Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Ann Romney will speak Tuesday evening at the Republican National Convention, a move designed to ensure a larger audience watches her prime time speech during the four day event that will culminate in her husband accepting the GOP nomination.
Ann Romney was originally scheduled to speak Monday - headlining the first day of the convention and creating a bookend effect with her husband. But the broadcast networks decided not to carry the first night of the convention, forcing the Romney campaign to scramble and find another night to showcase Ann Romney.
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One idea that was seriously considered was moving Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida from his prime speaking slot Thursday right where he would introduce Mitt Romney.
This shocked some of Rubio's supporters in this very important battleground state, and such a move could have created a headache for Romney with Latino voters.
"Sen. Rubio was incredibly gracious to offer his speaking slot to Mrs. Romney, and we thank him for his kind offer," Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said in a statement. "However, he will remain the last speaker in primetime on Thursday night before Gov. Romney accepts the nomination. In many ways, Sen. Rubio represents the future of the Republican Party and we can think of no better person to introduce Gov. Romney on this important night."
Ann Romney will address the convention before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will remain as the convention's keynote speaker.
Rubio, a Cuban American, is well regarded by Florida Republicans, specifically Cubans in South Florida – who are considered a key constituency in Romney's bid to win Florida. Cuban Americans traditionally vote Republican and many view Rubio as a future presidential candidate himself.
Ann Romney is considered by many people to be one of her husband's strongest surrogates because she helps to soften up his image as a calculated businessman.
While the broadcast networks will not air the first evening of the convention, they do plan limited coverage of the remaining three days. CNN will run live primetime coverage all four days.
– CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report