Rubio keeps key speaking slot
August 24th, 2012
06:34 PM ET
10 years ago

Rubio keeps key speaking slot

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

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. The California Gal

    First sentence of the article: "Ann Romney, husband of the of the Republican presidential candidate, will speak on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention." Wait. Ann is Mitt's husband?

    August 24, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  2. barry

    Mrs. Obama has done very well as first Lady. I know that if Romney wins Mrs. Romney will be a good first Lady also. Behind every Great man there is usually a better woman. That seems to ring true here as well.

    August 24, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Funk

    "Ann Romney, husband of the of the Republican presidential candidate"


    Sounds about right.

    August 24, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Marco is a class act! I'm so glad Marco is introducing Mitt. Sheeeeeeuuuu! For a second there I thought Mitt just lost the election by demoting Marco's time slot.

    August 24, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Richard

    One more reason to NOT watch the convention.
    Ann is just another 'desperate housewife' whining about her lot in life.
    "Poor little rich girls" should be getting their hair done, not giving bad advice.
    GO HOME Ma and Pa Romney, and please pay your fair tax share next year.

    August 24, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Paulcat

    Ann, tell Mitt we do not want to see his BC. We know he was born in Mexico like his father and grandfather. By them having so many wifes, we could ask the question, who is his mother? But we do not care about that. We asked to see his tax returns. Where are his Tax Returns?

    August 24, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Don't think that anything Leona Romney says will make a difference...

    August 24, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Hey flip flopper, I am not making a joke or trying to be nasty (at least not this time) but your wife is starting to look really bad (actually worse). It looks as if she has put on weight.
    I guess that lovey creepy smirky look I thought you had only for her, but now it's for everyone including your altar boy, is just another show you are putting on. Your wife is supposedly sick and no medical insurance that can be bought with all the money in the world (Cayman, Bermuda, Switzerland, Luxembourg) is going to help her.

    August 24, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. Pete

    Boy that must of hurt to keep Ann from top position,Romneys going to hear from her.Rubio is just like Romney,a pathelogical liar,even after stealing money from his senatorial charge card,he was fined $8000 for that screwup.And the Mormon leper doesn't mind him speaking in the top spot,its because Romney needs more Hispanics, he's in trouble even thou he's of Mexican decent himself but refused to recognize his Mexican family roots,they say they're proud of their American Romney even thou he's never spoke to them,nice relative Romney is ha,total arrogence!!!And he wants to help all peoples of America,what BS!!!!

    August 24, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  10. SafeJourney

    Hispanics know exactly who Rubi is, he is a fake, an impostor

    August 24, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. T'sah From Virginia

    Why is there so much conflict to get this convention together – Why is there a struggle to get Ann a spot, the wife of the wannabe president, when that should not even be a concern. Is this the sign of how a government would be run under Romney. I bet there is no conflict when Michelle Obama would speak.

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 24, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Put her back in her private suite in a hospital - she's been sick. Let medicare pay for it. Yes - they get medicare.

    August 24, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Susan

    The media again is trying to drive the election. This is exactly what they did four years ago. Ann Romney is very well liked and I can see why the media would like her eliminated. We need the media to do their job....just report the news don't try to sway it..... Go Romney!!!! We do need change, change for the better. We need jobs, we need leadership.

    August 24, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Armand Winter

    Rubio is a liar. He claimed his family was exiled by Castro but they left before Castro came to power.

    Mitt Romney's father was born in Mexico but that didn't stop him from running in a presidential primary.

    How many 13 year old polygamist aunts does Mitt have back in Mexico, just like Warren Jeffs?

    August 24, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    really doesn't matter....Mitt STILL won't get the Hispanic/Latino vote no mater what Rubio says or when he speaks.

    August 24, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |

    The same Marco Rubio? That Talks Big but Fails to Deliver?

    A Cuban on the ballot means nothing to the general population of the
    Hispanic community. Most Latin Americans don't like Cubans

    Cubans have enjoyed a status not accorded to any other immigrant group over time. In this work,Illegal Immigrants from Cuba: Preferential Treatment

    August 24, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. CBR

    Oh the politics of it all! The 3 networks are not covering the first night of the convention much to the displeasure of the GOP Chairman is unhappy. He believes those networks will give Democrats more coverage. He should familiarize himself with the ruling that equal time will be given to the competing sides. Fox and other cable networks will cover the convention offering people a chance to watch it all. It appears that the man likes to be in the news.

    August 24, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |

    when will Rubio start working for jobs in Florida ??? he should stop campaigning and vacationing and self promoting his book on our Florida time and get to work !!!

    August 24, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. RGD

    It is like rearranging chairs during Titanic distaster. Isaac will be a keynote speaker and whole convention likely will be cancelled by Monday due to 60 to 80 mph winds, flooding rains and extraordinary surge being accompanied by this storm according to weather channel. Floridians will be too busy dealing with preparations for this upcoming hurricane so here is our advice to RNC delegates: Pull down your "bootstraps" and use them as life preservers if necessary.

    August 24, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. Groucho Marx

    Why CNN insists on showing Marco Rubio how political golden boy that counts with the support of the Latino community? This is absolutely wrong....Why CNN do not understand once and for all between Cubans and the rest of Latinos, do not exist the more minimal affinity? And all this comes by Republican courtesy to create a discriminatory law 55 years ago, (Cuban Immigration Adjustment Act ) that allow to Cubans "sleep on a soft and warmly bed", (It means Food Stamps, Medicaid, refugee checks only for Cubans, scholarships, no deportation) but the rest of Latinos have to sleep on the cold dirty floor? (No benefits at all. Only mistreatment, insult and deportation). Now, finally can you see why Marco Rubio is not "our politician"?

    August 24, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  21. Antique

    Why carry any of it?

    August 24, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    If Ann would wash that stringy hair, maybe she wouldn't look so bad. It also needs a cut. She's too old for that.

    August 24, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. enuff

    I wouldn't say she "softens" his image, especially after he "you people" reference.

    August 24, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. John Doe

    Im new to politics. It is very interesting that just because a senator within the Latino background of Florida would play such a big role in who votes for who. The Romney Campaign would rather not take the prime time showing away from him just to protect their image.

    August 24, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  25. Hillcrester

    FL Cuban-Americans will vote for Romney in any event, and Rubio's speech won't help Romney with other Latina/Latino subcultures. Preseason NFL football will outdraw the convention on Thursday night.

    August 24, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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