animosity that exists between the two men.

Paul is the son of retiring Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who also unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination. The Kentucky senator is well regarded by tea party activists and will likely inherit his father's political machine that is comprised of an eclectic group of anti-government, young, libertarian minded activists. Sen. Paul is said to be looking at running for president in 2016 if Romney loses in November. It is unclear if Rep. Paul will also speak at the convention.

Bush, a popular former Florida governor, is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President G.W. Bush. He passed on a chance to run for president, himself, and drew buzz as a possible vice presidential running mate for Romney earlier this year.

Fallin is a former congresswoman, who was elected governor in 2010.

Exact days and times for each speaker will not be released by the RNC at this time.

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. eamonS

    Bush to speak? Seriously?

    August 7, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. eamon

    Bush to speak? Speak English? Seriously?

    August 7, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. odirony

    Very nice of the RNC and Mr Romney. Now when will they accord the same generosity to Representative Paul?

    August 7, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. odirony

    Very nice of the RNC and Mr Romney; now when will they accord the same courtesy to Representative Paul?

    August 7, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. Crazy_Redneck

    My guess is they won't allow Rand's father to speak at the convention. There's just no room for agressive, pro-liberty speech at the nominating even for a somewhat statist presidential candidate.

    August 7, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Donkey Party

    The clown car returns. Has there ever been so large a group of fatally flawed candidates (and individuals) as what the GOP rolls out?

    August 7, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. Jules

    Please note – Goerge W. Bush will not be seen at this convention. I am sure he has been asked to stay away so he doesn't remind everyone that his economic policies are the same ones being proposed by Romney. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, who handed over a surplus to Bush, will be front and center at the Dems convention.

    August 7, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. greg

    I guess a watered down PAUL is better than no PAUL at all....

    August 7, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Larry

    So glad to see Rand Paul getting into the fray. Hope to see him "SOON" running for president.

    August 7, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Romney needs some strong help from Santorom to secure the base. That might be problem in November. Some conservatives might not be able to hold their nose enough to vote for Romney. Santorum needs to be able to convince them that Romney is a good choice.

    August 7, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. enuff

    Even the convention times are "confidential" with this group. Why is everything so freaking top secret?

    August 7, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    The Gop convention will probably be the least watched programs in the USA ,Obama should run some attack ads!!!!romney ,where's your tax returns ????I hope the Gop bafoons keep sticking up for romney the clown and all go down in flames with him when they find out he's LIEING to them and made them look like fools !!!!

    August 7, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Joejoe

    "It is unclear if Rep. Paul will also speak at the convention."

    Because he's still in the race and will be nominated by delegates from the floor.

    If Ron Paul speaks it will be HORRIBLE for Romney, since at each of the state conventions where Ron has been given REAL time to speak (not 30-second rebuttals) he causes pro-Romney delegates to crumple up their Romney signs, open their eyes wide and go "oh my god... we've been deceived." <– And that's a literal quote on youtube.

    August 7, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. nickelodeon2002

    "The Kentucky senator is well regarded by tea party activists and will likely inherit his father's political machine"

    Ha! That's very doubtful. Whoever wrote this article doesn't realize how much Rand differs from his father and the grief that Ron Paul supporters have over it.

    August 7, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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